The Grace of Kings
May 6, 2019 11:00 PM - by Ken Liu - Subscribe

Two men rebel together against tyranny—and then become rivals—in this first sweeping book of an epic fantasy series from Ken Liu, recipient of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards.

Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites. Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, and shapeshifting gods. Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions—two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice.
posted by Chrysostom (5 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
posted by sixswitch at 1:21 PM on May 7, 2019

I thought it had some pacing problems; I'm not sure how much of that is epic fantasy in general (which, despite my recent FanFare posts, I'm not real familiar with), how much was the wuxia thing, and how much was first novel syndrome.

I did like it, and book 2 is supposed to be even better.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:39 PM on May 7, 2019

I thought this was fantastic--the somewhat slow, sprawling build reminded me a lot of Guy Gavriel Kay, whom I also adore and who has rewarded my patience--but, after the last couple of years of US politics I found it too depressing to want to continue the series. The seemingly endless cycle of corruption and abuse and overthrow was just too emotionally taxing for me at the moment. But respect to Liu as an author (and I met him at an event once and he was the nicest guy!).
posted by TwoStride at 9:40 PM on May 7, 2019

I adored this book, because lightly fictionalized versions of actual history are my jam (see also: Guy Gavriel Kay, as mentioned above.)
posted by tautological at 9:42 PM on May 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

I loved this book - the opening gave me a world I had never seen before and the ending about broke me. There were sometimes where Liu is writing this more as a history (I can't elaborate - it's been a while since I read it) but that often took me back out of the story. Nonetheless, it's a treat and one of these days I have to read the sequel.
posted by Ber at 3:05 AM on May 8, 2019

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