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Those who know me know I’m as close to a sucker for Guy Gavriel Kay as a leech is to a juicy exposed human foot (you know, when you’re hiking in a tropical forest reserve).  I was over the moon when I found out he was doing a new novel, and it’s finally upon us.  Under Heaven is due out this week in Canada, and I’m going to be getting my grubby hands on it the moment I see it on the shelves.

I just (literally seconds ago) finished the first chapter of Under Heaven, courtesy of Penguin Canada.  I don’t want to judge an entire book from 28 pages of what is essentially a teaser, but let me just say that this is a fabulous return to form from his previous efforts Ysabel (which won the World Fantasy Award, so what the hell do I know, right?) and Last Light of the Sun.  The writing is luscious and the pace deliciously, dare I say it, languid.  A lot of the details in dynastic China seems quite spot on so far, but Kay always has an out, as he mentions in interviews; he’s not writing a story set in Tang Dynasty China, he’s writing a story inspired by Tang Dynasty China.

Bah.

All I know is, after reading this chapter, I envy the bastards with the Advance Reader Copies (ARCs), and I want the bloody book in my hands now.