Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Wall of Storms Review

The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu is the second installment of The Dandelion Dynasty and it does not disappoint.  Liu continues to use his epic poetic style as he did with The Grace of Kings that so mirrors ancient mythology while also commenting on modern social issues and philosophy.  He made this book so applicable to current events it’s delightfully quotable.

Where The Grace of Kings was centered around a war, division, heroes, and tyrants, The Wall of Storms focused on unity, family, philosophy, and education.  Liu takes risks early on by not building on the wars that made The Grace of Kings.  Instead he uses a foundation of philosophy and social commentary.  Everything from women’s rights and social equality to education reform is addressed by characters throughout the story as motivations and bases for world building.  Liu developed a complex society based on the ideals of these philosophers and the interpretations of their words to the point that the story is almost completely dependent upon them.  Even The Grace of Kings would have major holes in its narrative if there was no Kon Fiji.  Being able to see and understand that thought process, those intellectual developments was brilliant and so well done.  With a book like this it would be so easy to overdo the intellectual aspects and bore the reader or not put enough of the intellectual aspects in and confuse the reader.  Liu found a perfect balance.

If I were an English teacher, I would use these books in my class.