The Art of Prophecy
A “superb fantasy saga” (Helene Wecker) of martial arts and magic, about what happens when a prophesied hero is not the chosen one after all—but has to work with a band of unlikely allies to save the kingdom anyway, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lives of Tao
“An ambitious and touching exploration of disillusionment in faith, tradition, and family—a glorious reinvention of fantasy and wuxia tropes.”—Naomi Novik, New York Times bestselling author of A Deadly Education
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Gizmodo, Kirkus Reviews, The Quill to Live
So many stories begin the same way: With a prophecy. A chosen one. And the inevitable quest to slay a villain, save the kingdom, and fulfill a grand destiny.
But this is not that kind of story.
It does begin with a prophecy: A child will rise to defeat the Eternal Khan, a cruel immortal god-king, and save the kingdom.
And that prophecy did anoint a hero, Jian, raised since birth in luxury and splendor, and celebrated before he has won a single battle.
But that’s when the story hits its first twist: The prophecy is wrong.
What follows is a story more wondrous than any prophecy could foresee, and with many unexpected heroes: Taishi, an older woman who is the greatest grandmaster of magical martial arts in the kingdom but who thought her adventuring days were all behind her; Sali, a straitlaced warrior who learns the rules may no longer apply when the leader to whom she pledged her life is gone; and Qisami, a chaotic assassin who takes a little too much pleasure in the kill.
And Jian himself, who has to find a way to become what he no longer believes he can be—a hero after all.
Bestseller Chu (The Lives of Tao) opens his ambitious War Arts Saga series with one-armed, aging Ling Taishi, the "greatest war arts master of her generation," taking on a new student, Wen Jian. Jian is the Chosen One, prophesied to defeat the Eternal Kahn, immortal god-king of the Katuia Hordes, and Taishi offers to prepare him for this task just in time to learn that the Kahn is already dead. Taishi, desperate not to repeat the failures that lead to her son's death, hides Jian in a war arts school while she travels across the Enlightened States to discover why the prophecy fell through. Though Act I seems like by-the-numbers wuxia built on the tired trope of an unqualified man unbelievably surpassing a skilled woman at her life's work, things pick up as the focus shifts from bland hero Jian onto a number of fascinating female characters, including two who want to kill him: Salminde "Sali" the Viperstrike of the Katuia, who seeks both her missing sister and the reincarnation of the Khan; and the mercurial Maza Qisami, an expert assassin known as a shadowkill. The epic scope of the worldbuilding, along with the sheer number of fight scenes, will delight Chu's fans.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
The story revolves around a young man, Jian, who has been raised as the “chosen one” of his religion. Upon closer inspection by a great warrior, Taishi, it seems his training is lacking and she aims to correct that.
Things don’t go as planned. The story follows, Jian, Taishi, and some who either don’t believe he is the chosen one or that the world doesn’t need one. The world the story is set in is in the Orient and heavily connected to the martial arts and magic. I ,personally, found the story exciting. Had life not intruded, I would have finished this more quickly. Definitely recommend. Happy reading! Thanks
Not much of much, will not be buying any more from this series