Hot Best Seller

The Veiled Throne

Availability: Ready to download

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 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.


Compare

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 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.

30 review for The Veiled Throne

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    3.5 stars I didn't love this book as much as the first two, it could just be me and you all know I'm fighting this reading slump. I'm trying to mix things up but it's a hit or miss. I loved Goztan, I thought she was awesome, but I was a bit lost here and there. I will be adding the paperback and audio to my collection as I will want to read them again when the fourth book is finished and see if it was just me. Blog: https://melissa413readsalot.blogspot.... 3.5 stars I didn't love this book as much as the first two, it could just be me and you all know I'm fighting this reading slump. I'm trying to mix things up but it's a hit or miss. I loved Goztan, I thought she was awesome, but I was a bit lost here and there. I will be adding the paperback and audio to my collection as I will want to read them again when the fourth book is finished and see if it was just me. Blog: https://melissa413readsalot.blogspot....

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)

    4.0 Stars This was another solid entry in one of my favourite fantasy series. Admittedly, it took me a while to get back into this one, but eventually I was pulled back into this wonderful world. I did not expect the cooking element, but I absolutely loved that aspect of the story. I'm really looking to seeing how the series will end in the final book. 4.0 Stars This was another solid entry in one of my favourite fantasy series. Admittedly, it took me a while to get back into this one, but eventually I was pulled back into this wonderful world. I did not expect the cooking element, but I absolutely loved that aspect of the story. I'm really looking to seeing how the series will end in the final book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    4.75 stars thoughts: -ken liu kills it with the themes as always -i think this book has the weakest plot of the series so far (because it feels like the first half of a big book) but the best character work -takval 100% has bi wife energy -tanto and rokiri precious babies uwu -the hype for book 4 is UNREAL - the payoff for some of the plot threads is going to be insane -love love love the blossom gang, kinri and dandelion -jia was unhinged in book 2 but off the rails in this one T_T -the "climax" is so u 4.75 stars thoughts: -ken liu kills it with the themes as always -i think this book has the weakest plot of the series so far (because it feels like the first half of a big book) but the best character work -takval 100% has bi wife energy -tanto and rokiri precious babies uwu -the hype for book 4 is UNREAL - the payoff for some of the plot threads is going to be insane -love love love the blossom gang, kinri and dandelion -jia was unhinged in book 2 but off the rails in this one T_T -the "climax" is so unexpected and very different in tone from the first two books but i loved it

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Erickson

    "Stories are as alive as we are, and surely they change with each retelling. All my stories grow and learn, just as I grow and learn." "Everyone is a storyteller. That's how we make sense of this life we live. Misfortune and affliction test us... We have to tell ourselves a story about why to make all the random manipulations of fate and fortune bearable." I have the phrase "The stories we tell ourselves" tattooed on my wrist. One of the reasons is because we construct narratives about everything "Stories are as alive as we are, and surely they change with each retelling. All my stories grow and learn, just as I grow and learn." "Everyone is a storyteller. That's how we make sense of this life we live. Misfortune and affliction test us... We have to tell ourselves a story about why to make all the random manipulations of fate and fortune bearable." I have the phrase "The stories we tell ourselves" tattooed on my wrist. One of the reasons is because we construct narratives about everything around us to make sense of the world. We truly are the storytelling animal. I think Liu and I agree on this, as the theme of this book is how central stories are to the human experience. It's tough to talk about books deeper into a series if it's a series with lots of deaths and plots, because even mentioning a character's name can be a spoiler. I am in love with the world Liu has crafted and it feels very lived in. The character work is superb and economical. Characters can disappear for 300 pages, show up again for 5 and I am awed at how complex they manage to be. Two of these characters are so well drawn that I wish more people knew about them so I could gush. Liu does so many bold things with the prose that leaves me constantly wowed- two of my favorite passages are from the perspective of a whale (whales call humans "half-octopuses") and from a character who is new to human life and learning how to breathe, see, smell, experience for the first time. There are so many fantastic quotes that I eventually just stopped writing them down out of exhaustion. That said, this was my least favorite of the series, which is a bit unfair. The final book was split in two, and this is the first half. I knew that going in, but the pacing really suffers in the second half as you know the book is reaching the conclusion without any sort of resolution. There's a competition section that went on a long time that I felt could have been trimmed for extra time with different characters. This book is Dune part 1, but it paved the way for an epic ending. 8/10

  5. 4 out of 5

    Taylor

    5 stars. If you've been anywhere near my YouTube channel or reviews since November you will know I love this series and it's become an ALL TIME top favorite. The Veiled Throne is no exception. I enjoyed every second of being in this lush, gorgeous world of complicated characters, politics, meddling gods, and the beauty of life. I can't go into any details of the plot as this is the third in a series, but Liu's discussion of the living nature of stories and the themes of cultural clashes were stun 5 stars. If you've been anywhere near my YouTube channel or reviews since November you will know I love this series and it's become an ALL TIME top favorite. The Veiled Throne is no exception. I enjoyed every second of being in this lush, gorgeous world of complicated characters, politics, meddling gods, and the beauty of life. I can't go into any details of the plot as this is the third in a series, but Liu's discussion of the living nature of stories and the themes of cultural clashes were stunning. I found myself in awe of his writing so many times, especially as someone who lives a life where two cultures are constantly clashing/ co-existing. However, there were a couple scenes that were incredibly dark and I needed to take a break from reading to go walk it off for a bit. So keep that in mind when you pick this up. The second half of this book does go off on a bit of a tangent, and I can see why some people might not like that part of the story, but for me, I ate that shit up. There is a huge focus on food and restaurants and as someone who owns one myself, it spoke to my soul. Honestly the themes of this book feel almost as if they were written for me and I adored it. Something to note as well is that The Veiled Throne and Speaking Bones were initially supposed to be one narrative, and that is quite apparent with the abrupt end of this book. Thankfully we don't have to wait too long for Speaking Bones so if you go into this book with that knowledge, I don't think it should be an issue for most readers. I ADORE this series and I'm both chomping at the bit and terrified of the last book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Caleb M.

