The Grace of Kings

Book I of the Dandelion Dynasty series. The book is the winner of the Locus Award for Best First Novel and a Nebula finalist. (Release date: April 7, 2015)

Update 10/14/2016: DMG has optioned the “Dandelion Dynasty” series (starting with The Grace of Kings). Michael Ross is tapped as screenwriter for an adaptation. You can read more about it here.

Order at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or other fine bookstores.

The audiobook version, narrated by Michael Kramer, is available from iTunes or Audible. You can listen to a sample here.

If you’re interested in reviews, I have a round up on the blog. And you can also peruse essays, interviews, and podcasts.

Praise for The Grace of Kings

    “By turns opulent, gritty, and inventive, GRACE OF KINGS gives epic fantasy a much-needed breath of fresh air.”

    Saladin Ahmed

    “Ken Liu is a genius.”

    Elizabeth Bear

    “Rich in detail, packed with action, and inventive in its blending of epic traditions, Ken Liu’s The Grace of Kings is an absolute pleasure to read.”

    Kate Elliott

    “Ken Liu wrote the Wuxia version of Game of Thrones. The scope is breathtaking. The story is epic. This book kicks major ass!”

    Wes Chu

    “A modern and smart take on a classical fantasy epic.”

    Bruce Schneier

    “An instant classic. Ken Liu shows that he is more than a master of the short form. This is a debut novel to be reckoned with. Poetry on every page.”

    Hugh Howey

Publisher’s Description:

    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.

    Fans of intrigue, intimate plots, and action will find a new series to embrace in the Dandelion Dynasty.


    The Grace of Kings was intended to be read with a map by your side. The map is not merely an “extra” to the book, but integral to it. I made my own map for the book before even writing it, and based on it, Saga generously commissioned a professional map from Robert Lazzaretti. Depending on your ebook reader, you may find the map that came with your purchase hard to read. Thus, I’ve made both maps available here so that you can enjoy the book as it was meant to be experienced.

    My Map
    (north = top)
    Map by Robert Lazzaretti for Saga
    (north = right)

List of Major Characters

For audiobook listeners, it may be helpful to have the list of major characters around as reference. I’ve reproduced the one from the print version below.

The Chrysanthemum and the Dandelion
Kuni Garu:

a boy who prefers play to study; the leader of a street gang; and much more.

Mata Zyndu:

a boy noble in stature and spirit; last son of the Zyndu Clan.
Kuni’s Retinue
Jia Matiza:

the daughter of a rancher; a skilled herbalist; Kuni’s wife.

Cogo Yelu:

a clerk in Zudi’s city government; Kuni’s friend in “high places.”

Luan Zya:

scion of a noble family in Haan; adventurer among the people of Tan Adü.

Gin Mazoti:

an orphan on the streets of Dimushi; seeker of fortune during the rebellion.

Rin Coda:

childhood friend of Kuni.

Mün Çakri:

a butcher; one of Kuni’s fiercest warriors.

Than Carucono:

an old stable master in Zudi.

Lady Risana:

an illusionist and accomplished musician.

Dafiro Miro:

“Daf”; one of the first rebels under Huno Krima; brother of Ratho Miro.


Jia’s housekeeper.
Mata’s Retinue
Phin Zyndu:

Mata’s uncle; his tutor and surrogate parent.

Torulu Pering:

an old scholar; Mata’s adviser.

Théca Kimo:

a rebel also from Tunoa.

Lady Mira:

an embroiderer and songstress from Tunoa; the only woman who understands Mata.

Ratho Miro:

“Rat”; one of the first rebels under Huno Krima; brother of Dafiro Miro.
The Xana Empire

First Emperor of the Seven Islands of Dara; named Réon when he was King of Xana.


Second Emperor of the Seven Islands of Dara.

Goran Pira:

Chatelain of Xana; childhood friend of King Réon.

Lügo Crupo:

Regent of Xana; a great scholar and calligrapher.

Tanno Namen:

revered General of Xana.

Kindo Marana:

the empire’s chief tax collector.
The Tiro Kings of the Six States
Princess Kikomi and King Ponadomu of Amu:

the jewel of Arulugi and her granduncle.

King Thufi of Cocru:

once a shepherd; urges the Tiro kings to unite.

King Shilué of Faça:

ambitious but careful of self-preservation; interferes with Rima.

King Dalo of Gan:

oversees the wealthiest realm of the Six States.

King Cosugi of Haan:

an old king who may have lost his appetite for risk.

King Jizu of Rima:

a young prince who grew up as a fisherman.
The Rebellion
Huno Krima:

leader of the first rebels against Xana.

Zopa Shigin:

companion of Huno; leader of the first rebels against Xana.
The Gods of Dara

patron of Xana; Lord of the Air; god of wind, flight, and birds; his pawi is the Mingén falcon; favors a white traveling cloak.


patron of Amu; youngest of the gods; goddess of agriculture, beauty, and fresh water; her pawi is the golden carp.

Kana and Rapa:

twin patrons of Cocru; Kana is the goddess of fire, ash, cremation, and death; Rapa is the goddess of ice, snow, glaciers, and sleep; their pawi are twin ravens: one black, one white.


patron of Faça; Divine Healer; his pawi is the dove.


patron of Gan; unpredictable, chaotic, delighting in chance; god of sea currents, tsunamis, and sunken treasures; his pawi is the shark.


patron of Haan; god of fisherman, divination, mathematics, and knowledge; his pawi is the sea turtle.


patron of Rima; god of war, the hunt, and the forge; his pawi is the wolf.

Overseas Editions

  • UK and the Commonwealth: Head of Zeus is my English publisher outside North America. I love what they’ve done with the book. The hardcover and export editions are all gorgeous.
  • Chinese: Dook Books will be publishing the Chinese edition in 2017, translated by Meizi Wang.
  • Japanese: Hayakawa published the Japanese edition of The Grace of Kings in two volumes: (蒲公英王朝記 巻ノ一: 諸王の誉れ and 蒲公英王朝記 巻ノ二: 囚われの王狼) in April and June 2016, translated by Yoshimichi Furusawa.
  • Spanish: Alianza Runas published the Spanish edition, La dinastía del diente de león: La gracia de los reyes, in June 2016, translated by Francisco Muñoz de Bustillo. The second book, El muro de las tormentas, also translated by Francisco Muñoz de Bustillo, was published on March 2, 2017.
  • German: Droemer Knaur published the German edition, Die Schwerter von Dara – Seidenkrieger, translated by Katharina Naumann, in September 2016.
  • Russian: ACT published the Russian edition, Королевские милости, in September 2016.
  • Polish: Sine Qua Non Romanski published the Polish edition,
    Królowie Dary (Pod sztandarem Dzikiego Kwiatu, #1), translated by Agnieszka Brodzik, on April 27, 2016. The second book, Ściana Burz, also translated by Agnieszka Brodzik, was published on April 12, 2017.

  • Czech: Host will be publishing the Czech edition, translated by Milan Pohl (more details TBA).
  • Turkish: İthaki Yayınları published the Turkish edition. Kralların Merhameti, translated by Can Erhan Kızmaz, on March 4, 2016.
  • French: Univers Poche will be publishing the French edition (more details TBA).

Order at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or other fine bookstores.