From the bestselling author
of Under Heaven comes an epic of prideful emperors,
battling courtiers, nomadic invasions, and of a woman fighting to
find her place in the world.
Ren Daiyan was still just a boy when he
took the lives of seven men while guarding an imperial magistrate
of Kitai. That moment on a lonely road changed his life in
entirely unexpected ways, sending him into the forests of Kitai
among the outlaws. From there he emerges years later, and his life
changes again, dramatically, as he moves toward the court and
emperor while war approaches Kitai from the north.
Lin Shan is the daughter of a scholar, his beloved only child.
Educated by him in ways young women never are, gifted as a
songwriter and calligrapher, she finds herself living a life
suspended between two worlds. Her intelligence captivates an
emperor and alienates the women at court. But when her father's
life is endangered by the savage politics of the day, Shan must act
in ways no woman ever has.
In an empire divided by bitter factions circling an
exquisitely cultured emperor who loves his gardens and his art far
more than the burdens of governing, dramatic events on the northern
steppe alter the balance of power in the world, leading, under the
river of stars, to events no one could have foretold.