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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
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
What disappointed you about The Mongoliad?
I think anyone who purchased this book should get the next part free, if they want. It didn't come to any conclusion at ALL. I mean did they just run out of paper or was it only suppose to be so many pages long. I'm am used to fantasy names , but this book was extremely hard to follow. Don't waste your time.
Has The Mongoliad turned you off from other books in this genre?
I have listen to other books by multible aurthors (like the Choplin Manuscript = excellent) but this one just did not click.
What three words best describe Luke Daniels’s voice?
I like Luke Daniel's voice but he can't do anything for a bad story to begin with.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
15 of 17 people found this review helpful