Speaking Bones by Ken Liu Book 4 of The Dandelion Dynasty

The final chapter in the Dandelion Dynasty epic is now upon us. One family seperated by land, sea, and a towering Wall of Storms. One war being fought on two continents with the death toll reaching new limits. How will this epic journey conclude? With a brillant and majestic sequence being told by a master storyteller. From beginning to end this final volume puts the whole series on its shoulders only to carry it to the top of the modern fantasy genre. This series is a masterpiece many authors only dream of writting and it was a joy to see unfold every step of the way. This will be a spolier free review but I will be touching events in the previous volumes.

As you will see many times in this story, “all the teeth are now put on the board”, meaning all the chips are in the middle. Thera has lost her tribe, family, and is now on the run from the Lyuuku in a foreign land she now calls home. It will take so much more then her cunning mind to escape the onslaught of trackers. She will make her way to the far north for the winter if she can survive the long nights and bitter cold. Jia is playing the long game when fighting the Lyuuku who have invaded Dara. The ten year truce is about to come to an end and the advisors are growing impatient with the ruler of Dara’s lack of action. Jia seems to be interested in other sins of the flesh but is almost two steps ahead of everyone else, even the son she is holding the Veiled Throne from, Prince Phyro. Phyro has turned himself into a brilliant military mind and is determined to take the fight to the Lyuuku head on. Phyro shows the intelligence, skill, and creativity that would make Mato Zindu and his father Kuni quiver with fear. Sides will clash and the outcome will not be what you expect.

To say that this book will be on my top books read in 2022 would be an understandment. Little seeds and hints that were sprinkled in the previous books will be brought to the forefront in Speaking Bones. If The Veiled Throne was Thera’s story then this book is the story of Jia and Phyro. I never expected these two characters to be the focal point of my attention for almost the entire book. Plots within plots, secrets kept from one another and the land of Dara as a whole, memories, and so much more will be revealed. Speaking Bones is also the story of combining the old world with the new. Traditions being blended for a better future. Tactics and technology being put on full display for the world to see. I was hooked from the very first page and yes I did shed a tear or two by the end.

Very few series have had such an immense amount of emotion toll and exhilaration in such a short time span. You will feel the highs and lows like a splash of cool water on the face or the burning of a hot fire on your hand. This series deals with history, philosophy, family, traditions, war, and so much more than what I can comment on in this review. If you are on the fence about this series, let me be the one to give the desired push. It will be in my top 5 favorite Epic fanatasy series from now on. I have a feeling it ill be in some of yours as well!

Cheers!

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