32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Fantasy or Historical Drama.,
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This review is from: The Mongoliad: Book One (The Foreworld Saga) (The Mongoliad Cycle) (Kindle Edition)
I must say that I loved this and it went past really quickly for me - in fact I have already pre-ordered the next part of this Saga. The only thing that was slightly disappointing was the abrupt ending, which may have been the result of the collaboration, but didn't seem like a natural break.
Given the nature of the writers' past output, I was expecting more fantasy elements - but this is rooted in detailed historical fact and this is obviously one reason for having so many writers involved - to tie down all the historical details of the period and get this right. I can also see how there are two contrasting and possibly contradictory "voices" at work in this.
So firstly we have the small party of Christian Knights who would usually be the "heroes" in such dramas - but we see them from the point of view of an outsider - Cnan, who is a half-caste messenger and guide - so we see all their faults and oddities through her eyes; although we do end up siding with them against the horrors inflicted by the Mongol horde. However, simultaneously, we follow Gansukh, a young Mongol acolyte entering the Khan's court and learning about it from an attractive Chinese woman, with whom he becomes enamoured. We gain sympathy for him and his teachers throughout the narrative.
This first part of the saga, builds up detailed pictures of all the characters involved and while there is a certain amount of action, we are mainly learning their backstory and understanding the world in which they live. It really feels like you are "immersed" in another world. There are hints of fantasy - but the surprising thing is that these are rooted in the Christian tradition. Percival is visited by the Virgin Mary and gains visions and superhuman strength from his contact - but the most interesting aspect of this is that we see this all from Cnan's point of view - as something unbelievable and "fantastic".
The novelty of this series therefore is of differing points of view about historical and religious events that we may know vaguely from history lessons, but don't know in the detail and depth of these participants. The horror and strangeness of the period is really brought to life. I would recommend this highly to those who like detailed and well-drawn series that take their time and develop across several volumes. I can't wait to read more.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Oct 2012, 11:45:11 BST
Last edited by the author on 3 Oct 2012, 11:45:38 BST
Jules Chervis says:
That is a useful review - if you know anything about the author in question - happily I do.
In reply to an earlier post on 3 Oct 2012, 11:50:35 BST
The product page on Amazon tells you all about the nature of the collaborative authorship - so I felt it was unnecessary to repeat all that.
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