The Art of Prophecy

Del Rey: Ballantine. (The War Arts Saga, Bk. 1). Aug. 2022. 544p. ISBN 9780593237632. $28.99. FANTASY
Magic, martial arts, prophecy, and fallacy all contribute to one young man’s attempt to rebuild his life’s worth. Wen Jian has known his entire young life that he is the Hero of Prophecy, foretold to defeat the Eternal Khan and save the kingdom. Every person around him has told him that it was his destiny to be the greatest warrior to the Enlightened States, to live at the Celestial Palace, and be trained and celebrated by the greatest masters. Except Jian has never won a battle—the prophecy was wrong, and he is sentenced to death. After being saved by a former magical grandmaster, Jian finds himself on a new journey, one that will be the opposite of the indulged and opulent life he had, but which could actually lead him to be the hero his realm needs.
VERDICT Chu’s (The Fall of Io) wry prose and characters are a delightful counterpoint to the physical and emotional demands undertaken by Jian and his allies, while the subplots build a vast panoramic view of this incredible world in the first of a new series.
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