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Many reviews of Book I of "The Mongoliad" were lukewarm at best. I like these stories more than some readers seem to, but agree that some of the complaints are valid and apply to this Book 2.
Complaint 1: variations on the theme of "rambling," "choppy," "no ending." All true. The books move between different characters and storylines and jump from one cliffhanger to another without a lot of closure. The first book ends abruptly, and the second book picks up with two new characters in a totally new location and storyline (Rome in the aftermath of Pope Gregory IX's death). But the Book I storylines do return (we DO find out what happened beyond the red veil) and I remain intrigued, even though I suspect some details got dropped along the way.
Complaint 2: "No characterization." Somewhat agree, but it doesn't bother me in this action-packed adventure. I agree there is no deep backstory for most of the characters, and there are so many characters (often with unfamiliar names) that it's easy to get them confused. I found the Mongol characters--the Khan and his entourage in the Mongolian capital--to be more fleshed out than the Europeans.
Complaint 3: "Too much detailed description of fighting." Somewhat agree. Medieval ninjas. But the authors are upfront about the fact that an interest in medieval fighting styles got them into the story in the first place.
Complaint 4, "book by committee." I disagree, I think the voice is consistent throughout.
Complaint 5. "Boring, too much history, hard to follow the history." This is where I'm on a different page. My interest in and knowledge of history has been spurred and enhanced by novels such as this one. I was relatively unfamiliar with this particular era and set of events beforehand. I was fascinated by the events described in the book, which inspired me to do a fair amount of outside reading. I learned a lot.
There is conversation you can read on Amazon between George R. R. Martin ("Game of Thrones" guy, just in case you didn't know) and Bernard Cornwell, author of many historical novels include the "Sharpe's Rifles" series about the Napoleonic Wars. They talk about (1) the close kinship of epic fantasy and historical fiction and (2) the way books and characters seem to "drive" themselves, so that an author him/herself is often caught by surprise by the direction a storyline or character takes. I think "The Mongoliad" is a case in point for both of these assertions.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful
If you've read part 1, then get ready to have very little of the characters you've grown attached to. A new plot line involving the Pope, a deranged priest, and Vatican shenanigans dominates this rather ill-paced sequel. Since I've already spent this much time on it, I'm somewhat obliged to listen to part 3, which I'm hoping has a bit more oomph to it.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
This is as great as the first book, looking forward to the next book :-)
Would you consider the audio edition of The Mongoliad: The Foreworld Saga, Book 2 to be better than the print version?
Would you be willing to try another one of Luke Daniels’s performances?
Any additional comments?
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 tallents 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 comprimised.