Top critical review
Good but disappointing.
on 20 August 2012
With such an all star cast of writers, I was expecting something sensational. Perhaps I was expecting too much. It is good, certainly. The action sequences are exciting, the historical detail is fascinating, the characters well developed, and the central premise (stop the Mongol invasion by killing the Khan) intriguing.
Yet somehow, it doesn't come together as well as it might. The combat scenes are good, but the POV jumps around so much that they appear disjointed. The characters are detailed, but there are a lot of them. The multiple plot strands are well woven, but it is difficult at times to keep track of them all. Moreover, though its supposed to be an alternative history, you'd have to be an expert to spot the alternative bits. According to the synopsis, there's supposed to be a strand of the story that links it to the present, but that disappointingly fails to appear.
So, though on the whole I enjoyed it, it was hard work at times, and to me failed to add that magical touch of inspiration, that sense of wonder, which I was looking for. This volume ends with a cliffhanger - actually, given the several plot strands, multiple cliffhangers! - which is frustrating, but acceptable given that there's another volume. The trouble is, I'm not sure that it's captured my attention sufficiently to bother with another volume. We'll see.