    First and foremost I wanna say how blessed and privileged I feel to be able to get an ARC of this book. I’ve never received one this prolific before and I cannot describe how thankful I am. And the fact that this is one of my favorite series from one of my favorite authors is just amazing. Thank you NetGalley and Publisher for the free copy. On to the review. It was hard for me to get started in this book. Having essentially a whole brand new cast of characters it was in some way a new series. I First and foremost I wanna say how blessed and privileged I feel to be able to get an ARC of this book. I’ve never received one this prolific before and I cannot describe how thankful I am. And the fact that this is one of my favorite series from one of my favorite authors is just amazing. Thank you NetGalley and Publisher for the free copy. On to the review. It was hard for me to get started in this book. Having essentially a whole brand new cast of characters it was in some way a new series. It’s not, and it’s all connected, but it still felt that way for the first little bit. But as with all good books once it gets going, it gets going. I once again found myself connected to, and caring for numerous characters. This entry into the Dandelion Dynasty was split into basically 3 parts from my point of view. The first part we followed Thera and crew, the second part followed the awful Cutanrovo, and the third part was following the Blossom Gang. At the end of every part it felt weird to get into the next one. It’s this bittersweet wonderful timing of caring and cannot wait to see what happens to who you’re following, to then move into the next section of the book. On one hand this feels brilliant, and on the other it’s frustrating. This book reminded my a lot more of The Grace of Kings than it did The Wall of Storms. As we are getting to know more characters and there is a lot of setup. It’s extremely well done and Liu continues to show me why his writing and me just vibe together. I love how he puts words together and tells his story. He writes in an unconventional way and it can be a little more difficult to read at times, but if you just slow down and read the story there is a deep treat on how it connects you to the world and it’s characters. Everything is so intricate in this book (and series) and I love it. The world building is pretty much second to none. There might be worlds you like or enjoy more, but none that are so well thought out and taken such good care of. I don’t feel like this place is fake, I feel like this is a real story from another multiverse or something and Liu is just bringing this story to us in this version of earth that we’re on. With that being said his writing isn’t going to be for everyone, but I do think that everyone should give it a chance, because if it is for you, there is something truly special to behold here. With this book being a big set up in some ways makes me through the roof excited for the next entry into this series. It’s gonna be bonkers good and I can’t wait to see if it ends up being even better than The Wall of Storms. We have a REALLY BAD villain, the best kind, and we have people we’re rooting for, and people we want to see what decisions they end up making. Loyalties that are up in question and I’m here for all of it. This is my favorite series out there right now and possibly my favorite series ever. Still trying to decide 🙂 I cannot wait for more.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tammie

    This is series is an actual masterpiece and each book gets better and better. Genuinely one of the most complex, nuanced, and well-developed worlds I've ever read and I cannot wait to see how Ken Liu wraps it all up in the final book. This is series is an actual masterpiece and each book gets better and better. Genuinely one of the most complex, nuanced, and well-developed worlds I've ever read and I cannot wait to see how Ken Liu wraps it all up in the final book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kevin James

    4 stars, probably the weakest entry in the series thus far but still quite a strong book The return of the Dandelion Dynasty is something I’ve been waiting for eagerly for many years. Everything I know and love about the series is still here on fine display: great characters, interweaving stories that paint complex social situations, fascinating mechanical innovations, endless debates about political philosophy. It’s nice to have a new entry of a series I love. Liu’s character work in particular 4 stars, probably the weakest entry in the series thus far but still quite a strong book The return of the Dandelion Dynasty is something I’ve been waiting for eagerly for many years. Everything I know and love about the series is still here on fine display: great characters, interweaving stories that paint complex social situations, fascinating mechanical innovations, endless debates about political philosophy. It’s nice to have a new entry of a series I love. Liu’s character work in particular only seems to get better and better and he continually surprises me with his ability to introduce new characters that keep being as compelling as the old characters or to reframe old characters in ways that make them take on new life. That said, this book is probably the weakest entry of the series thus far, partially due to having been split into two volumes for publishing. The split works better than I’d hoped (and certainly better than other recent split books like Dresden Files’ Peace Talks and Battle Ground) with a very poignant cliffhanger but it’s easy to see where Liu has struggled to make this book as cohesive as the other entries. The big issue here is with pacing and economy of storytelling. Liu has always excelled at economy of storytelling in the previous books, ably hopping around decades and dozens of perspectives quite nimbly. Here though, the ball has been dropped. Certain unimportant elements are given far, far too much attention and page space. Did there need to be a several hundred-page interlude subplot about a best restaurant competition? Probably not judging by the scene where literal gods argue amongst themselves over whether or not it makes sense that we’re spending so much time here within the book. And while the Great Dara Bake Off is well-written enough to still be enjoyable, that scattershot focus, even when it does eventually loop back into the main narrative, does cause the book to drag significantly in places. I imagine this will be the biggest point of contention because the third book was split in two because it was too big for one volume but there does seem to be a fair bit of fluff lying around that could have been tightened up. However, at other times the slower pacing makes for really stunning moments. Liu’s emotional storytelling has never been better and the way he lets complex social interactions build up into unexpected outcomes is masterful. Many of the best parts of the book center on culture clash as multiple parties from Dara and the Lyucu struggle to figure out how to live together. The various political interests pulling the rulers in different directions and forcing them into unexpected actions. You will read through multiple chapters of slow, tense build up of political jockeying that eventually explodes into truly tragic outcomes that you’ve watched coming the whole time. It’s quite affecting and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything else quite like it in fantasy storytelling before. Overall, this book has some of Liu’s best writing but also some of his worst meandering. I ultimately still enjoyed enough of this book that I think a lot of it still works but I’m guessing this will ultimately be the most contentious book in the series when the general public finally reads it. Thanks to NetGalley for providing me an eARC to review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lena (Sufficiently Advanced Lena)

    4.5. This one took an interesting turn but you can tell that is not tecnicaly book 3 but the first half of the final book. But in my eyes Kin Liu can do no wrong

