I enjoyed The Grace of Kings, but it is not by any means a quick read. Liu takes his time unfolding the story and there is minute attention to detail. There is nothing fast paced or overly exciting happening in the story, but the story itself is interesting and complicated. I probably shouldn't have read this one when I couldn't dedicate really long stretches of reading time with my undivided attention. Grace of Kings is certainly epic in scope with good world building. However, I wish that there had been more character development where I could have felt more connected and invested in what was happening.
It has been a while since I have read an epic fantasy like The Grace of Kings, so my lack of complete enthusiasm may also be due to generally reading books that kick off a bit faster while featuring more action and more relatable characters. I do believe that I will continue with the series, but I am not sure when that will be.
Two men rebel together against tyranny—and then become rivals—in this first sweeping book of an epic fantasy series from Ken Liu, recipient of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards.
Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites. Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, and shapeshifting gods. Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions—two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice.