Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Review: The Grace of Kings

I'm a huge fan of Ken Liu's short stories. The guy's pretty much managed to win an award with every story he published, and deservedly so. I was nervous, however, about him writing a novel, and a fantasy novel at that. So I checked The Grace of Kings out of the library instead of rushing to buy it.

The prose style of The Grace of Kings is that of Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The characters are larger than life in much the same fashion, but with more fantastical/mechanical devices, including airships, submarines, and battle-kites. It's fun reading, evocative of that ancient Chinese novel but telling its own story. The characters don't really develop as such, but rather, do what the plot demands of them. As a result, brothers betray each other, wives play political games that they later regret, and generals commit egregious tactical blunders for no particular reason.

While it's not a waste of time to read it, I suspect I'll be checking out the next volume (yes, it's book 1 of a trilogy) out of the library rather than rushing to buy and read it.

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