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sebastian Gebski

    I totally adore Ken Liu's unique style. I've already described it while reviewing his previous books, but basically - I know no other writer able to craft such epic characters and put them in equally epic sagas. Frankly, it's not easy as 'epicness' can easily turn into self-parody, but Ken Liu appears immune to that effect. What's even more interesting, he doesn't stick to what he has created. Each books introduces different characters and pushes the story forward. It seems unthinkable to create I totally adore Ken Liu's unique style. I've already described it while reviewing his previous books, but basically - I know no other writer able to craft such epic characters and put them in equally epic sagas. Frankly, it's not easy as 'epicness' can easily turn into self-parody, but Ken Liu appears immune to that effect. What's even more interesting, he doesn't stick to what he has created. Each books introduces different characters and pushes the story forward. It seems unthinkable to create characters like Gin or Mata and then just let them go. However, Liu is so good in character-crafting, that he somehow always manages to provide worthy replacements. OK, but back to the actual book. TVT is a worthy successor of the previous 2 installments of The Dandelion Dynasty. Yes, it's not perfect, but I'd call all the flaws quite minor (in comparison to all the goodness): 1. for the first time we're not getting a properly closes story; none of the threads is concluded, basically it's the first half of the tome; well, I can understand that because the book is already humongous and we're getting the 4th book in 5 months 2. TDD cycle is famous because of the role of engineers and tinkering - many problems are solved with technology, creative crafting and mixing various ideas to gain a major synergy - that's also present in TVT but at some points the author was reeeeeally balancing on the edge of what is realistic and what appears a bit ... too far (from being credible) 3. keeping in mind how much has happened in the previous books and how many characters have already been introduced, I'd expect some better introduction than just a list of who's'who (it's a bit overwhelming and doesn't help with making sense out of the initial chapters) Let me phrase it again: TVT doesn't disappoint. - great story - awesome, credible characters - surprising twists - impression of 'epicness' - non-trivial moral dilemmas Strong 5 stars. I can't wait for the final tome.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    ** I received an advanced copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on December 7th, 2021 in the US. ** Possible Triggers: Torture | Death | Rape Summary: Book 3 of the ‘Dandelion Dynasty’ series. Characters: The story follows multiple characters across various continents/cultures. My particular favorite: Dandelion: I can not go into details about this one, because spoilers, but I was pleasantly surprised that this character was way mor ** I received an advanced copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on December 7th, 2021 in the US. ** Possible Triggers: Torture | Death | Rape Summary: Book 3 of the ‘Dandelion Dynasty’ series. Characters: The story follows multiple characters across various continents/cultures. My particular favorite: Dandelion: I can not go into details about this one, because spoilers, but I was pleasantly surprised that this character was way more interesting than I thought she would be. Here I thought she was some squishy dainty little thing, and instead she blew me away with her receptiveness to learning everything. A++ for strong female characters that aren’t necessarily physically strong or the definition of “bad-ass'', but instead strong because of their compassion and willingness to learn. It's nice to celebrate different kinds of strengths. Positives: + Just like the previous two books in the series, there are short stories of the deities of the peoples in the book. I really love how much that explains why certain things are important to individual cultures in the book. There is something so amazing about the differences and similarities of the various cultures' creation stories and other stories that touch on importances to cultural identities. + Absolutely loved the Agon/Dara combination of cultures. + A++ for the cool (yet again) joint animal and human teamwork. + I am really thankful for the ‘date’ listed underneath each chapter heading - while my mind's timeline isn't absolutely perfect in my head, it helped me to center myself each time to where I was diving into the story. Negatives: - This isn’t a negative exactly, because I really enjoyed this part of the story, I’m just a little conflicted with it as well. Without getting into too many details, the last third of the story has a competition in multiple parts. I loved the competition, I loved the work that went into it, the detailing of the competition during it actually happening, and I even loved the amount of attention the competition garnered. I did, however, find the competition a little jarring. We were reading about war, war atrocities, conflict between cultures, battles, kidnapping, and then all of a sudden there is this competition which does not have. . .world or nation altering consequences. It just seemed kinda random to shift the view from such BIG things to something smaller (though no less important to the people it affects). Odd, but not unwelcome. I did really appreciate the timing though. Some of the chapters before were very heavy. Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book in the series. While there weren’t as many world altering things going on during this book as in the previous two. I do feel like this set up things real nicely for all that is going to be resolved in book 4. I am absolutely invested in knowing WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Edward Silverman

