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The Wall of Storms

(The Dandelion Dynasty #2)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  3,304 ratings  ·  418 reviews
Kuni Garu, now known as Emperor Ragin, runs the archipelago kingdom of Dara, but struggles to maintain progress while serving the demands of the people and his vision. Then an unexpected invading force from the Lyucu empire in the far distant west comes to the shores of Dara—and chaos results.

But Emperor Kuni cannot go and lead his kingdom against the threat himself with h
Hardcover, 880 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Head of Zeus
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Fanfreakingtastic! I look forward to the next book in 2019! God, I hate even thinking about next year because the only thing that pops in my head is, "what if the cancer comes back." It makes me afraid to look forward to books 😕

Happy Reading!!

Mel 🖤🐺🐾
Take it all, Liu. Take all your well deserved stars and thank you for still haunting me with your words.


I can count on one hand the number of books that have rendered me speechless, the magnificent Wall of Storms is one of them.

And since I can’t paint magic in words, here’s my shortest review yet.


Thank you and good bye.
Michael Finocchiaro
Somewhere between George RR Martin's A Game of Thronessand Shi Nai'an's Water Margin, the Dandelion series from Ken Liu is an amazing read. The The Wall of Storms picks up the story from The Grace of Kings 5 years after Kuni Garu's victory over deified Mata of the double-pupiled Mata Kyundu where the fragile peace in Dara is undermined by internal strife and then the Lyuku (kind of like the Dothraki but more cunning and with cud-chewing dragons) threat appears to possibly destroy the empire.

Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was exceptional. Literally, there are no more words that can better describe this than that. It was an amazing follow-up to a book I already fell in love with, and it did everything and more than I could have imagined.

Why did I love this just as much as I did?
- Female characters. These ladies ROCKED. Seriously. I have no idea how many fantasy books I have read over the years (A LOT) that are written by men and include women...done well. I have read plenty of books where women are inclu
Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

“Not all wars are fought with swords and spears, and not all foes are found on the battlefield. The times are changing, brother, and we must change along with them.”

I think it’s safe to say, if you loved The Grace of Kings, Ken Liu’s phenomenal debut that took the genre by storm last year, you will also be blown away by its magnificent sequel. Liu’s prose is as beautiful and lyrically expressive as ever as we dive once mor
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, reviewed, epics
Review for The Grace of Kings

As much as I adored The Paper Menagerie I was a bit disappointed by The Grace of Kings. It delivered a great story in a fascinating world, but the characters were sorely lacking. Their actions were informed by the needs of the story instead of the story being informed by the natural decisions of the characters. They were serviceable but shallow and the story moved forward because it had to, not due to any natural flow.

Thankfully this problem was remedied in The Wall
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In my review of Ken Liu's debut, I said it possessed all the epic grandeur, intelligence, and dignity of a Guy Gavriel Kay novel. Now, having read the follow-up, I am starting to wonder if anybody has ever seen the two of them in the same room together. Okay, so I'm kidding - or, at least, half-kidding - but The Wall of Storms is precisely the kind of sweeping, character-driven epic of cultural mythology that so very few authors could attempt, much less manage so successfully.

The first half of t
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This second novel is superior to the first. It's an easy comparison. The characters and the plot development just WORK.

So, what? The previous novel had irritating characters? hmmm... well, they weren't all bad but some did irritate me. Portrayals of women, for one. But this new novel had none of that. Indeed, we have lots of great female characters. Leads that are smart, fascinating, and also RUTHLESS. :)

This Silkpunk fantasy straddles the line between fantasy (in beasts) and science fiction (a
Edward Lorn
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Somehow, impossibly, this one was better than the first one.
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A rich world full of fascinating characters, where nothing interesting happens

I had high hopes for this series after reading Grace of Kings, but I was disappointed. Liu does a great job building his world, loading the story with details large and small. For the most part, his characters are multi-faceted and well-motivated, with the primary villains of the story being glaring exceptions, but I'll get back to that.

The main problem here was the plot. It was a joyless, predictable slog which wrang
Peter Tieryas
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"I loved The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu. The Wall of Storms (WoS) is not just a brilliant follow up, but one of the greatest novels I’ve read. There are the roots of Chinese literary influences, but those are the seeds Liu uses to launch into something that is wholly his own, adventurous in a silkpunk fantasy teeming with wildly creative ideas. Just as the language written in Ano logograms necessitates a beauty inherent in its structure, Wall of Storms is “gracefully” written, a lyricized poetry ...more
Alex Schwartz
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic followup to The Grace of Kings. The sequel manages to both be familiar and unexpected at the same time, taking the plot along the natural course of exploring what happens after a successful rebellion and introducing new and (quite literal) foreign threats. The already massive cast of characters expands to include some of the best in the series so far, particularly the women (Zomi Kidosu and Princess Thera, to be specific) who become a central focus of the plot.

It took me a real
James Chatham
Somehow even better than The Grace of Kings. Liu's prose is as beautiful as ever, the new characters are superbly realized, and the plot itself is tightly paced and fantastic.
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A magnificent return trip to the land of Dara, where former bandit Kuni Garu, now Emperor Ragin, sets his plans in motion for a more just and fair kingdom. Sadly, not all of his nobles – nor even his wife, Empress Jia, or consort Risana – share his vision, and so set their own plans into motion. Meanwhile, Luan Zya journeys to the lands beyond the wall of storms, and ends up poking a big, mean bear.
The Wall of Storms is the best kind of sequel – the kind that delicately chips away at everything
Dec 21, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

See me talk about it briefly in my January wrap up:
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Review from Tenacious Reader:

In Wall of Storms, Ken Liu continues to carry the epic tale that began with Grace of Kings. I am still in awe of his writing style, which adds to the legendary feel of the story. The story feels at once captivating and current, yet old and legendary. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, all I can say is give his books a read. His prose just feels unique, makes me think of old legends, yet the story is fresh and new. Onc
Nov 30, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Poster child for the "why use five hundred words when five thousand will do as well" school of page count proliferation, Liu tells a good story with vivid characters but shoehorns in so many long and not really necessary flashbacks here that I just stopped wading through them after a while. He also never cuts a plot corner and loves overexplaining...not to mention inserting quotes in invented languages, comparisons of invented schools of philosophy, and rambling conversations among onlooking god ...more
Scott  Hitchcock
Book 1: 2.99*
Book 2: 4.01*

The first book was a bit of a slog to the point where it took me forever to pick up this second one. Although the author tends to inundate us with trivial information this was a vast improvement. Loved the historical fiction components of Kubla Khan and the invasion of Japan and the air battle in this one were pretty epic.

Looking forward to book 3.
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, 2018
This could well by my all time favourite book. Phenomenal.

Grace of Kings was an automatic favourite for me, but somehow this is so much better than Grace of Kings? like how? i can't even wrap my head around how good this book was. It blows my mind... If you are anyone who likes epic fantasy then PLEASE read this series! I beg...

I wont go into plot because it is a sequel and it would be impossible without major spoilers and i want everyone to read this, but i will say it was the best written plo
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
4.0 Stars
While I didn't *quite* love this one as much as the first book, this was still a solid follow up to The Grace of Kings. Set ten years later, it took me a little while to get re-immersed in the story, but then once again Ingot pulled into this Asian inspired fantasy.

