- Series: The Dandelion Dynasty (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 640 pages
- Publisher: Saga Press; First Editio edition (April 7, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1481424270
- ISBN-13: 978-1481424271
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 258 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty) Hardcover – April 7, 2015
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"Ken Liu's The Grace of Kings — a magnificent fantasy epic. Liu is building a dynasty." (Amal El-Mohtar NPR Books)
"The Grace of Kings is an ambitious, astonishing, and sublime work, one that both exemplifies and diverges from what one might think of when it comes to epic fantasy. It should rank amongst the genre's best works." (Andrew Liptak io9)
"Liu’s combination of elements from China, Polynesia and beyond, told in an epic style, is the kind of Silk Road Fantasy that I’ve always wanted to read, and love all the more now that I have." (Paul Weimer SF Signal)
"Told in Liu’s graceful, intelligent, and literate prose, the novel is a sumptuous Epic feast." (Rob Bedford SFF World)
"The Grace of Kings is a fantasy, with petty meddling gods, odd mechanized inventions, and a sense that mystical powers lurk around the corner. It is nothing if not epic." (Justin Landon Tor.com)
"The epic fantasy genre can only be enriched by more novels drawing from non-Western traditions. Liu’s ambitious work expertly blends mythology, history, military tactics, and technological innovation (airships and submarines). " (Kirkus Reviews)
"The Grace of Kings is grand, mythic and epic, but Liu’s “silk-punk” world of trickster gods and giant horned whales is also a delight." (Relentless Reading)
About the Author
Ken Liu is one of the most lauded authors in the field of American literature. A winner of the Nebula, Hugo, World Fantasy, Locus Sidewise, and Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Awards, he has also been nominated for the Sturgeon and Locus Awards. His short story, “The Paper Menagerie,” is the first work of fiction to simultaneously win the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards. He also translated the 2015 Hugo Award–winning novel The Three-Body Problem, written by Cixin Liu, which is the first novel to ever win the Hugo award in translation. The Grace of Kings, his debut novel, is the first volume in a silkpunk epic fantasy series set in a universe he and his wife, artist Lisa Tang Liu, created together. It was a finalist for a Nebula Award and the recipient of the Locus Award for Best First Novel. He lives near Boston with his family.
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Top customer reviews
The language is generally ok, giving an impression of feudal/courtly times. On occasion, there is a very suspension-breaking modern turn of phrase. I tried to bookmark examples with my Kindle, but can't dig them up. The one I can remember is someone describing a relationship as having been some way since "day one."
The society itself has a high degree of cultural development in the arts and philosophy. The sciences are swiftly developing for a society so ancient. Clearly the blueprint for the novel was Japan in the very early years.
Part history, part fable, the story is a personal narrative of our gambler and swordsman, along with a few others. The tactics and strategy are both straightforward and Byzantine, honorable and underhanded. The battles are many, as are the human flaws, mistakes and victories.
The ending will go down in history as being glorious, but is battle ever really a scene of glory? So with mixed feelings I end an extraordinary story that is more realistic than many written histories, as it takes into account self doubt, human fallacy and acts of mercy.
I don't want to diminish my praise by giving myself qualifiers, but as an Asian American and fan of sweeping epics, science fiction and fantasy, I am so appreciative of this book. The story felt familiar and close to home, but also so imaginative and new. I am so happy to have this in my collection.
I bought this after stumbling upon Ken Liu's collection of short stories, Paper Menagerie. I saw some elements from those stories here and was delighted. I was a fan after the short stories. After Grace of Kings, Ken Liu is nearing the top of my list of favorite authors.
And he does—and not just in plot or setting. For better or worse, The Grace of Kings upends epic fantasy expectations with pacing and tone too—the book reads more like a collection of fables, or a (recorded) oral history, than a typical novel. Light-hearted, spanning many years, featuring characters a little too extreme to be believed, one almost feels the tale comes with the mythological veneer of a second-or third-hand telling, something passed down rather than spun fresh from the author’s brain.
The pacing and scope stand out most in this book. Where we usually expect just one beginning, middle and end, and the deep insight into character that only fiction offers, Liu gives us many characters in light detail, and a story that spans many years and climaxes of action. Economy of words shouldn’t be surprising from an author of so many (wonderful) short stories—it’s second nature to such authors (see Mary Robinette Kowal). But Liu declines the opportunity of a longer word count to get deeper into his character’s heads, opting instead for a sort of saga of sketches, an epic of vignettes that together form a broader tale than we expect from a single novel (really, the characters and plots would be fodder for a trilogy from most authors).
That’s not to say Liu’s debut novel is without depth. Though the characters are sketched rather than illustrated in great detail...read the full review (and more!) at topnewfantasy.com
Most recent customer reviews
There were parts I enjoyed quite a lot.Read more