    Thank you to Gallery Books and #netgalley for the opportunity to review an e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Of all the books I've read recently, this one is one of the hardest to do without spoiling, because while, in some ways, compared to the previous books, nothing much militarily happens, but it was still a completely fascinating and compelling read. This is the third book in the series, but the characters are mostly all new, despite the world picking up pretty m Thank you to Gallery Books and #netgalley for the opportunity to review an e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Of all the books I've read recently, this one is one of the hardest to do without spoiling, because while, in some ways, compared to the previous books, nothing much militarily happens, but it was still a completely fascinating and compelling read. This is the third book in the series, but the characters are mostly all new, despite the world picking up pretty much where the last book left off. The last book felt so action packed that I am afraid others might feel it is table setting-but I have a different take in that the author was clearly looking to explore other facets of his universe. There were battle scenes, of course, an action filled set piece at the beginning, and, for a large portion of the book, a nonconventional battle that was every bit as compelling as a garinifin vs airship battle. Mild spoiler: it had more in common with a Top Chef or Hell's Kitchen battle than a military one, but the backstory and appreciation of tactics and strategy were pure Liu. I think I like these books MORE for having the courage to explore these aspects of the society, and more importantly, the skill to make them compelling. While other aspects of the story felt a lot like red herrings and build up...by this point the reader can trust Liu to pay it off. Now-the pay off does now arrive in this book for many of the plot threads, and I had felt that the climax of the previous book and the first one were higher highs, but this book consistently delivered at a high level. I think if you love Liu you will adore this book. Anyone who is a fantasy fan should pick up this series-but I'd recommend starting with Book 1. If there are people who know Liu from his work translating Cixin Liu, hardcore sci-fi fans that don't like fantasy may not like this as much as others, but I'd still say to give the first book a try. I like how the author played around with the meaning of loyalty in this book. This is something he has investigated before, but it finally sunk through to me, or it was more forward here in terms of questions of betrayal, and even, identity. So even though this is a 'fantasy' book, those themes can be teased out, and I think were intentional, though a reader may have to be more literarily serious than I am, because I typically read to escape. This was entertaining as anything! I look forward to the next one.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    3.5*** This book was a bit of a let down for me. I still love this world and Ken Liu's writing, but a significant part of the plot just didn't work for me. There were some really great scenes that had me hooked, and then there were some plot threads that dragged on for way too long and bored me to tears. However, I still can't wait to finish the series with the next book. 3.5*** This book was a bit of a let down for me. I still love this world and Ken Liu's writing, but a significant part of the plot just didn't work for me. There were some really great scenes that had me hooked, and then there were some plot threads that dragged on for way too long and bored me to tears. However, I still can't wait to finish the series with the next book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    Special thanks to Goodreads and Saga Press for sharing this ARC with me in exchange for my honest thoughts. What a journey! When I was notified that I had won the giveaway for The Veiled Throne, I went out and got the first two books in the series to get caught up. This is a deep and well scaffolded world and it’s been engaging to journey in it for a few months. This book picks up right where the last one left off, taking us further down the paths of several different groups and into the lives of Special thanks to Goodreads and Saga Press for sharing this ARC with me in exchange for my honest thoughts. What a journey! When I was notified that I had won the giveaway for The Veiled Throne, I went out and got the first two books in the series to get caught up. This is a deep and well scaffolded world and it’s been engaging to journey in it for a few months. This book picks up right where the last one left off, taking us further down the paths of several different groups and into the lives of both existing characters and new ones. I have to be vague about plot since it would be very easy to spoil this or the earlier books, but I can say that the world building continues to improve, and the characters are well fleshed out and engaging. One of my favorite things about this series is its treatment of women. As many commentators on the first book noted, it took a while to get there, but in the second two, many of the most interesting, heroic, flawed-and-yet-my-favorite characters are women. I appreciate that they aren’t caricatures or moral lessons, but real people who are complex and make mistakes and also sometimes achieve greatness. I also adore the world building in terms of food and place descriptions. This book has a whole story within a story revolving around a cooking competition, and the beautiful phrases helped make a completely made up cuisine both very appealing and relatable. The author is sometimes guilty of describing details with too much focus and becoming a bit boring, but in most cases, it is to the benefit of the story. Overall, I would recommend this book for anyone who is a fan of sweeping epics but wants to try a different twist, and anyone who loves combining character studies with tales of conquest and drama.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Eliza

