This is an epic fantasy novel and I don’t read a lot of fantasy.
I do read some but I don’t read a lot.
If you guys pay attention to my site at all you know that.
There are a couple of different things that epic fantasy usually focuses on that and that’s usually like world-building and plot but the fantasy that I’m always drawn to the most are fantasy books with really interesting characters.
I mean you could say that about any book that I read.
The books that I’m drawn to the most are the ones with the really interesting characters.
But especially for fantasy that’s what keeps me going especially when the books are like 600 pages long like this one was.
I need really interesting characters to keep me gripped to the plot.
In this story you are basically following a rebellion that’s happening.
And there are these two characters who are sort of the focus of the story.
The first one is Kuni Garu, which i’m probably gonna mispronounce all the names in the story.
I’m just going to say this now.
He starts off at the beginning of the story as this like lowly bandit who just has no real ambition or anything like that.
But suddenly he finds himself moving up the ranks in society and becoming one of the main leaders in the rebellion.
And then the other main character is Mata Zyndu who is sort of this fierce, massive warrior who’s known for just consistently epically taking over these battles.
And these two characters end up meeting within the story and form this sort of unlikely friendship and then eventually their friendship sort of falls apart as the rebellion continues on.
The thing that compelled me in this book were these two characters, as well as some of the other characters who surround them.
I’m not someone who likes war stories a lot.
There’s a lot of chapters in here that are just like battle scenes, which is like my least favorite thing in novels ever.
So I will admit that those sections I possibly scared more than I read with extreme detail.
But like I said, these characters are just so fantastic.
The growth and the changes that you see between these two main characters is just so well done.
They’re both so complex and you see how their history and the way that they grew up ends up influencing the paths at that they end up taking and the way that they lead their own armies and the choices that they make in the future and the type of leaders that they want to be.
When these two characters meet there’s a lot of thoughts from Mata who is the warrior about how Kuni is more gracious than he thinks a king or leader should be.
You get to see sort of a softer side of Kuni Garu because he does end up getting married and having kids and you see how that sort of influences his own leadership skills.
The female characters in here are really fantastic.
Even though they acknowledge the fact that for the most part women weren’t really like warriors in these battles, they had roles that were necessary.
Like even though they were fighting they still were very supportive to the war effort and without that help they wouldn’t be able to be as successful as they were.
There is even one character who is a female like war leader.
Ken Liu has done a lot of research in relation to the story.
Like i can’t imagine having to keep all this stuff straight.
He has mentioned in interviews that he based the plot of this story to parallel sort of the rise of the Han Dynasty in China, which is something that I found to be really interesting as well.
It’s not something that I’m super knowledgeable about but reading this book and finding that out made me want to be more knowledgeable about it and to see the parallels.
This is only the first book in what is to be a series, but this is also a book that has such as satisfactory ending that even if i read none of the other books in the future I would be happy with what I’ve read so far.
But I probably will be picking up the rest of these books in the future because I was so intrigued by these characters and as long as Ken Liu keeps that up I’m in.
If you like Game of Thrones or you like N.K. Jemisin’s books, I feel like that this would be another fantasy book worth picking up.
Like I said, the politics and the world building and the friendships and betrayals and the complexities of war all are explored so well in this book that even though this on paper wouldn’t necessarily seem like a book that I would enjoy, I really, really enjoyed it.
I did take my time with this one as well.
It took me a while to get through this.
I believe it was like a couple of weeks that i was reading this book.
It was completely worth all that time and I would highly recommend it again if you are looking for a new epic fantasy series to check out.
I’ve mentioned this in other post but Ken Liu is going to be at Book Riot Live.
So if you’re interested in seeing him speak, he is going to be there.
I have information down in the description for a coupon code if you are interested in attending.
Book Riot Live is a two-day event that’s being hosted by Book Riot in New York City in November.
So again, information down in the description of your want to know more about that.
So yeah, if you have read this book, definitely leave a comment down below letting me know what you guys thought of it.
Or if you have any other recommendations of these sort of fantasy series that have really, really compelling characters, definitely leave that down in the comment section as well.
So yeah, that’s all I have for now and thanks for reading.
===============================================================Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KU4O1CY