“Under Heaven”, Glee and my unfortunate tea habit

I’ve been wrong before.  It’s the sort of thing I need to get out of the way when I begin something new, like this blog; I’ve been wrong before, nowhere near as much as I’ve been right, but no one notices that sort of thing.  This is a blog about a lot of things (pretty things, fantasy/sci fi things, things in general) that I’m going to comment on and someone, somewhere, is going to say I’m wrong.  Which is great.  Everyone gets to be wrong sometimes.

So, moving on!

Recently I won a load of books (fifteen, to be precise) from Voyager, HarperCollins’ fantasy imprint, and it’s been giving me a lot of joy as free books are wont to do.  One of the books is Guy Gavriel Kay’s Under Heaven and everyone who knows me is aware of my massive burning adoration for GGK.  Tigana, one of my favourite books, changed my understanding of what fantasy could be; the depth and breadth of his research make his world(s) so vivid I forget they’re fantasy, or even fiction at that.  His recent work has been a bit patchy (Ysabel was lacklustre and Last Light of the Sun just seemed like a shadow of an effort in comparison to his previous work) but Under Heaven is a brilliant read after only four chapters and looks set to get even better.

You gave a man one of the famed Sardian horses to reward him greatly. You gave him four or five to exalt him above his fellows, propel him towards rank, and earn him jealousy, possibly mortal jealousy. Two hundred and fifty is an unthinkable gift, a gift to overwhelm an emperor.

GGK is a poet as much as an author.  His work moves at a stately place, giving us a really eerie and beautiful introduction to his world through Tai’s work digging gaves at the side of a great lake, the site of a battle his recently deceased father fought at many years before.  At night he hears the cries of the unburied dead.  It sent shivers down my spine, not because it was scary, but because it had atmosphere.  Sometimes you really crave a book that’s short and sharp and sweet and simple, other times you want something you have to sit and ponder and revel in.  GGK writes that sort of book; the big glossy knots of plotlines and characters with blindingly good writing.  Tai is given two hundred and fifty horses and steps into a world of danger and intrigue, becomes a target for assassins, and everything changes.  GGK’s classic ability to write about people on a personal level at the same time as the warp and weft of history is already evident and I’ve barely started the damn book.  I’m four chapters in, really enjoying it and hoping it maintains this pace!

On a completely different note, I’ve found it.  I’ve found that point when I knew Glee was going to be immense.  I think I even posted about it on Facebook when I saw it, but I’ve rediscovered it, and this is why Glee is awesome:

Catching that one scene again completely cured the irritation I felt over the most recent episode of Gossip Girl.  And on the subject of tv – the final season of Ashes to Ashes begins on the 2nd April, same day as Stargate: Universe starts airing again in the US after that EXTREMELY trying hiatus.  Bones comes back on the 1st as well, I believe.  I am excited.  Sad, because Ashes to Ashes has been one of the best tv series I’ve seen in recent times, but excited, because, well – Stargate: Universe!

Time to have some more tea; peppermint, today. I’ve drunk all the green tea & lemon. I quite literally have the worst tea addiction since records began. I should just mainline it, might save time and washing up.


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