The Grace of Kings by Ken Lui

“He was like a seed still tethered to the withered flower, just waiting for the dead air of the late summer evening to break, for the storm to begin.”

What I expected:
I expected something along the lines of Shogun or the last samurai. Historical seeming, but with elements of fantasy thrown in.

What it was:
I was interested up to 28%, then it began to pall as it repeated a cycle of power struggles. I continued to read …

By 38% Princess Kikomi of Arulugi had been introduced and the story improved somewhat.

At 49% I considered giving up. The novel is like the chronicles of a war, which is of little to no interest to me.

Well, I made it to the end and I’ve no doubt that this debut novel will likely be heralded a great success. However, I was unable to develop any sympathy or empathy with any of the characters and wasn’t really bothered how the tale ended. In fact I was just glad that it did end. I won’t be reading the next novel in the series, as I found it a chore to read this one. It was just not my kind of book.

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

2/5 Stars and only just as it was very nearly a DNF! (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

Official description:
Emperor Mapidéré was the first to unite the island kingdoms of Dara under a single banner. But now Mapidéré is on his deathbed, his people are exhausted by his vast, conscriptive engineering projects and his counselors conspire only for their own gain.

Even the gods themselves are restless.

A wily, charismatic bandit and the vengeance-sworn son of a deposed duke cross paths as they each lead their own rebellion against the Emperor’s brutal regime. Together, they will journey to the heart of the Empire, witnessing the clash of armies, fleets of silk-draped airships, magical books and shape-shifting gods. Their unlikely friendship will drastically change the balance of power in Dara… but at what price?

THE GRACE OF KINGS is the debut novel by Hugo-, Nebula-, and World Fantasy Award-winner Ken Liu, and the first in an monumental new epic fantasy series.

Get your copy:
The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty)


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