The Grace of Kings (Dandelion Dynasty #1)
By: Ken Liu
Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book to review. As is my policy with books that I receive for review, if I don’t like it, I don’t review it.
I was really torn on this book. If I had only given it the first 100 or so pages, I would have never have gone any further. This could be why I don’t tend to try and read too many epic fantasy books. They mostly seem to start so slow and spend so much time building the world and characters without getting anywhere, or really doing much with the plot. The same is mostly true here. There’s enough of a cast of characters in the novel that we spend a great deal of time introducing them and getting backstory for each. We also spend some time, rightfully, learning a bit about the history of the world that we’re entering.
Liu is a talented writer, who has a skill with prose that makes it worthwhile to continue on into the story. Eventually, after he’s done the building, and we get into the meat of the story, the characters bring you into the plot. The plot and characters really saved the book for me.
This is likely to be seen as one of the better epic fantasy novels of the year, and if you’re into epic fantasy, it really should be added to your to-read list.