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The grace of kings
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  Library Journal Review

Not many generations after one of the kings of Dara rose and united all the kingdoms under his own imperial flag, others plot to destroy the Imperium and restore the old realms. Two men who grew up under imperial rule are fun-loving, easygoing Kuni Garu and the noble scion and fierce warrior Mata Zyndu. Both find their purpose in the wars against the Imperium, but when that enemy is vanquished, their differing natures set them on an inevitable path to conflict. VERDICT A long-awaited debut novel from award-winning short story writer Liu, this is the first volume of what looks to be a chewy, epic fantasy series. The plot builds slowly, but the author is clearly planning for the long haul. Rather than drawing on a medieval Europe influence for his world, Liu has pulled in Asian cultural touches, which make for a nice change. © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Hugo-winning short story author and translator Liu opens his ambitious first novel, which launches the Dandelion Dynasty epic fantasy series, with hefty helpings of political philosophy and violence. When the unpopular Emperor of Xana dies, leaving his unprepared 12-year-old son to take the throne, rebel factions across the empire seize the opportunity to strike blows for freedom. Encouraged by prophecies, picaresque bandit Kuni Garu quickly becomes an unlikely forerunner in the crowd of would-be rulers. He teams up with the scholar Luan Zya, who adds some wisdom to Kuni's usual flashy scheming, and the two join forces with warrior Mata Zyndu, last of the once-powerful Zyndu line, who believes it's his destiny to rule. The route to power is decidedly crooked, and the outcomes are very much in doubt. Liu seasons his fantastical Han Dynasty drama with plenty of intrigue, passion, bloodlust, and even a nod to historical feminism, against a backdrop of magical and technological marvels. Epic fantasy fans will enjoy this large-scale story of political strategy and skullduggery. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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.<br> <br> 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.<br> <br> Fans of intrigue, intimate plots, and action will find a new series to embrace in the Dandelion Dynasty.
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