This is a really good story with interesting characters. It gives an insight into what people must have felt when faced with the news that the Mongols..Show More » were coming. I have to take two stars off for the way the story just stops in the middle. It's not really even a cliff hanger, no one climbed a cliff, they were just telling the story and stopped. I think marketing is getting in the way of art here. I'll by the second book because I have faith in the writers and like the production but it's not a strong faith. I'll let you know.
Many reviews of Book I of "The Mongoliad" were lukewarm at best. I like these stories more than some readers seem to, but agree that some of the comp..Show More »laints are valid and apply to this Book 2.
Complaint 1: variations on the theme of "rambling," "choppy," "no ending." All true. The books move between different characters and storylines and jump from one cliffhanger to another without a lot of closure. The first book ends abruptly, and the second book picks up with two new characters in a totally new location and storyline (Rome in the aftermath of Pope Gregory IX's death). But the Book I storylines do return (we DO find out what happened beyond the red veil) and I remain intrigued, even though I suspect some details got dropped along the way.
Complaint 2: "No characterization." Somewhat agree, but it doesn't bother me in this action-packed adventure. I agree there is no deep backstory for most of the characters, and there are so many characters (often with unfamiliar names) that it's easy to get them confused. I found the Mongol characters--the Khan and his entourage in the Mongolian capital--to be more fleshed out than the Europeans.
Complaint 3: "Too much detailed description of fighting." Somewhat agree. Medieval ninjas. But the authors are upfront about the fact that an interest in medieval fighting styles got them into the story in the first place.
Complaint 4, "book by committee." I disagree, I think the voice is consistent throughout.
Complaint 5. "Boring, too much history, hard to follow the history." This is where I'm on a different page. My interest in and knowledge of history has been spurred and enhanced by novels such as this one. I was relatively unfamiliar with this particular era and set of events beforehand. I was fascinated by the events described in the book, which inspired me to do a fair amount of outside reading. I learned a lot.
There is conversation you can read on Amazon between George R. R. Martin ("Game of Thrones" guy, just in case you didn't know) and Bernard Cornwell, author of many historical novels include the "Sharpe's Rifles" series about the Napoleonic Wars. They talk about (1) the close kinship of epic fantasy and historical fiction and (2) the way books and characters seem to "drive" themselves, so that an author him/herself is often caught by surprise by the direction a storyline or character takes. I think "The Mongoliad" is a case in point for both of these assertions.