The Grace of Kings
Emperor Mapidéré was the first to unite the island kingdoms of Dara under a single banner. But now the emperor is on his deathbed, his people are exhausted by his vast, conscriptive engineering projects and his counsellors conspire only for their own gain.
Even the gods themselves are restless.
A wily, charismatic bandit and the vengeance-sworn son of a...more
*Women* - Where were they? For 400 pages we had one "main" female character, who ended up being treated way too much like a secondary character. The rest of the women were minor characters. And the main female character spent most of her story arc picking herbs, getting pregnant, having babies, encouraging her husband to take a second wife, and then becoming stereotypically jealous of the new woman in her man's life.
We were given one token female warrior character in the latter ...more
It's such a relief to have made it to the end of this book.
So let me start with the positive. I love the Asian influence in the story. We don't see a lot of High Fantasy series with such a rich historical element that are based outside of Europe. This is something I definitely appreciated.
But unfortunately I just could not connect to any other part of this story.
The first 40%-50% of this novel is an absolute jumble. It hops around from character to character ...more
Now I can't say my favorite character! *shakes fist*
I have the paperback but listened to the audio and realized it was Michael Kramer! I love his narrations so that explains why that was so good! I will be adding it to my Audible library as well!
Happy Reading Y'all!
I was never a really good student of history. But my family background being Chinese, I’ve always been taught to embrace my heritage. I grew up listening and adoring the history and legendary tales of Ancient China told to me by my parents and grandparents, who have learned these things themselves when they were children. My great uncle was also fond of watching old Wuxia operas and historical dramas, and he used to record ...more
It borrows from the old histories to make a thoroughly modern fantasy epic.
And when I say epic, I mean epic rises to power and grand falls, with a few memorable characters (mostly women) and an absolutely huge supporting cast. Armies march from the start ...more
I've become a fan of Liu's short stories, so was eager to read his debut long-form novel. (At over 600 pages, it is pretty long).
We're introduced to the archipelago of Dara, a collection of islands which seem to be constantly at war. The book follows a number of characters who plot coups, rise to power, form alliances, betray each other, and sometimes die miserably and violently.
It's a ...more
It’s a slower read (to me it reads quite a bit like and old medieval epic) but it’s worth it in the end. Truly an astounding work
An okay book that I recognize has many merits but that I must concede isn't for me.
This book is very well written. Ken Liu uses a very efficient, utilitarian style that somehow also manages to be quite poetic at times and it works well with this mythology-inspired content. I think my biggest issues are personal ones: this isn't what I expected and it's just not my thing.
I was expecting/hoping for fantasy and this really isn't that. As mentioned, there's some East Asia-inspired ...more
There's a little ...more
Rating: 1 stars on principle of 'I don't think too highly on people passing their fanfics off as published novels/their own original creations'
Random Thoughts when reading the book: The opening scene does remind me of Records of the Grand Historian, and the Biographies of the Assassins.
Actual review starts here:
What I think should be the real title of this book: Chu-Han Contention, the Fanfic.
Just in case you are not familiar with Chinese history and you have no idea what the ...more
I like this book. I like this book a lot. It's a very important one--it's epic fantasy using Ancient China as its foundation. A cross between the Iliad, Three Kingdoms and Lord of the Rings. But it's also very adult and very modern in its handling of power--who gets it, who is worthy to handle it and how you cling to it. And very very cynical and dark in some ways (the violence is always drily factual, but I'd argue that makes it ...more
Intertextual SF: "The Grace of Kings" by Ken Liu
"Lord Garu, you compare yourself to a weed?” Cogo Yelu frowned.
“Not just any weed, Cogzy. A dandelion is a strong but misunderstood flower.” Remembering his courtship with Jia, Kuni felt his eyes grow warm. “It cannot be defeated: Just when a gardener thinks he has won and eradicated it from his lawn, a rain would bring the yellow florets right back. Yet it’s never arrogant: Its color ...more
I thought before going into this I would probably like it. It's by Ken Liu and I've read some of his short fiction in The Paper Menagerie and I loved that entire collection. This book is his debut novel, and it's such a strong book.
We follow lots of different characters so this is ...more
So first the good, namely the world building. The ...more
I suppose I'll start with what there is to glow about. Silkpunk!! I never knew how much I wanted to read Silkpunk until Liu wrote it. Beautiful. Adventurous. Complex. Thoughtfully crafted and researched. Wow do I love Liu's prose and ability to put together an epic, multi-threaded story. This lives up to all the promise ...more
I’m going to do something I rarely do, and state what I disliked about this book first.
The Writing Style
I’m a lawyer by profession. I spend my days reading summary judgements for various cases. The last thing I want to do is to read a summary of an epic fantasy tale based on historical China when reading the story would have been way more entertaining. And yet, this is what ‘The Grace of Kings’ was. This was not mere ‘ ...more
Betrayals. Twists. Sacrifices. Honor. Love. Lust. Loss. This story has everything I could possibly want...
The Grace of Kings, hands down, has the greatest depiction of war i have ever read. Ken Liu is a genius at crafting war strategies, which are incredibly intricate and complex from every possible direction. The large scale battles are insane and seeing these different strategies play out is so intense. However, it's not only the war strategy that gets me, ...more
I am frankly surprised that the book has a less than 3.75 rating, but only a little. I've had it for a year, at least. But it had that long cast of characters in the front. And of course, it was over 600 pages long! Definitely a commitment equal to the time I'd need to read 2 or 3 other books.
But then life got a little messy, and it was difficult to focus on READING books. So I started to LISTEN to this one. And it was amazing. I ...more
Even if we already put it together from what we saw or heard through another character's viewpoint....we get it again from the current ...more
It also suffered from constant speedbumps, painstakingly recorded for your amusement and edification at the end of this review. But here's the overview:
It's a story of rebellion against a callous empire. And it's a story about power - who has it; how to get it; how to keep it; and at what price it will come. ...more
Audio book: Finding out Michael Kramer did the audio from this made it go from wait for a library copy to buy it on audio. I was initially underwhelmed. It's probably not his best ...more
The Grace of ...more
This is no different, based on the events surrounding the Tang Dynasty; it actually goes a bit further, also by using poems and retelling them in this book to adapt them to the story (for instance, the retelling of the Tang Dynasty “Ode to Chrysanthemum” by Huang Chao is transformed in the Mata Zyndu’s poem).
This is a story of rebellion against an unfair emperor - two men will shape ...more
But I just didn’t connect to a single character which I find sort of problematic in a book of this length.
There were tons of interesting characters who I was getting excited about, but their entire life story was there and gone in a matter of pages, and that happens more than once. I feel like if it was more focused ...more
|Fantasy Buddy Reads: Liu - The Grace of Kings [Mar 10, 2020]||4||55||Jan 10, 2020 05:54AM|
|Fantasy Buddy Reads: The Grace of Kings [Aug 10, 2018]||13||35||Aug 30, 2018 02:40PM|
|Am I the only one who noticed this?||1||22||Aug 11, 2018 05:41AM|
|Dragons & Jetpacks: The Grace of Kings / Overall discussion / ***SPOILERS***||18||41||Aug 08, 2018 04:12AM|
|Fantasy Buddy Reads: The Grace of Kings [October 2017]||19||50||Oct 18, 2017 10:53AM|
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 ...more