The Grace of Kings

Ken Liu
The Grace of Kings Cover

The Grace of Kings


Oh my, I don't even remember when was the last time when I'd read a book as quickly as this one. It was a blast!

I won't get into much details about the plot: it's all about fighting for power on Islands of Dara. It has its share of political schemes, epic battles, vivid characters and even thoughts on governing states or women's role in society. Critics (or even the author himself) call it "silk punk" akin to "steam punk": inspired by old Chinese legends and tech as opposed to Victorian Britain.

I liked many characters of the book, and the way how pretty much all of them have their good and bad sides. This part was quite realistic: no one is perfect.

The prose is relatively straightforward, not annoyingly, but at times I felt that I've been spoon-fed too much as to my liking (especially if compared to Gene Wolfe or other similar authors who like to keep you puzzled and their works open to various interpretations). Some of the writing was lyrical and sad, I think that's a characteristic of Ken Liu's style, I've seen and liked it in some of his short stories.

I also enjoyed looking at the map while reading the book, it's really part of the story, as the author says on his site. Events happen all over the place on Islands of Dara, and most of the features of the map become important at some point in the plot.