The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It's amazing how Ken Liu was able to first put out his debut last year, then grace us with a collection of short stories (which I haven't read yet) and this brick of a sequel only a year later. Unlike a few other fantasy stalwarts I can name, Liu appears to be quite the workhorse, delivering high-quality reading material in a short amount of time.
I'm not sure if they invented the term "silkpunk" just for Liu's story, but it seems like just as apt a term as any to describe this rich Asian-inspired fantasy. It's mostly based on medieval China, but with hints of Mongolia and Turkey in its DNA. Liu does a masterful job of building this world, though, with long but very engrossing looks at his world's linguistics and philosophy in particular. Not only that, but Liu takes care to ensure that we get to see as many perspectives of the story's events and characters as possible. It's a very intellectual piece of fantasy, this book.
Whenever the third book comes along, I'll be ready and waiting to read it.
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