    The last 60% was unstoppable.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    I received an Advance Reader's Copy from the publisher via a Goodreads giveaway. The Veiled Throne is not what I expected when when I finished The Wall of Storms, nor is it what I expected when I started reading it. Admittedly, I did not realize that the author had decided to split the final book into two when I started, but even then, it was not what I expected. The Veiled Throne is a story of a grander conflict as told through smaller, interpersonal conflicts. In many ways it is the build-up to I received an Advance Reader's Copy from the publisher via a Goodreads giveaway. The Veiled Throne is not what I expected when when I finished The Wall of Storms, nor is it what I expected when I started reading it. Admittedly, I did not realize that the author had decided to split the final book into two when I started, but even then, it was not what I expected. The Veiled Throne is a story of a grander conflict as told through smaller, interpersonal conflicts. In many ways it is the build-up to the grand finale, but as part of that build-up, we see a story that is not so much about war but about the conflict inherent in assimilating cultures and also the conflict between the oppressed and the oppressor, the conquered and the conquerors, and in two groups genuinely trying to assimilate with neither. While The Wall of Storms seemed to present a clear good vs. evil in the Lyucu versus the Daru, The Veiled Throne shows us a very different side of at least some of the Lyucu . We see characters who do not seem to support Pekyu Tenryo and his philosophies, but we also see what happens when his philosophies are taken to their extremes and run rampant. One of the first new characters introduced is Goztan, who is one of the stars of the book (along with her son, who we meet later). In them we see a totally different side. And in many ways the story of her and her son are a linchpin of the entire book and the story that Ken Liu seems to be trying to tell. Some of the storylines hit. Thera's struggles in Ukyu and her perspective on the coming together of two distinct cultures and how she sees her children growing up in this melded culture are interesting, and fit into the broader themes of cultural assimilation. On the other hand, the entire story of Jia Mazoti and Phyro was growing stale before this book started, and The Veiled Throne does nothing to make it more compelling. Jia's arc makes sense, but it has felt that it is getting old, and honestly I am tired of her machinations without much detail. Once I started reading The Veiled Throne, I could not put it down. It's a compelling and interesting story, and the ending felt satisfying for what it was... unfortunately, it also feels incomplete because it is very clearly leaving a huge cliffhanger for the final book in the series, and in that sense it feels like setup. It's also hard to overlook some of the flaws in the story with Jia and Phyro, as well as the fact that at times it feels bloated and like it could have used a bit of editing. I don't think I can really assess the book until the series was complete, but I did not walk away feeling unsatisfied either.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    4 1/2 Stars. The Veiled Throne seals Ken Liu as a brilliant writer in the genre of fantasy. The books so far in The Dandelion Dynasty are a unique and powerful series that adds diversity and new themes into the epic fantasy genre. Mr. Liu has the ability to have each book focus more on particular characters, relegating some to more of a background role, but still weaving an amazing, cohesive story. There are overarching themes in this book, such as do we judge our enemies with a broad sweeping b 4 1/2 Stars. The Veiled Throne seals Ken Liu as a brilliant writer in the genre of fantasy. The books so far in The Dandelion Dynasty are a unique and powerful series that adds diversity and new themes into the epic fantasy genre. Mr. Liu has the ability to have each book focus more on particular characters, relegating some to more of a background role, but still weaving an amazing, cohesive story. There are overarching themes in this book, such as do we judge our enemies with a broad sweeping brush, or can we try to come to know them and respect them through the actions of a few? How does a leader handle fanaticism within the ranks of their military? To stay in power, how much is too much to commit? How do we handle failure? As these questions are raised, there are no easy answers. In the Veiled Throne, Mr. Liu addresses each one in subtle ways that the reader may not like at times, but certainly can understand why they act as they do. There are brutal and violent scenes that are necessary to the plot of the story. However, these scenes, while graphic, are not gratuitous nor simple there to shock the reader. It drives home that war and occupation are not peaceful. People suffer, and Mr. Liu illustrates it perfectly. Once again, he successfully uses flashback scenes that are captivating in themselves but set up an event that will come later in the book. It is, quite simply, brilliant writing. As with the other books, we also see the gods of Dara wielding their influence at times in the events that unfold. I highly recommend not only The Veiled Throne but the entire Dandelion Dynasty series. We know at the end of The Wall of Storms that both Kuni Gari and Pekyu Tenryo have died in the epic sea battle. Before his death, he names his daughter, Princess Thera as his heir and Empress. The daughter of Tenryo, Tanvanaki, will lead the Lyucu people who have control over part of the kingdom of Dara. Gin Mazoti, the brilliant tactician, has also perished in the battle. After the battle, and Empress Jia reach an agreement. The Lyucu, with more numbers of warriors and more coming, will give the Empress one year before striking at the heart of the remaining kingdom. This sets up The Veiled Throne for more intrigue, and the focus on the next generation with both Kuni, Gin, and Tenryo gone. This was a strong point of the book, the passing of the torch. The children of Kuni, with the exception of Timu, were not the focus of the previous books. We now see them grown up and setting out to find their place in a kingdom under siege. Likewise, Thera, is planning her future in Dara. It is interesting to note that the heirs of the two powerful men are two powerful women. Thera’s time as Empress is short-lived, as she ventures with her new husband, Takval, beyond the wall of storms to prevent more Lyucu from crossing the wall and reinforcing the Lyucu already in Dasu. She leaves behind her lover, the brilliant scholar, Zomi Kidosu. Thera and Zomi know this journey is more important than their feelings for each other. While Thera is smart and resilient, she will face hardship she has never known. Phyro, while now the Emperor, is preparing for battle, working in secret. He has no desire to take the throne, leaving Empress Jia, his aunt-mother, in charge until he is ready to take his place. Meanwhile, Timu, as we know is married to Tanvanki and has two children. I once thought Princess Fara was never going to be more than a background character, however quite a bit of the book focuses on both her along with Timu, Thera, and Tanvanaki. Will this generation be able to find a way to live in harmony, or will they repeat what their parents have done? The focus on Fara was another point that worked very well for me. She is the counter to her siblings, the one who seeks adventure beyond the confinement of the palace, and is one who certainly is more open-minded The characters have grown throughout the books. They do not stagnate from how we first met them in The Grace of Kings. Their arcs are becoming more and more interesting as the books progress. Political intrigue was also a major part of this series, and this one is no different. Preparing for a coming showdown with the Lyucu will take every resource and planning on the part of the political players in Dara. Most notably is Empress Jia. She is unrecognizable from the carefree woman we met in The Grace of Kings. She is a complex character, secretive and planning something. What it is, we are not privy to. Not yet. There is a large part of the book that focuses on Fara leaving the palace and using another name so she is not recognized. She winds up helping a restaurant her father frequented before his time as Emperor. The owner gets involved in a contest to find which is the best restaurant in Dara. Helping them is Kinri, a young Lyucu man, saved from a death sentence by his mother, Gotzan Ryoto, and told to leave Lyucu territory to safety. They are also aided by the Gang, a band of friends who are performers have various helpful skills. This challenge, while seeming innocuous, was very important in symbolism. Fara found her skills and matures while helping the restaurant. She developed strong feelings for Kinri despite his Lyucu heritage. Fara was able to see beyond the raging conflict, and looking at your enemy as if all are the same, is wrong. Kinri was kind and the friendship he made were genuine, as were the feelings he, too, had for Fara. Kinri plays a very important role and how this pans out is one of the more interesting parts of the book. I’m hopeful to see more of him in the next book. Tanvanaki faces her own struggles. Gotzan was her friend and trusted Thane. Through circumstances against their laws, it is Kinri who is sentenced to death. Gotzan is reduced in power. The Thane that takes her place is fanatical and bloodthirsty. She carries out atrocities on the people of Dara under occupation without mercy. Tanvanaki faces a difficult choice. That choice is how far does she go to maintain control? Many thanes side with , and allowing her free reign keeps Tanvanaki in the Thanes good graces. She does not agree with her actions but allows it. Timu is relegated to little more than a figurehead and has little sway over his wife. What is the moral thing to do? This is a dilemma she faces and has yet to find her answer. Overall Thoughts Once again, in The Veiled Throne, Ken Liu has written an absolutely magnificent novel. This next entry into the Dandelion Dynasty series perfectly sets up the next book. With the death of the previous main characters, Mr. Liu has passed on the story seamlessly to the next generation on Thera, Phyro, Fara, Timu, Tanvanaki, and Kinri. The arcs of the characters we have already continue to develop and surprise the readers in many ways. Flashback chapters are successfully threaded into the narrative to serve as foreshadowing of an event that is revealed later in the book. The Veiled Throne has many twists and surprises and did not see coming. Diversity and representation is just as important in this book as in the others. I find it refreshing that this series normalizes same sex marriage. It is simply part of the story and never feels forced. Some of the book is brutal and violent. These episodes are necessary given the characters involved, and are never gratuitous or there to shock the reader. Overall, I highly recommend The Veiled Throne and the entire Dandelion Dynasty Series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Yev

