The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu
What I drank prior: Lol so ok. It’s Tuesday. I went to “happy hour” and now it’s 12;30am and I’m waiting for my uber to come get me. (My dad, it’s my dad, yes I’m almost 30, no I do NOT want to talk about it. He was nearby. He said he’d come get me and take me home. Best dad ever, Editor’s note: I guess I did want to talk about it). I think I’ve had 4 liquor drinks, 2 beers and a shot. Who’s counting though?
Spoiler-free Overview: This is the sequel to Grace of Kings. I drunk reviewed the first one here. So if you haven’t read the first one, you’re gonna get spoils.
Our main guy Kuni is tryna figure out how to govern with his 2 wives who hate each other and his 4 kids. We have some new characters and some old. These books are long and complicated. New threat is what at first seem like pre-modern era invaders. They have a secret weapon. And I’m not sure it’s a spoiler but dragons. They have fucking dragons. Fire breathing flying mother fuckers. Just. Yes. I didn’t even know I needed dragons until I had them in these books. Anyway, naturally gotta defeat the fire breathing little shits and their evil masters. (Editor’s note: wooooow, Sam.)
Spoiler-free Thoughts: I loved this. And I loved it more than book 1 which is saying something since book 1 was a 5 star book for me. The tales this man can weave are insane. So many times I was like… “*character* Noooooooo” and “*character* yessssssss”. I was fully invested in it.
Characters: these books are super character driven. Our old faves are around, Kuni, his wives, the Queen who named herself queen, Luan, and more. I still love them all. But look, we get new characters and perspectives from his kids. Zomi was an AMAZING character. Daughter 1 was also equally awesome. And guys… there’s a f/f romance thrown in for good measure. Guys the characters are INSANE
Plot: honestly, I always expect the length of these books would make them slow and they fucking don’t. There’s always something going on whether in actual battle or politically. I love it so much.
Writing Style: it’s pretty fucking incredible. The way, again, that he weaves his story is beautiful. You wouldn’t think something from page 57 would count on page 800 and it does. AND he doesn’t make you try and remember it yourself. He’s like “remember that time I talked about the thing, yeah that’s what’s happening now”
World Building: THERE ARE DRAGONS
What to pair it with: I want like a sake or a white wine. But that feels fluffly and these books are not that. They’re more like a well-aged scotch. Beautiful but still burns.
Rating: 5/5 shots
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Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,