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The Wall of Storms

(The Dandelion Dynasty #2)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  2,852 ratings  ·  378 reviews
The second book in THE DANDELION DYNASTY, the epic fantasy trilogy by Ken Liu.

Dara is united under the Emperor Ragin, once known as Kuni Garu, the bandit king. There has been peace for six years, but the Dandelion Throne rests on bloody foundations - Kuni's betrayal of his friend, Mata Zyndu, the Hegemon. The Hegemon's rule was brutal and unbending - but he died well,
Hardcover, 880 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Head of Zeus
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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 ·  2,852 ratings  ·  378 reviews

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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!!

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
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
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
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
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
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.
Dec 21, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

See me talk about it briefly in my January wrap up:
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
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 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.
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
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
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 ...more
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
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
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 ...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
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, ...more
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 ...more
Bridget Mckinney
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Last year’s The Grace of Kings was a gorgeously ambitious book, but my feelings were somewhat ambivalent about it, mostly because of its lack of female characters and the marginalization of what few there were in favor of focusing on the friendships and relationships between men. The Wall of Storms more than makes up for that, and largely redeems its predecessor in hindsight, so if you were put off by that aspect of the first book in the trilogy be sure to give this one a chance. The Wall of ...more
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-release

As continues with the second of the series, this was an amazing read. I laughed, I cried, I got angry. The writing/translation was amazing, and although I didn't connect strongly to any of the characters, I still enjoyed reading them. The only thing stopping this from being perfect to me, was an over abundance of exposition detailing past events towards the end of the book. Still, a great read.
Miriam Williams
Easily the best book I've read so far this year. I think I have a new favourite author!
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great sweeping epic 5* read of a book where the characters are complex, the universe building is incredible, and the plot is intricate, but not confusing.

Jaw dropping.

I really enjoyed The Grace of Kings. It was a solid 4* book that I could have easily have given the 5th* to, but I try to be sparing in giving out these best of the best reviews. Unfortunately, using the grading scale that I have devised, I had no choice but to give this book the full five stars. I mean, wow.

Universe: 5*
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This series isn't quite like anything out there. The melding of traditional Chinese folklore with speculative fiction provides many surprising moments and unexpected twists. The sci-fi element is so well hidden that I'm surprised it has made such an impression on that community. But regardless, it's refreshing to have a new perspective and a bonus that the female characters have equal agency in the plot. I was a little disappointed that one of my favorites went down an unsavory path but that is ...more
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The Not a Book Cl...: TWoS: Part One Whispering Breezes (ch 1-19) 3 16 Nov 21, 2016 08:07PM  
The Not a Book Cl...: * TWoS: General Discussion (No Spoilers) 14 28 Nov 14, 2016 07:56AM  

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