Reviews

The Art of Prophecy by Wesley Chu

frostbitsky's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging funny tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

I got this book from New York Comic Con 2023. My sister and I were hanging around the Penguin Booth and there was a signing happening. It was almost over and they had a couple of books left so they asked us if we wanted to join the signing. We figured why not? We had a little conversation with Wesley Chu. He asked us who some of our favorite authors are. Between me and my sister we said Pierce Brown, Katherine Arden, Ruta Sepetys, and Deborah Harkness. I think he said he had dinner with Katherine the night before. He then also told us about the War Arts Trilogy. I only remember that that third book coming out has a green cover. (I also noticed in the acknowledgments at the back of the book that Wesley Chu and Pierce Brown share the same editor, Tricia Narwani.)

From the beginning I was captured. I liked the cheeky humor mixed with the action. The action was exciting and engaging throughout. What was really good about it was how realistic the consequences were. The characters' injuries effected their battles and the older warrior, Taishi, had missteps that she had to compensate for and redirect. Taishi is still a Master War Artist and unbeatable, but privately the reader sees her age effecting her fight.

I loved the twist of the Chosen One Prophecy not being fulfilled. What does that mean for Jian and his purpose? I'm looking forward to his journey from a spoiled hero to a Master War Artist. I really started to feel bad for him because his life was a lie. He was manipulated and used by the powers that be.

Sali is the other character that has captured my interest. She broke protocol and tradition, and I want to see the consequences of that decision when it comes to how and if the prophecy will still be fulfilled.

Qisami is my least favorite character in this book because I find her cold and sadistic. She thinks she's funny and I want to knock her teeth out. However, I am in the middle of the second book, The Art of Destiny, and am seeing some character growth. I'll give her the chance to become a better person.

The world building for the different political and religious cultures was well developed.
It was messed up but believable how the Emperors and the Dukes in league with the Tiandi monks twisted religion for political advantages and ignored how the will of the players can alter a prophecy.

It was also disappointing but realistic that the Katuia Shamans sold out their own people for "peace." Their religion is a sham.


The big climatic fight at the end did drag on a bit too long, but I guess that shows the stamina and relentless determination of the War Artists.

I immediately borrowed Book 2 from the library and am in the middle of it now. There will be another review to come soon.

4.5 out of 5 Chosen Ones.

Quotes with spoilers

Page 24 - <b>"Instead of preparing him, teaching him the ways of the masters or war arts, each of you has tried to put your own imprint on him, to possess him and call him your own. Instead of serving the people, you sought glory, not only at the expense of the boy, but at the expense of all Zhuun."</b>

Page 44 - <b>"They were tasked to raise a leader of the Zhuun. Instead they've given us a monkey to put on a show."
It was a slap in the face. To say that his masters were a joke meant that Jian was the punch line.</b>

Page 88 - <b>"As part of our truce, each state agreed to tithe ten percent of our resources and military powers to maintain and protect the Celestial Palace for the Hero of Prophecy, to prepare him to defeat the Katuia Hordes. The boy lives like an emperor in the emperor's former home with a very well-equipped and very expensive standing army protecting him. After fifteen years, all we have to show for our considerable cost is a useless boy who may or may not defeat my ten-year-old daughter in a duel?" </b>

Page 285 - <b>"It is always a choice, young Hampa. Never fight blindly, and never throw your life away." </b>

Page 295 - <b>Taishi understood well that extraordinary feeling of utter loneliness when you were the last of your family lineage. It was one thing to lose a close family member. It was another altogether to be the last. That meant you had no other connections, no more blood to bind you. </b>

Page 301 - <b>"It is more difficult to fight deliberately and at quarter speed than swiftly without control. Once you master fighting slow, fighting fast will be easy."</b>

Page 346 <b>"The oracle did warn that the prophecy did not free the people from responsibility."</b>

Page 499 - <b>In the end she decided to heed the wisdom of her warchief mother: If two of your enemies choose to fight each other, let them.</b>

 

becca1909's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging funny mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

i really liked this, i liked the world and the characters were likeable whilst also being difficult to understand. I wished the time jumps had be more obvious as at times i had no clue how far from page one we were 

letitia_iya's review against another edition

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medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character

3.25

dliterate's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

I do not, and will likely never, understand what a city pod looks like. My brain refuses to compute.

And there ends my issues with this book.

Seriously, I really enjoyed everything about this. The world was new and interesting, the characters were all well-developed and distinct from each other, there was plenty of intrigue and interest built into the world building, and the fights were just cool. 

Having clear character development for several of the characters, on top of all of that, was just the cherry on top.

I started off reading, but ultimately switched over to the audiobook for the majority of the book, and I'm glad I did. Natalie Naudus did a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life.

sharkbait18's review against another edition

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adventurous medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A

3.75

shay_d's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging emotional informative mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

roxymaybe's review against another edition

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4.0

A fun romp full of decent characters and cool fight sequences. A light dusting of background romance without being obnoxious. The audiobook narrator makes a couple interesting choices voicing some of the characters. The plot is fairly simple and easy to follow while painting a picture of an interesting world. Entertaining!

nightstitch96's review against another edition

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adventurous dark funny tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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giggle4amy's review against another edition

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adventurous dark funny inspiring mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

queergoth_reads's review against another edition

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adventurous funny mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

I went into this knowing nothing about it and was quite intimidated but I enjoyed it a lot. It was really fun and the character were great. Bit slow at points but not surprising for such a long book where you have to build the world and get everyone to the right place. Overall a lot of fun and I look forward to getting into the second one.