Hello! Today is the US release day for The Veiled Throne, the penultimate entry in the Dandelion Dynasty. The UK release happened last month. Here are the gorgeous covers.
There’s also the audio book, narrated once more by the amazing Michael Kramer.
Thank you so much for going with me on this journey through Dara. Just six more months for the conclusion in Speaking Bones!
Extras — Behinds the Scenes on The Wall of Storms
I have one more treat for you. Goodreads allows authors to post commentary on the most-highlighted passages from their books (as indicated by Kindle readers who choose to share their highlights). It’s a little like those filmmaker DVD commentary tracks, which I’ve always liked. I previously did this for passages from The Grace of Kings, and now I’ve done the same for The Wall of Storms. It’s a great way to remember your thoughts on the second book before going into the third entry.
As I mentioned in the comments to passages from The Grace of Kings, The Wall of Storms is what I consider to be the start to the series proper (with TGOK serving as a prequel). In TGOK, I was largely concerned with laying the foundations of the silkpunk aesthetic and setting up a pre-modern society on the cusp of the leap into modernity. Why did I do this? Well, a driving impetus behind this series is my desire to challenge and interrogate the conventional narrative of modernity, which is often modeled on a particular telling of the story of my country, the US of A. The Story of America is most often told using allusions to “Western” models such as Rome and Britain (just think of how many aspects of American politics and national culture evoke images of America as a “New Rome”). But when you are constrained to one set of allusions, there’s a limit how much you can push readers to see something new in a familiar tale or, even bolder, to change the narrative.
Something radical had to be done. I decided to depart from the “New Rome” model and instead evoke East Asian models in this fantasy epic recasting of the Story of America — and by extension, the narrative of modernity. Thus, I borrowed much of the plot of TGOK from the Chu-Han Contention, as interpreted by the historian Sima Qian, and built up a vocabulary of non-Western political allusions and precedents that could then be drawn on in the re-imagining of the epic of modernity.
I expect this to be the last newsletter of 2021. May you have a restful and joyous holiday season, and I’ll see you next year.