    Each book in this series has been considerably different than the one that came before. Will the fourth be as well? Seems likely. Unlike the first two books, there's no war, or really even much combat at all. Instead, this entry focuses on a theme that's relatively common in Liu's short fiction, the immigrant experience. The clash of cultures is shown from both sides. A particular point of contention for the parents in either country is how the native culture seems to have a greater influence on Each book in this series has been considerably different than the one that came before. Will the fourth be as well? Seems likely. Unlike the first two books, there's no war, or really even much combat at all. Instead, this entry focuses on a theme that's relatively common in Liu's short fiction, the immigrant experience. The clash of cultures is shown from both sides. A particular point of contention for the parents in either country is how the native culture seems to have a greater influence on their children than their parenting. As is to be expected these days for immigrants, there are also many refugees, who take boats and mostly drown. They're escaping ethnic cleansing and servitude, yet most end up indefinitely held in detainment camps with squalid conditions. There's considerable discussion on the limitations of writing and reading, which is strongly reminiscent of Ted Chiang's "The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feelings". Liu notes at the end of his story, "Single-Bit Error", "Because this story addresses themes similar to those explored in Ted Chiang’s story, I sought and obtained Chiang’s permission before publication." So that may well be the case here as well, though it's not necessarily so. As with the second book, there's also discussion about educational reform. Alongside this is an exploration of how ostensibly well-meaning reformers may think they know best for some marginalized group of people, but are oblivious to the feelings of those same people. There's a lot more contemporary politics and lecturing than I remember from the first two books, which may bother some, but I don't mind at all when I'm enjoying it. For me Part One is the weakest, because it both takes place in the past and outside of Dara. All the chapters outside of Dara interest me less, though I still enjoy them quite a bit. It took me a lot longer than I thought it'd take for me to really get into it. Part Four, the final part, is when I really started enjoying myself. Until then I had been thinking that I may have to rate it as only being very good, or maybe even just good, rather than great. The parts aren't equal though. Part Four is 46% of the book, which is roughly 500 pages. A large part of this final part is a cooking contest between two restaurants to determine who is the best in town. The contest involves more than just cooking and is an exhibition of silkpunk, which is what Liu calls this series. This was a case of "I didn't know I wanted this" and was the best part of the book for me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Yanique Gillana

    5 Stars I am grateful to Gallery Books, Saga Press for sending me an advanced copy of this book for review. What a stunning third installment to a series. This story just gets better with each book and I'm loving it. As a third in a series, it's amazing how Liu manages to still introduce new concepts, further expand the world, and take us to unexpected places. This is a balanced, evenly paced series that I just can't get enough of. Some things in this story have been very consistent, and the thin 5 Stars I am grateful to Gallery Books, Saga Press for sending me an advanced copy of this book for review. What a stunning third installment to a series. This story just gets better with each book and I'm loving it. As a third in a series, it's amazing how Liu manages to still introduce new concepts, further expand the world, and take us to unexpected places. This is a balanced, evenly paced series that I just can't get enough of. Some things in this story have been very consistent, and the thing that stands out the most to me are the female characters. This man knows how to write complex and convincing women. From book one we have an interesting mix of characters (especially female characters) who are in various positions in society, have different motivations, different levels of influence, and differences in morality. The characters feel authentic and distinct. Every action they take makes sense for the individual, and it never feels like characters are doing things just to move the plot in a certain direction. This series approaches the story from many angles, and the perspectives we get weave a rich canvas of this world Liu has crafted. The historical influences are strong in the series, but it does not use them as a crutch. Liu builds suspense and surprises us at every turn. The scenarios feel realistic, the relationships feel human, the stakes feel high..... This is what you want in a high fantasy. Technology. This is not something that I look for in my high-fantasy books, because (unless it's also sci-fi) the authors usually don't introduce anything complex, or depend on basic descriptions or the reader's understanding of basic machinery. This series; however, it wonderfully technical. We get to see all the political machinations of the plot, but also how new technologies are developed, how things work, how battles are strategized. Just wonderful. This series is stunning and I would recommend it to fans of high fantasy, political intrigue, large casts or characters, epic narratives, and science fiction (seriously).

