The Wall of Storms
By Ken Liu
Head of Zeus

If you are an English-reading fan of Liu Cixin’s extraordinary science-fiction trilogy, The Three-Body Problem , you may have noted Ken Liu’s name as the translator. It turns out adapting China’s greatest modern work of speculative fantasy is only the start of Liu’s talents. He has also been a tax attorney, programmer, short-story writer, editor and fully-fledged novelist. The Wall of Storms is the second part of his own epic series, The Dandelion Dynasty. Liu describes it as the founding work of his self-proclaimed genre, silkpunk, which views the better-known tropes of steampunk through traditional East Asian narrative and history. His island kingdom of Dara is filled with sailboats, submarines and flying machines made of bamboo and silk. Its ruler, the former bandit Kuni Garu (now Emperor Ragin), keeps a watchful eye on the East. The Daran imagination is shaped by philosophers and legends of gods and monsters most Chinese readers will recognise. Liu’s latest plot is driven by a new generation: Garu’s grown children, who must face a coming invasion. Stealing the show is his enigmatic daughter, Thera, who is already being viewed as a mythological heroine. Great stuff, but read The Grace of Kings first.