This volume introduced several new perspectives, including another strong female character. Compared to the first book, there was a lot less action in this one. Instead of battles and war strategy, most of this novel was spen
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An amazing follow up to THE GRACE OF KINGS--the Wall of Storms, in addition to being Dara's protection against enemies, is also a metaphor for the greatest challenge a nascent dynasty must face, the founder's succession. Factions in Emperor Ragin's court start putting pieces into play to favour one of the two princes, but any intrigue might be cut short by what lies beyond the Wall of Storms...
Superlative world building (based on Ancient China), thoughtful politics and reflections on the price
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites-2018
took me forever to finish this book, mainly because of a slump starting at the end of May.
This book was even better than Grace of Kings! We get to see the events from much closer than in the first book, which makes it easier to connect to some of the characters. I liked the second half more than the first. in the beginning, we see a lot of inner politics and how the new governing system works. There's also a huge focus on philosophy and scholarship. The second half of the book focuses more on a
Mitul Kanji
Mar 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of game of thrones
Shelves: 2017
The Grace of Kings was very good, especially in the second half, but I felt that The Wall of Storms was bogged down by many of the same flaws that kept its predecessor from being truly great. Given that it's the second book, and the incredible talent and skill he demonstrated in The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, this was quite a disappointment.

The political intrigue is as engrossing as ever and easily carried me through this rather hefty tome, even if some of the schemes are so convoluted t
The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).
As always you can find this review on my blog: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...

I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Wall of Storms is the second book in Ken Liu’s ancient Chinese inspired steampunk/silkpunk epic fantasy series The Dandelion Dynasty trilogy.

To briefly explain the story, the book starts off sedately with the royal children Timu, Phyro, Thera and their younger sibling Fara in a tavern, they have sneaked out of the palace
I need to digest this books for a bit before I write a review. It's either a four or a five. Will get back to it.
Eric Smith
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-fantasy
This is by far some of the most interesting and compelling epic fantasy out there right now. I love this series for many reasons but one of the most interesting ones is the fact that it approaches traditional epic fantasy from a different cultural standpoint that the majority of the rest. Instead of the traditional western European culture being the standard with other cultures being either exotic far away places or an enemy faction this series sets East Asian culture specifically Chinese Dynast ...more
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is the sequel to The Grace of Kings. Not doing any synopsis thingy here, because there's a wiki on the rise of the Han Dynasty, so look it up there.

What I liked:

- Liu is going out of his way to make this a -not so strictly- historical fantasy (which is to say, reading the wiki won't spoil a single thing for you)
- Interpretations of multi-layered Chines poetry. So much love.
- the plot moves forward in a brisk pace. This is by no means a typical "middle" book.
- hidden and subtle sarcasm
- manf
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
...The Wall of Storms is an epic tale of war, political intrigue and scientific exploration. Betrayal, triumph and the (sometimes not very subtle) intervention of the gods make it a novel that will do well with fans of epic fantasy. It is a story that keeps you reading. Although it is a formidable tome, it reads fairly quickly. The novel is a step up from the first volume, especially in terms of characterization. I enjoyed it more than the first volume in the series. Like The Grace of Kings, thi ...more
Achala Upendran
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The second book in the Dandelion Dynasty begins shortly after the first leaves off, and in an almost comically similar manner. The royal children, Timu, Thera, Phyro and four-year-old Fara have sneaked out of the palace in Pan, and are enjoying a day of truancy in a tavern, listening to a storyteller spin tales of days past. Only, these are days we know about, if you’ve read Grace of Kings. The storyteller speaks of the dead Hegemon, Mata Zyndu, tperhaps the greatest figure from the uprising aga ...more
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Ken Liu ( is an American author of speculative fiction. He has won the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, as well as top genre honors in Japan, Spain, and France, among other places.

Ken's debut novel, The Grace of Kings, is the first volume in a silkpunk epic fantasy series, The Dandelion Dynasty, in which engineers play the role of wizards. His debut collection, The Paper

Other books in the series

The Dandelion Dynasty (4 books)
  • The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty, #1)
  • The Veiled Throne (The Dandelion Dynasty, #3)
  • Speaking Bones (The Dandelion Dynasty, #4)

Articles featuring this book

How would you deploy an army of flying creatures? Think about tech differently in these picks from The Wall of Storms author.
29 likes · 1 comments
“We suffer because we are the grass upon which giants tread.” 4 likes
“History is the long shadow cast by the past upon the future. Shadows, by nature, lack details.” 3 likes
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