River of Stars (Under Heaven, Book 2) by Guy Gavriel Kay
By Guy Gavriel Kay
Ren Daiyan was once nonetheless only a boy while he took the lives of 7 males whereas guarding an imperial Justice of the Peace. That second on a lonely street replaced his lifestyles in completely unforeseen methods, sending him into the forests of Kitai one of the outlaws. From there he emerges years later—and his existence alterations back, dramatically, as he circles towards the courtroom and emperor, whereas struggle methods Kitai from the north.
Lin Shan is the daughter of a pupil, his loved basically baby. informed through him in methods younger women by no means are, talented as a songwriter and calligrapher, she reveals herself dwelling a existence suspended among worlds. Her intelligence captivates an emperor—and alienates girls on the court docket. but if her father’s lifestyles is endangered via the savage politics of the day, Shan needs to act in methods no girl ever has.
In an empire divided by means of sour factions circling an exquisitely cultured emperor who loves his gardens and his paintings way over the burdens of governing, dramatic occasions at the northern steppe regulate the stability of strength on the planet, resulting in occasions not anyone can have foretold, less than the river of stars.
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Arobynn encouraged cutthroat behavior. Even when they were children, he’d set her and Sam against each other, use their victories and failures against them. He’d made her see everyone but Arobynn and Ben as a potential enemy. As allies, yes, but also as foes to be closely watched. Weakness was never to be shown at any cost. Brutality was rewarded. And education and culture were equally important—words could be just as deadly as steel. But the Silent Assassins . . Though they, too, might be killers, they looked to each other for learning.
Instantly, Sam was dragged out of his chair, his arms pinned back by Tern and Mullin. Harding took a step in front of them, his fist flexing. “No,” Celaena breathed as she met Sam’s wide-eyed stare. Arobynn wouldn’t be that cruel—he wouldn’t make her watch as he hurt Sam. Something tight and aching built in her throat. But Celaena kept her head high, even as Arobynn said quietly to her, “You are not going to enjoy this. You will not forget this. ” She whipped her head back to Sam, a plea for Harding not to hurt him on her lips.
Given what Arobynn had done to her, she hardly felt defensive of the assassins in Adarlan’s empire. But . . but to see all these assassins gathered here, so much collective power and knowledge, and to know that they wouldn’t dare intrude on Arobynn’s—on her—territory . . Celaena went on eating in silence as Ansel and Mikhail and a few others around them talked quietly. Vows of silence, Ansel had explained earlier, were taken for as long as each person saw fit. Some spent weeks in silence; others, years.