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This is a really good story with interesting characters. It gives an insight into what people must have felt when faced with the news that the Mongols were coming. I have to take two stars off for the way the story just stops in the middle. It's not really even a cliff hanger, no one climbed a cliff, they were just telling the story and stopped. I think marketing is getting in the way of art here. I'll by the second book because I have faith in the writers and like the production but it's not a strong faith. I'll let you know.
32 of 34 people found this review helpful
Too many cooks spoil the soup. An old and true cliche that fits both the kitchen and writing books. Matter of fact few duets work well, with Preston and Child being the exception.
I am fascinated by all things Chinese. As a Sci-Fi fan and a fantasy fan, I find the Chinese past and present to be the fantasy for real. The are real, but so different from western society. I loved Conn Iggulden's Khan series and was hoping this would be a continuation of that. I am also a big fan of the game Romance of the Three Kingdoms. This seems to fit the time period between Ghengis and Romance.
This started out alright, but by the end I was bored out of my gord. There are some fight scenes in this that take hours to play out. There is no character development. There are no George R. R. Martin surprises.
I hope that one good writer takes up this project, cause I would like to hear the story and then I would really like to see a modern writer rewrite Romance of The Three Kingdoms. There are lots of exciting material that a writer could make a career out of it.
Narrator had a tough job with lots of characters to portray. He did make each one distinct although I doubt that the Khan spoke through his teeth 24 hours a day. The narration which is the biggest part of the book was very lack luster.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful
I was dubious about a book co-written by several authors but I am familiar with and love the work of Neal Stephenson so gave it a shot. There is some merit to the story but not much. It does not have the believable historic credibility that Stephenson's Cryptonomicon has. The characterisation is very weak and leads to no feeling of empathy or interest in the outcome of the characters' actions.
I think I detected Stephenson's hand in the description of some of the fighting - he is masterful when describing the technique of swordplay and the detail of the equipment. Apart from that, it was all pretty hum drum, long-winded and wearisome.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I enjoyed listening to Part 1 of the Mongoliad so much that I immediately started back at the beginning again and listened right through for a second time.
The book describes life under the Mongols, led by the Khan family, and in particular Ogudai Khan, the Khan of Khans (or Coggin), and hints at the problems that born fighters face in maintaining the empire which was won by Gengis Khan. Life is savage, and there are many people who would like to destroy the Mongol empire.
The story has three strands: there's a small group of European knights (the Shield Brethren) , skillful fighters who are heading towards Karakoram to kill Ogudai Khan, and on the way they must evade or fight Mongol warriors and other Christians, and make alliances with other individuals and groups. There's a pair of fighters who are employed to amuse another Mongol chief but who are considering changing sides to kill him, and there is the household of Ogudai Khan at Karakoram. He is continually drunk and losing his grip on reality, because he longs for the simple life on the open plains rather than managing a retinue of sycophants, but his behaviour is losing him the respect of all who know him. Ogudai's brother has sent a young warrior (Gansuk) to Karakoram with instructions to limit the Coggin's drinking; he is being schooled in the ways of life at court by a pretty Chinese slave, who would like to escape but is worried about what would happen to Gansuk. Each of these strands is telling an interesting story, but all the characters are still in the middle of their exploits, none of them has come to a point of conclusion or achievement when the book suddenly ends, so the reader is left with an enormous cliff-hanger!
The narrator is very good at putting different voices to the many characters, and this helps to add colour to the narrative.
I'm very much looking forward to the next parts of the trilogy, and hope it won't be too long a wait.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
I recommend this book as a great read, but the Audible narration is over-acted.
How could the performance have been better?
Please, let the characters speak for themselves, they don't need raspy, whispery, or sinister voices. Let the writer speak through the writing. Your job is to be transparent; you get in the way.
This is a committee book. the extraordinary talents of the individual authors have been shaved off and now we are left with an average that is not as good as the individuals.
Sorry, This book is compromised. It is an epic but it jest doesnt do it for me..