The Veiled Throne by Ken Liu (Dandelion Dynasty #3)
**Though this book came out in Dec 2021, we were given an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. This book is daunting to say the least, so I kept staring at it in guilt and finally got to it. We’d like to thank Ken and Gallery / Saga Press for the opportunity. We won’t let you down again!**
Reviewed by Sam!
What I drank prior: i wish I’d drank more but here we are. I think if you’ve added up everything its like probably a bottle and a half of wine, which is a lot.. so… idk why I’m trying to justify but here i am.
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.
Drunk Overview: this si the third book of this series where the kin of one of the main characters from the first/second series are in power and the other non-power power is trying to both keep their cutler and organize a quiet revolution. So after two generations the third is trying to figure out the universe.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: i sort of want for folks to understand this eries without knowing it but its hard. It also sounds super pretentious and it is. It is on purpose. Dynasties matter and there’s a lot of history that counts towards the reasons they are how they are and that’s v possible for the reasons the characters in this book acts as they are. The difference here is that book 2 has characters we know and care about, book 3 has maybe one. Like, there’s one character we know and care about.
Characters: i want these characters to matter. We’ve got the daughter of one of the leaders of the conquered and she actually does what she can to live with the world she’s been given. It’s a whole thing. Plus, our main characters that we love from the first two are not really. Present at all so we have to take a lot of time to learn new folks.
Plot: ok without being too much a snob, i really struggled with this. Not because of the non-western story, which is what most folk struggle with, but because the story doesn’t connect with the previous book enough. I understand the urgency… the wall of storms is going to open again soon, but i don’t actually see what the consequences will be and the book ends before i find out what they will be. This whole book is what happens in the interim and that’s a struggle for me.
There is this whole cooking competition plot that is proabably my favorite thing ever and everyone should read just those chapter regardless and i love it.
Writing Style: i wouldn’t keep reading if i didn’t love it i just didn’t love the installment i was given. I didn’t love that nothin really happened. I understand it was important but otherwise….
World Building: world has been built my loves
What to pair it with: tired and true cab Sauv.
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,