Tolkien didn’t intend to set a blueprint for epic-fantasy with Lord of the Rings but, the many qualities of his trilogy notwithstanding, too often it seems like he did. Too much of fantasy has been set in a world that feels like medieval Europe. There are honourable exceptions and Ken Liu’s new fantasy is one of those. Set in a world that draws on the vast varieties of geography and culture that make up Asia, The Grace of Kings kicks off an epic fantasy series that feels original and promises to take us to many unexpected places. But there are familiar virtues in place here too. With an empire struggling to maintain its hold over the diverse lands it has subjugated, Liu presents a vast canvas. Into this are woven a vividly presented cast of wronged nobles, orphan children, slaves with little to lose and those who see the chaos growing around them as a chance to make everything. This a world traversed by fleets of airships and overseen by a pantheon of wily and unknowable gods. The narrative jumps from character to character and, as is often the case with these big epics, it sometimes feels like the story is taking a long time to come together but following the various threads, seeing how they will knot together and break apart, is half the fun and every episode brings something new. Liu is a neat prose stylist and often displays a flair for startling description. If you like the invention and freshness of the fantasies of Brandon Sanderson and Elizabeth Bear you’ll feel in good company with Ken Liu.
Emperor Mapidere 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 deposed duke cross paths as they each lead their own rebellion against the emperor's brutal regime. Together, they will journey to the heart of the empire; witnessing the clash of armies, fleets of silk-draped airships, magical books and shapeshifting gods. Their unlikely friendship will drastically change the balance of power in Dara...but at what price? THE GRACE OF KINGS is the debut novel by Hugo-, Nebula- and World Fantasy Award-winner Ken Liu and the first in an monumental new epic fantasy series.
'Epic fantasy fans will enjoy this large-scale story of political strategy and skullduggery'
'An instant classic. This is a debut novel to be reckoned with. Poetry on every page'
'By turns opulent, gritty, and inventive ... gives epic fantasy a much-needed breath of fresh air'
'Beyond ambitious in scope, The Grace of Kings may be daunting at first, but soon you are swept into a world of political intrigue, hopeless sieges and compelling characters. Liu seamlessly blends philosophy and politics with tense battles and compelling action ... Sad, funny, poignant and addictive, this book will leave a lasting impression on the genre'
'Ken Liu creates some vivid and detailed characters that will be loved by fantasy fans ... a fresh and original fantasy story ... A triumph in storytelling'
Starburst Magazine (rating: 9/10)
'A fascinating start to the silk punk Dandelion Dynasty series providing multi-layered fantasy with an additional take on transposed Ancient Chinese history
Publication date: 02/06/2016
Publisher: Head of Zeus
|Publication date:||2nd June 2016|
|Publisher:||Head of Zeus|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Fantasy,|
Ken Liu was born in China and moved to America at the age of 11. He read English at Harvard and studied law at Harvard Law School. He has won the Sturgeon, the Hugo (three times), the Nebula, and the World Fantasy Awards.More About Ken Liu