The Mongoliad: Book One

Title: The Mongoliad: Book One
Authors: Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey, Cooper Moo, E.D. deBirmingham
Date of Pub: April 2012, 47North

“It is the spring of 1241. The Mongol takeover of Europe is almost complete. The hordes commanded by the sons of Genghis Khan have swept out of their immense grassy plains and ravaged Russia, Poland, and Hungary … and now seem poised to sweep west to Paris and south to Rome. King and Pope and peasant alike face a bleak future–until a small band of warriors, inheritors of a millennium-old secret tradition, conceive of a desperate plan to kill the Khan of Khans.Their leader, an elder of the order of warrior monks, will lead his elite group on a perilous journey into the East. They will be guided by an elusive and sharp-witted young woman, who believes the master’s plan is insane. But this small band is the West’s last, best hope to turn back the floodtide of the Mongol Empire.” [from Publisher]

The book was originally written as a collaborative online serial on their website: Mongoliad.com. The effort was collected, polished up and put together into book form.

It took me a bit to get into, but once I got going I enjoyed it. I had no idea what to expect and was pleasantly pleased by a historical fiction that paints a vivid picture of life in the time of the Mongol invasions. The story is told from multiple perspectives of the conflict, ranging from the slums of the defeated European lands to the court life of the Mongols. Although there is reference to the mystic and belief in divine intervention, it never decays into a tawdry magic show. The ensemble cast and ensemble authors strike a balance that manages to keep a fairly frenetic pace through out the book.

I look forward to the next volume in September.

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