The Grace of Kings

, #1

by

Hardcover, 640 pages

English language

Published April 6, 2015 by Gallery / Saga Press.

ISBN:
978-1-4814-2427-1
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Goodreads:
18952341

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3 stars (37 reviews)

Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites. Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, and shapeshifting gods. Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions—two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice.

5 editions

reviewed The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu (The Dandelion Dynasty, #1)

Review of 'The Grace of Kings' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

The setting/plot of this one had potential for me. But I started to realize this was going to read more like history than story. It’s very distant from the characters and includes a lot of summarizing of events. It’s the kind of tone I’d expect a prologue to take, not a whole book.

reviewed The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu (The Dandelion Dynasty, #1)

Review of 'The Grace of Kings' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

The one thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars was that I didn't feel a real attachment to the characters, but excellent politics, warfare, loved the gods interfering in history, rise and fall of kings and relationships.. Also for such a long book it was quite easy to go through, looking forward to read book 2

reviewed The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu (The Dandelion Dynasty, #1)

The Grace of Kings

3 stars

Great world and cultures, I really enjoyed them, as well as the storytelling in isolated sections.

However, it bothered me to no end that the greater plot arc was driven by inexplicable, near-psychotic personality shifts across a range of major characters.

It's also unfortunate that the outcome of a Song-of-Ice-and-Fire-style fantasy imperial conflict is spoiled by the actual name of the trilogy. 😐

reviewed The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu (The Dandelion Dynasty, #1)

Review of 'The Grace of Kings' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I always enjoy Ken Liu’s work, whether it’s translations like The Three Body Problem or his own short work and it’s been interesting from a writers point of view to observe the difference in style between short works, translations and now a longer work in the form of The Grace of Kings.

To get a sense of what Liu presents I’ll quote an answer he gave on The Quillery blog:

The Grace of Kings is a re-imagining of the rise of the Han Dynasty in a new, secondary fantasy archipelago setting. This is a foundational narrative for Chinese literature much as the Iliad and the Odyssey are foundational narratives for the West.

By re-imagining this story as an epic fantasy using tropes and narrative techniques drawn from Chinese and Western epic traditions, I’m trying to create a new, blended aesthetic that transcends the Orientalism and colonial gaze that tends to …

reviewed The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu (The Dandelion Dynasty, #1)

Review of 'The Grace of Kings' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I keep going back and forth between three and four stars for this book. It's an ambitious work, with a richly conceived world, and it's beautifully written. The slightly distant tone and perspective seems to echo ancient Western epic narratives, and I recognize that...but I had trouble with the uneven pacing, and I had difficulty telling many of the characters apart (even with a cast listing at the front of the book). I have to settle on three stars and say that yes, it's good, but it's not for me.

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Subjects

  • Fiction
  • Fantasy
  • High Fantasy

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