Review: The Art of Prophecy by Wesley Chu

Category:

Fantasy

Rating:

Introduction:

It has been foretold: A child will rise to defeat the Eternal Khan, a cruel immortal god-king, and save the kingdom.

The hero: Jian, who has been raised since birth in luxury and splendor, celebrated before he has won a single battle.

But the prophecy was wrong.

Because when Taishi, the greatest war artist of her generation, arrives to evaluate the prophesied hero, she finds a spoiled brat unprepared to face his destiny.

But the only force more powerful than fate is Taishi herself. Possessed of an iron will, a sharp tongue—and an unexpectedly soft heart—Taishi will find a way to forge Jian into the weapon and leader he needs to be in order to fulfill his legend.

Review:

The Art of Prophecy by Wesley Chu is yet another book I was hoarding in my TBR list for I don’t know how long. I am so glad I received an ARC from Random House Publishing for the second installment of The War Art Saga series, The Art of Destiny which pushed me to pick this book up at last. Saying I can kick myself for not reading this sooner is an understatement because this book simply blew me away.

The Art of Prophecy is a captivating work that combines elements of humor, military strategies, unexpected plot developments, and, above all, thrilling action. Reading it felt akin to immersing myself in an East Asian martial arts movie, where masterfully choreographed battle scenes featuring skilled warriors, war artists, shadowkills (covert assassins), and legendary heroes unfolded. The book’s world-building is nothing short of extraordinary, vividly depicting the Enlightened States and the Katuia Clans, allowing readers to envision these realms in great detail. It is evident that Wesley Chu, has poured his heart into this work, as he pays homage to various Asian martial arts styles by providing intricate explanations and descriptions that left me feeling privileged to explore them.

Ling Taishi, the central character, a wind whisperer, was depicted with exceptional brilliance. Despite bearing the physical scars of war, she exuded remarkable poise and sophistication. I found great delight in her wry and understated wit, her direct and resolute demeanor, and her unwavering determination.

Masa Quisami is another character I fell in love with. She was so crass, vulgar, brutal and eager to prove herself as a shadowskill and her shadow magic was truly awesome.

Wen Jian was a unique character too, who underwent a profound transformation throughout the narrative. Starting off as a misguided privileged and immature boy, his journey showcased the most poignant character development in the story. I loved how he gradually turned into a sensible young war artist with the help of correct supervision and friends as the story progressed.

Salminde or Sali, a Viperstrike, a character of exquisite craftsmanship, was masterfully portrayed within the narrative. Originating from the Katuia Clan, her presence provided a valuable lens through which readers could gain insight into the alternative side of the story. While other characters predominantly represented the perspectives of the Enlightened States, Sali’s unique background and experiences allowed for a broader understanding of the world within the book, offering a fresh and compelling viewpoint.

Initially, I found myself perplexed by the apparent contradiction of how The Eternal Khan, a character labeled as “eternal,” could be dispatched so effortlessly. However, as I delved deeper into the story and comprehended the significance behind the character’s name, I was genuinely awed. Furthermore, it is a rarity to encounter depictions of war monks in literature, and my fascination with these revered figures has been fueled by the limited exposure I’ve had through select films. Thus, you can imagine my sheer delight when Chu skillfully introduced the Tiandi war monks as integral characters within the narrative. Their presence ignited a profound sense of excitement within me, as it provided a unique opportunity to explore and immerse myself in the captivating world of these revered warriors, fulfilling a long-standing desire.

In conclusion, The Art of Prophecy left an indelible impression as a truly astonishing masterpiece, boasting a captivating ensemble of distinct characters, a meticulously crafted world, and intricately woven plot twists. Its artistic brilliance resonated deeply with me, and as a result, I am fervently eager to embark on the next chapter of this remarkable journey in The Art of Destiny.

Book Cover:

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