Emperor Mapidere was the first to unite the island kingdoms of Dara under a single banner. But now the emperor is on his deathbed, his people are exhausted by his vast, conscriptive engineering projects and his counsellors conspire only for their own gain.
Even the gods themselves are restless.
A wily, charismatic bandit and the vengeance-sworn son of a deposed duke cross paths as they each lead their own rebellion against the emperor's brutal regime. Together, they will journey to the heart of the empire; witnessing the clash of armies, fleets of silk-draped airships, magical books and shapeshifting gods. Their unlikely friendship will drastically change the balance of power in Dara... but at what price?
THE GRACE OF KINGS is the debut novel by Hugo-, Nebula- and World Fantasy Award-winner Ken Liu and the first in an monumental new epic fantasy series.
The second book in The Dandelion Dynasty, the epic fantasy trilogy by Ken Liu.
Dara is united under the Emperor Ragin, once known as Kuni Garu, the bandit king. There has been peace for six years, but the Dandelion Throne rests on bloody foundations - Kuni's betrayal of his friend, Mata Zyndu, the Hegemon. The Hegemon's rule was brutal and unbending - but he died well, creating a legend that haunts the new emperor, no matter what good he strives to do.
Where war once forged unbreakable bonds between Kuni's inner circle, peace now gnaws at their loyalties. Where ancient wisdoms once held sway, a brilliant scholar promises a philosophical revolution. And from the far north, over the horizon, comes a terrible new threat ... The scent of blood is in the water.
With the invasion of Dara complete, and the Wall of Storms breached, the world has opened to new possibilities for the gods and peoples of both empires as the sweeping saga of the award-winning Dandelion Dynasty continues in this third book of the “magnificent fantasy epic” (NPR).
Princess Théra, once known as Empress Üna of Dara, entrusted the throne to her younger brother in order to journey to Ukyu-Gondé to war with the Lyucu. She has crossed the fabled Wall of Storms with a fleet of advanced warships and ten thousand people. Beset by adversity, Théra and her most trusted companions attempt to overcome every challenge by doing the most interesting thing. But is not letting the past dictate the present always possible or even desirable?
In Dara, the Lyucu leadership as well as the surviving Dandelion Court bristle with rivalries as currents of power surge and ebb and perspectives spin and shift. Here, parents and children, teachers and students, Empress and Pékyu, all nurture the seeds of plans that will take years to bloom. Will tradition yield to new justifications for power?
Everywhere, the spirit of innovation dances like dandelion seeds on the wind, and the commoners, the forgotten, the ignored begin to engineer new solutions for a new age.
Ken Liu returns to the series that draws from a tradition of the great epics of our history from the Aeneid to the Romance on the Three Kingdoms and builds a new tale unsurpassed in its scope and ambition.
The conclusion to Ken Liu's chronicle of the Dandelion Dynasty - one of the Greatest Fantasy Series of all Time (Time Magazine).
Stalked by foes and dogged by betrayal, Princess Thera is pursued across a continent vaster than she could ever have imagined, to the hidden valleys of the World's Edge Mountains, into the barrows and subterranean halls of the City of Ghosts, across the ice floes of the far north. She breached the Wall of Storms intent on taking war to the Lyucu homelands, but how do you conquer the unconquerable?
Empress Jia, Prince Phyro and Pekyu Tanvanaki find themselves bound to paths they never would have chosen. Amid atrocity and subterfuge, they will discover that the Courage of Brutes is no substitute for the Grace of Kings, and that little separates the Grace of Kings from the Madness of Tyrants.
On both sides of the Wall of Storms, defeat's bitter tears mix with the fruits of knowledge new and ancient as two empires bound by blood and bone, by writ and iron, by time and custom, face a whirlwind that threatens to utterly consume them.
The teeth, as they say, are on the board.