I really enjoyed Wingrove's first book Son of Heaven (Chung Kuo)
and have eagerly awaited the next instalment in what is set to be a 20 book series.
Unlike the previous book, where the world was seen mainly through the eyes of Jake Reed and the Han general Jiang Lee, the story becomes far more multi-threaded as we get an insight into the power emanating from the "world leader" and so-called Son of Heaven Tsao Ch'un and his Seven Dragons, the administrators of his will in his sovereignty over the whole planet (and Mars too). We do catchup with Jake and Jiang Lee, and also find out about how their families have fared as life has changed from the old world to the new.
The world is now corrupt and divisive, with few standing up for the laws of the new world as greed and power have become central currencies. Whilst the story is multi-threaded, following the many lives in the new world of Chung Kuo, this theme is central to the premise of the book. And as each story comes together, we see views polarised as to who if fighting to maintain the status quo, and who is fighting to overturn it.
The dream of a utopian world ruled by the Han is on a knife edge...
Wingrove moves between characters and scenes quickly as he brings the threads together. Occasionally I got lost as to who was who as there are a number of characters to keep track of, and often the author will cut in from one thread to another with little introduction. Consult the appendices if you get really lost, but diligent and careful reading will reward you with a rich story of politics, intrigue, revenge, power, greed and corruption - as well as offering hope that not everyone is out for themselves.
Loved it. Couldn't put it down and can't wait for book three...