In the late 19th century, a mysterious group of English martial arts aficionados provided Sir Richard F. Burton, well-known expert on exotic languages and historical swordsmanship, a collection of long-lost manuscripts to translate. Burton’s work was subsequently misplaced, only to be discovered by a team of amateur archaeologists in the ruins of a mansion in Treiste.
From Burton's translations and the original source material, the epic tale of The Mongoliad was recreated. The story chronicles the journey of a small band of warriors and mystics as they fight to save Europe from the Mongol invasion of the thirteenth century. It also exposes the secret workings of powerful clandestine societies that have been driving world events for millennia.
This fascinating and enthralling first novel in The Mongoliad trilogy fuses historical events with a gripping fictional narrative. Co-written by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, E. D. deBirmingham, Mark Teppo, Joseph Brassey, Erik Bear, and Cooper Moo, The Mongoliad: Book One is an unforgettable epic.
©2012 Greg Bear, Neal Stephenson, E. D. deBirmingham, Mark Teppo, Joseph Brassey, Erik Bear, and Cooper Moo (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
maybe, once they finish the story.
This book just stops abruptly and tells us that it is the end of Book 1.
The tale might be worth a listen. It seems to be a good start. But this is not a complete "Book".
Genre fiction, trashy to literary--mystery, action, sci fi, fantasy, and, yes, even romance. Also history. Listener reviews help a lot!
???The Mongoliad??? came as a surprise to me. Originating as a ???cloud??? collaboration from a team of noted authors, this alternate history saga of ???The Foreworld??? has apparently been going on in multimedia format for a while (see the mongoliad website). But this book, the first of a trilogy (a trilogy that is apparently already close to complete, which is always a good thing), stands alone as a novel. Describing the newly published book in an Amazon interview, coauthor Mark Teppo says that ???the three volumes of The Mongoliad have been polished, re-structured, and re-edited into the definitive edition of the narrative ??? [that] is the authors' preferred text. ??? We're old school that way. It's done when you put it on the shelf.??? Good news for readers everywhere!
The prose style of this adventure epic combines history-based fiction with the world-building of fantasy and science fiction, with the wordsmithing genius of Neal Stephenson definitely an influence. The first couple of chapters were a little muddled, but once I got the sense and rhythm of the story, the many characters and their strange names fell into place and it became amazingly easy to follow. Feeling the lack of maps, I confess I scanned the Wikipedia entries on the ???Mongol invasion of Europe??? and ???Mongolian Empire??? to gain some context, and found them useful. It???s a fascinating and fast-moving tale, if gruesome and full of cruelty. The Mongols were not kind to the people they conquered or to the cities they overran, usually wiping out both with chilling completeness. They left few survivors in their wake, and the fact that western and Mediterranean Europe (including France, Spain, Italy, the Low Countries and even the British Isles) were spared their onslaught is, I suspect, going to be a big piece of the mosaic this trilogy will create.
Regarding the narration, as I think most people who have listened to the ???Iron Druid??? books will agree, Luke Daniels can read to me anytime.
A while back I was listening to a podcast (I wish I could remember which one) where they were interviewing Neal Stephenson. Neal’s been one of my favorite authors since I read Snow Crash almost twenty years ago. The main material in the podcast was over his then most recent work Anathem, but what stuck out to me at the time was his interest in ancient weapons and fighting techniques. He later got together with several (many, if truth be told) authors with a similar fascination. They decided to work on a collaborative effort which involved a realistic world where many of these forgotten martial arts could be put on display in word form. Thus was birthed the first book in the Foreworld Saga: The Mongoliad.
I’ll list all the authors since I’m sure they all want credit: Erik Bear, Greg Bear, Joseph Brassey, E. D. deBirmingham, Cooper Moo, Neal Stephenson, and Mark Teppo. They combine to tell the fairly straightforward tale in 13th century Europe and Asia. There are dual storylines in play – one in Asia where a young warrior is trying to save the Mongolian Empire from courtly corruption and one in Europe following a band of knights on their quest to kill the Khan of Khans. The tales thread back and forth throughout the book with zero overlap and without much thought to pacing. There is however quite a bit of – I’m sure fairly historical – fighting and war-making. Unfortunately all the martial prowess cannot make up for the lack of actual plot.
The book started off slow, but picked up with some early character development. This however played out into a story that went nowhere. Half of this book is supposed to be a knightly quest, yet the heroes never went anywhere significant. The other half is supposed to deal with courtly machinations and intrigue, but only got as far as some thin innuendo. This book did have some interesting characters and seemed to set up some clever plot ideas, but ultimately the story just stops without anything coming to fruition. I’m not sure if this had to do with the multiplicity of authors or the foreknowledge of sequels to come, but typically there is some payoff at the end of a volume that makes you want to follow up. This book provided none. I have some curiosity to see what becomes of some of the characters, but probably not enough to take the time to find out.
I have looked at the Foreworld website, and in the past couple of years, they have put out many sequels and “side-quest” stories. There must be some depth to the series, I just wish this talented group of authors could have done a better job of introducing the world to the reader. Read this only if you have time to spare.
3.5 stars out of 10
I like a series but this book could have done more than just paint the foundation for the rest. Felt hollow, like looking a tubes of paint and a blank canvas.
Put more story in it.
Narrator was good.
What a brilliant, engaging story! Such an involved, intricate plot and the characters are just fabulous. I bought the next book as soon as I finished this one and pre-ordered the third straight after that. Just a fantastic book, I can't wait for the third!
Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring. A circle of friends on an impossible mission.
Great character voices.
Probably not - too long.
My taste vary. I love a good, blood stained horror, but also a well written kids story. Lots of Sci-Fi, but also Hist. Fiction. No boring!!!
Too many cooks spoil the soup. An old and true cliche that fits both the kitchen and writing books. Matter of fact few duets work well, with Preston and Child being the exception.
I am fascinated by all things Chinese. As a Sci-Fi fan and a fantasy fan, I find the Chinese past and present to be the fantasy for real. The are real, but so different from western society. I loved Conn Iggulden's Khan series and was hoping this would be a continuation of that. I am also a big fan of the game Romance of the Three Kingdoms. This seems to fit the time period between Ghengis and Romance.
This started out alright, but by the end I was bored out of my gord. There are some fight scenes in this that take hours to play out. There is no character development. There are no George R. R. Martin surprises.
I hope that one good writer takes up this project, cause I would like to hear the story and then I would really like to see a modern writer rewrite Romance of The Three Kingdoms. There are lots of exciting material that a writer could make a career out of it.
Narrator had a tough job with lots of characters to portray. He did make each one distinct although I doubt that the Khan spoke through his teeth 24 hours a day. The narration which is the biggest part of the book was very lack luster.
This is not literature, this is a supplemental reading to a computer game. On a brighter side, there are 'binders' and they are 'full of women.'
Wow, grabs you from the start and keeps hold of you. I honestly couldn't stop listening.
The book is fun and informative, great characters and break-neck pace. You won't be sorry you listened,
An epic adventure and somewhat unexpected. I look forward to reading and hearing more., I chose this book because Greg Bear was one of the authors and I love his writing.
"The Mongoliad Trilogy part 1"
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.
"Not the gripping epic I was led to believe!"
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.
"Very good!! Highly recommended!!"
I enjoyed every moment of it, looking forward to listening to the next book. Thanks.
Interesting lifestyle saga about the Mongoloids. Historical fiction. Starts to fill in a details of a forgotten and unrecorded time.
Well woven storyline.
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