The simplest way to describe the Dandelion Dynasty according to the wonderful word sculptor Ken Liu (paraphrased):
It’s an epic fantasy in which the heroes are engineers, not wizards. The story is basically about two kinds of engineering: mechanical and political i.e. how to craft mechanical solutions to problems and to also build better institutions.
My star rating for each of the books in the series:
The Grace of Kings ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Wall of Storms⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Veiled Throne ⭐⭐⭐
Speaking Bones ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Prior to commencing the series I advise you to manage your expectations on the style of the narrative, the characters truly walk their own path (true to their nature) while the institutions do their best to dictate the people.
While you turn the pages of political and engineering machinations, the series is also filled with stories within stories of myths, legends, in-world philosophical teachings, mind blowing machinery, and battle scenarios.
I especially appreciated the political intrigue and how each generation of characters conceived historical works differently to adapt with the times and motives of the constitution. Throughout the story, I felt like I was seated whilst watching the foundation and establishment of different monarchies leading the citizens of Dara to their version of a better future.
The characters of the Dandelion Dynasty are enriched with human traits of all kinds: making decisions that angered, saddened and at times even frustrated me. The series needs to be consumed as a whole, requiring your whole attention as I believe it to be amazingly academic without being preachy.
The people of Dara craft their own story and we as readers need to take a back seat without confining them to our preconceived notions.