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    I received an advance copy of this book as a giveaway. It had been a long time between reading the first two books in this series and receiving this one. The world Liu creates is extraordinarily complex, with many characters, a variety of societies, and places and plants and animals that are different from our own. The Veiled Throne begins with a long list of characters and capsule biographies, and there is a glossary and list of artifacts at the end, all of which are all helpful in remembering a I received an advance copy of this book as a giveaway. It had been a long time between reading the first two books in this series and receiving this one. The world Liu creates is extraordinarily complex, with many characters, a variety of societies, and places and plants and animals that are different from our own. The Veiled Throne begins with a long list of characters and capsule biographies, and there is a glossary and list of artifacts at the end, all of which are all helpful in remembering aspects of stories in the first couple of books. I did eventually get up to speed and immersed in this world again. It is a rich, deep, and engrossing world. The Veiled Throne is quite long, nearly a thousand pages. It moves at a leisurely pace, albeit with a high level of tension. There is political intrigue, war preparations, aftermath of previous war, in-depth exploration of many points of view on nearly every major plot point, and a great deal of ambiguity. The heroes and villains are not obvious, and often characters are a combination of the two. There are many shockers in the plot, where things turn out to be quite different from what was seen to be the case before. There are scenes of great beauty and scenes of unspeakable cruelty. I also made note of a wonderful literary device Liu employs: a few catch phrases that may be unclear at first but take on great meaning later in the book; very nicely done. A key feature of this world is the development of advanced technology using essentially "natural" materials. This is especially evident in the last third of the book; highly detailed descriptions of the technological innovations and how they work abound. It felt like a combination of hard sci-fi and steampunk, and I imagine it will appeal to fans of either. I reached the end of the book and found there were many major plot lines that were unresolved. I checked and found that the Dandelion Dynasty is now a "Series", not a "Trilogy"; perhaps it was always such. I look forward to reading the next entry and getting back into this rich world.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Full disclosure: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Content warning: Child death, torture, mentions of rape. Following the events in The Wall of Storms, with an armistice signed between the Lyucu invaders and Dara, each side seeks to stabilize conditions in their respective controlled territories. The Lyucu are focused on pacifying the people they conquered and projecting military might against the threat of a new war with Dara or rebellion among t Full disclosure: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Content warning: Child death, torture, mentions of rape. Following the events in The Wall of Storms, with an armistice signed between the Lyucu invaders and Dara, each side seeks to stabilize conditions in their respective controlled territories. The Lyucu are focused on pacifying the people they conquered and projecting military might against the threat of a new war with Dara or rebellion among the people they’ve enslaved. They don’t know if or when they might receive reinforcements from their distant homeland, and their political factions fight over questions of cultural assimilation. Dara, having been devastated by the war with the Lyucu, has its own political squabbles, as one faction is decidedly pro-war and the other is determined to maintain peace with the Lyucu at any cost. Meanwhile, Princess Théra has undertaken an audacious, dangerous mission to the Lyucu homeland to create an alliance with the Lyucu’s enemies in hopes of cutting off the Lyucu colonization project in Dara. I love this series. Ken Liu is one of my favorite authors, and I remain thoroughly impressed with what he’s doing with his epic fantasy series. He brings an aspect of grand scale to it that I don’t often see in epic fantasy. Books 1 and 2, The Grace of Kings and The Wall of Storms, each cover the events of an entire war, and book 2 begins a generation after book 1. This keeps the series from getting bogged down in lengthy maneuvering that seems to go nowhere. *cough* Wheel of Time *cough* Yet even with the compressed nature of the story, Liu takes time to develop colorful, nuanced characters and build intricately realized cultures that feel like they have the weight of history behind them. Drawing from Chinese cultures and history, Liu weaves in whole schools of philosophy, poetry, and art into mundane activities and bureaucratic structures. It’s utterly gorgeous and he manages to make it all plot-bearing rather than just shiny diversions. This novel spends a great deal of time exploring cultural change and responses to it, as well as nationalism, propaganda, and the way cultures perceive and justify their actions and interpret other cultures. No side has truly clean hands in this series, and each genuinely believes themselves the heroes of their own story in a war for freedom against the cruel barbarians. I absolutely love that Liu takes the time to explore all these aspects of these warring cultures in intricate detail, exploring the good and the bad of each and what happens when they interact with each other. Another thing I love about this series are the clever and highly imaginative plots its protagonists dream up to win conflicts and get themselves out of scrapes. There’s no shortage of those in The Veiled Throne, and the new characters introduced in this novel are no less crafty than those who came before. Even fairly low-stakes adventures are a delight to read. This is perhaps the slowest novel in the series to date, as it is set during a period of ostensible peace and works to set everything up for the finale. This series was originally planned as a trilogy, but when the final book grew too big, it was split in two. Not unexpectedly, there’s some middle book syndrome here, but I still loved this novel. It’s richly developed in ways that very few other epic fantasies are, and I find everything about it captivating because of how those extraordinary details are woven throughout the story to tell thoughtful, nuanced stories. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book for a while, and it lived up to my expectations.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andy Smith

    I was not a huge fan of the "competition" section in the later half of the book, but wow, this story is so epic and original. I was not a huge fan of the "competition" section in the later half of the book, but wow, this story is so epic and original.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    The Review Now as a relative newcomer to this author’s fantasy series, I can only share with you guys my thoughts on this individual narrative as I am unfamiliar with the series as a whole. However, I must say the author has crafted a truly remarkable and vibrant world. The history, culture, and mythos the author has developed in this book feels rich and engaging, and while I would definitely recommend reading the first two books in the series to fully understand the politics and history of this The Review Now as a relative newcomer to this author’s fantasy series, I can only share with you guys my thoughts on this individual narrative as I am unfamiliar with the series as a whole. However, I must say the author has crafted a truly remarkable and vibrant world. The history, culture, and mythos the author has developed in this book feels rich and engaging, and while I would definitely recommend reading the first two books in the series to fully understand the politics and history of this kingdom, the in-depth and descriptive nature of the narrative really invites newcomers and fans of this series alike into the story and this massive world. The author found the perfect balance of world-building and character development in this story. The gritty realism of the style of fantasy narrative was felt immensely in the narrative, and the only real criticism I have is the tournament scenes towards the end of the narrative feels a bit disconnected from the rest of the narrative and feels like it could be its own separate novella or short story set within the same universe instead. Otherwise, this was a truly engaging and memorable read. The Verdict An astounding, memorable, and breathtaking fantasy read, author Ken Liu’s “The Veiled Throne” is a must-read novel this winter. Due for release this December, this novel will be beloved by fans of the series while newcomers will be enthralled by the larger than life world the author has crafted, and the balance the author found between the action sequences and the more psychological and political battles fought back in the kingdom of Dara.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alex O'Connor

    Wonderful. I cannot get enough of this world. Each sentence is a beautiful gem, every story, every conflict, a deeply thought provoking event. These books are treasures.

  25. 5 out of 5

    WorldconReader

    "The Veiled Throne" by Ken Liu is a thrilling addition to the Dandelion Dynasty Series. As with the other books in the series this is an intricate elegant epic tale of the royalty, common folk, soldiers, enemies, gods, bamboo-punk technology, culture, and most important survival of the fictional empire of Dara. Between my appreciation of other books written by Ken Liu, along with the tantalizing hints of expansive adventure in the book description, I read books 1 and 2 in the series in preparati "The Veiled Throne" by Ken Liu is a thrilling addition to the Dandelion Dynasty Series. As with the other books in the series this is an intricate elegant epic tale of the royalty, common folk, soldiers, enemies, gods, bamboo-punk technology, culture, and most important survival of the fictional empire of Dara. Between my appreciation of other books written by Ken Liu, along with the tantalizing hints of expansive adventure in the book description, I read books 1 and 2 in the series in preparation to read this, the third book in the series. This was time well spent! Each book is a grand excursion into the exciting epic fantasy realm of the heroes and enemies of Dara complete with extensive glossaries, extensive lists of characters, maps, and detailed history. Each of these books contains a lot of entertaining content. Much of the series is focused on empire building, though there are many interesting diversions into the culture of this world. For example, much of the last half of this book takes an almost jarring switch from the rather bloody life-and-death struggles of multiple invasions to focus on the experiences of key and future key characters battling not so much for their lives but for the survival and supremacy of a restaurant with ties to the royal family. At first, this switch from death and destruction to economic and culinary competition seemed jarring, but it does fit in nicely with the various plot lines, and sets the stage for the continuation of this series in the fourth book. I am breathlessly awaiting the next book! I would like to thank Ken Liu and Saga Press for kindly providing an electronic review copy of this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marian

