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2nd Prequel Volume to the original Chung Kuo
on 11 November 2011
Readers should be aware that the 2 previous reviews are for The Middle Kingdom, not Daylight On Iron Mountain. This book, DOIM, is the 2nd prequel volume to the original Chung Kuo epic, the 1st being Son of Heaven. David Wingrove has heavily revised the multi-threaded Chung Kuo story and each of the original 8 books will be published as two, making 16 from the original series plus the 2 prequels and 2 expansions/sequels, totalling 20 books in all. Yet for some reason, Amazon has decided to append 10-year old reviews onto the entry for the wrong book.
So, to the book itself. After the elegy for a lost world that was the overarching theme of book 1, Son of Heaven, DOIM shows us much more of the ruthless Han empire and its sociopathic leader, Tsao Chun. Wingrove's strengths are many, from the detail of character to the grand sweep of nations locked in struggle, all depicted through a dramatic unfolding that does not let go. Highly recommended, especially in light of current global events.