Ken Liu released his debut novel in 2015: The Grace of Kings, an epic silkpunk novel that kicked off what he’d projected as a trilogy: The Dandelion Dynasty. He followed that novel up a year later with The Wall of Storms, and since then, has been working on a third entry in the series.
That entry has yet to materialize, and in a newsletter to fans today, he explained why: “I wrote and wrote.” The final installment grew to the point where his publisher realized that the final book couldn’t be released as a single volume, and will instead release it as two next year.
The final two installments of the series will be called The Veiled Throne and Speaking Bones. Liu says that the novel is currently in copyedits, and will be “a single narrative cleaved right down the middle, to be published months apart.”
Liu noted that after finishing the first two novels, he ran into problems:
The world had changed drastically, and I had become a different writer. I had learned much about the pain of grief and the joy of new life. I had lost and then renewed my faith in the power of story as my people, the people of the United States, fought over what it meant to be an American and the direction of our ship of state.
As the country goes through a period of “self-examination”, he says, “my story could not help but become part of that renewing of our national mythology, that quest, undertaken by every generation, to redefine who gets to tell the American story and what that story is.”
You can read the rest of the entry over on his newsletter, in which he also provides some additional updates about an AI writing project, and some updates on some of the other stories that he published in the last year.