    I received an ARC through NetGalley.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Derek

    Very very interesting next chapter in the Dandelion Dynasty. There was definitely a lot action, excitement, and entertainment. But to be honest, I was very confused and almost lost at times. the story was in so many places with so many characters, I continually had to go back to the glossary to figure out who they were. I think the story did hit a little bit of a lull compared to the first and second books, which is understandable, but I think the ending really set up excitement for the next cha Very very interesting next chapter in the Dandelion Dynasty. There was definitely a lot action, excitement, and entertainment. But to be honest, I was very confused and almost lost at times. the story was in so many places with so many characters, I continually had to go back to the glossary to figure out who they were. I think the story did hit a little bit of a lull compared to the first and second books, which is understandable, but I think the ending really set up excitement for the next chapter in the series. The character development was really well done, and the story was good, albeit just a bit slow for my liking. In general, if you read the other books in the series you will enjoy the book. Thank you to Netgalley, Ken Liu, and Gallery / Saga Press for providing me with an advanced reading copy.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I love big epic fantasy reads. In THE VEILED THRONE, there were many parts that really enraptured me with characters I loved but then there were chunks and chunks that dragged far too long for me to give it more than 3-stars. The cover though...beautiful!!! Thank you to Saga for this opportune read :D

  29. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    Oh MY GOSH! It's finally HERE (soon)!!! Can't wait to read this! :-) And, more importantly, to re-read the entire series! Oh MY GOSH! It's finally HERE (soon)!!! Can't wait to read this! :-) And, more importantly, to re-read the entire series!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Izzy

    What a wait. Ken Liu writes as if I'm watching a dynastic series unfold on TV (for the most part). The innovative gadgets and gizmos he concocts are nothing short of marvelous- he's opened my eyes to a new world of silkpunk technology that I think I'll be looking out for more of. Although the grand battle sequences of previous books were sorely missed, the political maneuverings of advisors and heroes alike served (somewhat) as verbal substitutes. As for the four stars, the positives greatly outwe What a wait. Ken Liu writes as if I'm watching a dynastic series unfold on TV (for the most part). The innovative gadgets and gizmos he concocts are nothing short of marvelous- he's opened my eyes to a new world of silkpunk technology that I think I'll be looking out for more of. Although the grand battle sequences of previous books were sorely missed, the political maneuverings of advisors and heroes alike served (somewhat) as verbal substitutes. As for the four stars, the positives greatly outweigh the negatives: - The struggles of Thera and her family in Ukyu and Gonde were probably my favourite parts, although there's evident bias as Thera was always my favourite of Kuni's children (and I'm glad she got the most interesting, if burdensome, adventure out of all her siblings) (view spoiler)[and her children are obviously my favourite of that generation as well (hide spoiler)] - Tavanaki and Goztan are begrudgingly attaining more of my respect, and turning disdain for a character into wanting to see the story more from their POV is something only a skilled author can accomplish (although it might just be that the antagonizing Cutanrovo (of whom I am dearly anticipating the comeuppance of) makes the duo a far better alternative to root for in Ukyu-taasa) - Stories of past kings and famed warriors were neatly and interwoven well into the ongoing plot (especially the tale concerning a cupa match between Tiro kings... "teeth on the board" is such a gruesomely vivid phrase, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of it used) - The author has written moments that moved my heart, of the love between parents and children, between lovers, between loyal servants and their masters, and so the list goes on... The negatives, which kept it from a five-star rating: - Perhaps unexpected, but Zomi, although I rooted for her in the second book, has been grating on my nerves in this one, shaping up to be almost as annoying as Cutanrovo is cruel. Maybe the Farsight Secretary will be redeemed in my eyes in the next book, but we'll have to see - Might also just be me, but while the Restaurant Contest was intriguing and (most of) the characters in the Splendid Urn/Blossom Gang were a fun edition, this plotline was simultaneously far less interesting than the riveting incidents and sense of urgency elsewhere. I can see what's trying to be said about finding delight during times of hardship, but it all felt like a distraction from the main stage; a detour that lasted too long that I think could have been shortened considerably, and precious pages used to cover other, more concerning plots. I just couldn't find myself caring about the caricature that was Tiphan Huto, or even Kinri/Dandelion's "blossoming" romance, even if the majestic scenes and clever solutions to problems described were fascinating. At times, I felt as if I was reading a different book. Put it this way: everything else was akin to GoT (hate to use that comparison, but that's the most apparent one) machinations, while the Restaurant Competition sort of feels like I'm watching Top Chef, if the show was set in pseudo-Ancient China and involved other aspects of the restaurant business. Both great in their own ways, but I didn't come here expecting to see the latter; and I found I wasn't really in the mood for it, either, once the meal was over As for my hopes in the final novel: - I missed Timu and wanted more out of him. His parts are few and far between for any considerable impact, but I feel he deserves some agency other than simply existing as the pekyu's excuse to Dara legitimacy. There's more to him, I feel, and we had the slightest show of that willpower in this book that I'm craving more of - Jia's plan, which feels oh-so (and also not quite so) secret. She's a complicated character, and I sympathize for her plight - Fleshed-out villains to rival that of our heroes. Cutanrovo and (view spoiler)[Volyu (hide spoiler)] , among others, do feel... typical, to an extent. Despicable, yes, but also typical - And obviously I'm looking forward to the sweeping battles and the showdowns to end all showdowns. I want to see great minds clashing on battlefields larger, but no less difficult, than a zamiki board's, with calculation and feints and maybe even some sacrificial moves... One thing I can say with certainty, though, is that I'm excited for the last book in this magnificent series. I just wonder who will make it out alive.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...