It’s bad enough that a man with a burning ambition mucks up the natural order of the world around him in order to become Emperor. When he dies, the kingdom is plunged into organized chaos. Manipulation of the newly crowned child Emperor is the name of the game.

“It was the underlying order of the universe, a grid-like warp and weft of the rough cloth woven by Cocru craftsmen- formed by horizontal lies of mutual respect among equals, and vertical lines of downward obligation, and upward fealty in which everyone knew his place.”

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Imagine how much more chaotic it gets when a rebellion rises to overtake the Imperial forces, and the Gods decide to intervene in the subtle way that only Gods can.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

Ken Liu is a talented author and occasional translator of works from Chinese to English (his work on The Three-Body Problem was tremendous!) who has previously won a Nebula, Hugo and World Fantasy Award. Those are four very good reasons to make room for The Grace Of Kings on our shelf.

Rating (4 stars)

There’s a rare elegance to The Grace of Kings that many authors work hard to capture, but Ken Liu seems to come by naturally. Everything from the characters, the settings, the foods, the creatures, and even the flowers are described in minute detail.

Oftentimes this works against an author, and can be perceived as filler, but it works so very well in The Grace of Kings. It was totally captivating.