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  • The Art of Prophecy

  • A Novel
  • By: Wesley Chu
  • Narrated by: Natalie Naudus
  • Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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The Art of Prophecy

By: Wesley Chu
Narrated by: Natalie Naudus
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Summary

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.

©2022 Wesley Chu (P)2022 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

The Art of Prophecy is an ambitious and touching exploration of disillusionment in faith, tradition, and family, and but also unexpectedly funny. I loved following Wesley Chu’s intricate narrative through this sprawling universe full of glorious reinvention of fantasy and wuxia tropes.”—Naomi Novik, New York Times bestselling author of A Deadly Education

“In this superb fantasy saga of tough, old martial-arts masters and inexperienced young heroes, Wesley Chu has given us a richly inventive page-turner that delights on every page. The Art of Prophecy is Wesley Chu at the height of his imaginative powers, and I can’t wait for the next installment!”—Helene Wecker, author of The Golem and the Jinni and The Hidden Palace

“Electrifying, thrilling, and a glorious, romantic ride, The Art of Prophecy is a true delight. Readers won’t be able to put it down.”—Robert Jackson Bennett, author of The Founders Trilogy

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What an amazing book.

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.

©2022 Wesley Chu (P)2022 Random House Audio

I have used the audible description to start this review because I feel it gives more of an accurate description of what the story is actualy about.

You might think this is your tipical story a child is called to fulfil a prophecy and all that stuff, however this is much more than that. Yes it does start with a prophecy and a hero who is called to fulfill it Jian the hero is a teenager who has been raised in splender in the pallace of the former empra however when Taishi the gratest grandmaster of magical martial arts in the kingdom arrives to check on the boy's training she finds a spoielt teenager who is no where near ready to flfill his destany and this is where the first twist in the prophecy occurs as it turns out the prophecy is wrong. This is not a spoiler as we learn this quite early on.

Taishi decides that going forward she needs to continue the boy's training and this is where the real story starts. This is much more than a story about a boy who's called to fulfill a prophecy. It's a story about a number of un lightly hero's Taishi the gratest grandmaster of magical martial arts in the kingdom who thought her adventuring days were over, Sali a straight laced warrior who learns that the rules may not be as important as she first thought now the leader she is pledged to has died, Qisami a shadow killer assassin who takes a bit two 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. It is a story of a war between kingdoms and the 4 characters who are going to be the un lightly saviours.

I love all four of the main Characters in the story. Jian is a boy who has been used and taken advantage of by people who wanted the glory for themselves therefor he's confused and arrigant so when he finds himself betraied by the people he thought had his best interests at heart he has no choice but to rely on Taishi. Jan however does his best to fight the new way of things however gradually we start to see him grow and mature through his new experiences. Taishi is the gratest grandmaster of magical martial arts in the kingdom, despite having a disability she's a complete beast in the ring and is not to be messed with, she's got a sharp tongue but through the story we see the soft heart she has. She is a fantastic character and her scenes were fantastic to read. Sali is a warriour pledged to the eternal con that Jian is destined to diffeet and is very straight laced and honest however when her leader dies she learns the rules may not matter as much. She ends up rebelling against her duty and going on a journey to search for her sister and find the next con. Qisami a shadow killer assassin who takes pleasure in the kil, I have to say her scenes wer my favourite, the quips she used to the people she was after and the way she just calmly went about her business. She was probably my favourite character if I am truly honest despite being eval.

This first story was more getting us introduced to the world and how things work, Taishi and Jian's relationship was not as present in this book as the description might suggest as they spent a large part of the novel apart. It's basicly each characters seperate storyline however they do intersect. I would suspect that the next book we'll start to see more of the four characters exact rolls and how important they will be to the overall series. I did not expect to but I found myself really enjoying this book. The audible reader was someone i'd never had before but she did a really good job of differentiating each character and giveng them there own voice. I've pre-ordered the second book and am looking forward to the next one in the series.

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  • Overall
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Fun!

Only read a few of the author’s previous works and found them ok. This is at a whole different level. A martial arts adventure set in a China that never existed. The stand out character was Taishi, a grumpy elderly martial arts master with only one working arms who spends most the book kicking arse.

Narration was good.

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Great story and great performance

This is the first book I’ve read by this author and was really blown away. I loved the pace and structure. The characters were particularly compelling - especially Taishi and Sali. The narrator was really special and gave such great characterisation to bring the world to life. I’ve literally marked the next release in my diary - I can’t wait!

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Amazing story and amazing narration!

The narrator was phenomenal! And so was the story. Lots of action, just enough philosophy, and characters you can love.

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Superb

While Natalie Naudus is a favourite narrator of mine, of course, she needs the right books too. I loved this one. It started quickly, but then slowed down a little in the middle. However that wasn't a bad thing as it allowed you to take in depth of characters, before it steadily ramped back up in pace. By the last few chapters, I didn't want it to end. Natalie was able to bring it all together with her usual aplomb. Great writing. Great narration.

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Fab Fab Fab 😍🤩🥰

Need I say more? Listen and be dazzled. The story is brilliant and the characters engaging...I cannot wait for the sequel.

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