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The Mongoliad (The Mongoliad Cycle) Paperback – February 26, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The third and final volume of the Mongoliad saga is nearly as long as the first two volumes combined, but it’s as fast paced and page-flippingly exciting as its two forerunners. For the uninitiated, The Mongoliad—a mammoth epic set in a sort of alternate-reality version of the thirteenth century, around the time of the Mongol invasion of Europe—was originally an online serial. It was restructured and rewritten for its print appearance (which its seven authors, led by Neal Stephenson and Greg Bear, now consider to be the “definitive edition”), and what you get in book form is, in places, substantially different from the serialized version. But the broad strokes are the same: a small group of warrior-monks, the Shield-Brethren, desperately fight to repel the Mongols before the invaders eradicate their way of life. The Mongoliad grew out of its authors’ (particularly Stephenson’s) interest in the history of sword fighting and the Western martial arts, but it’s more than that; it’s also a ripping good alternate-history saga, a story of devotion and determination in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Setting the epic in an alternate version of the thirteenth century allows the authors to step outside of recorded history and let their imaginations run wild, to create characters that could not have existed in the “real world” and relate events that never actually happened. It’s not absolutely necessary to have read volumes one and two, but that would definitely help, as there is an assumed familiarity with the story’s characters and with what has gone before. But there’s plenty of time to pick up the essentials as you go along, even if this is your first trip to the Mongoliad. --David Pitt


“The Mongoliad was inspired in part by the authors' interest in medieval combat techniques, and the meticulously choreographed fight scenes are among the story's greatest highlights. Another band of Shield Brethren, stationed at the Polish village of Hünern, are involved in a plot to overthrow the Mongol general there; the uprising they orchestrate with Japanese and Korean prisoners of war plays out like a dazzling action movie.”
-Shelf Awareness

"…the series is wonderfully crafted…If you're a fan of epic fiction, or historical fiction (which tends to be epic), you'll be doing yourself a disservice by not reading this series. It may soon be remembered as the Wheel of Time of historical fiction."

"The final book in the Mongoliad trilogy is incredible … I am a big fan of the sprawling epic, like Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings, so when my favorite novelist and six other authors got together to write an epic, I was sold…The action is exciting and feels more real than anything I have read before. The characters are all multi-layered and sympathetic, even when they are trying to kill each other. The pacing is perfect. This might be the easiest recommendation I make all year. Go and read The Mongoliad...Five Perfectly Executed Parries out of Five"
-Fanboy Comics
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Learn About the Foreworld Saga
This title is part of the Foreworld Saga, an epic alternate history series that spans continents and centuries. Learn more about the series.

Product Details

  • Series: The Mongoliad Cycle
  • Paperback: 716 pages
  • Publisher: 47North (February 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612182380
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612182384
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (297 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mannerheim on April 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
This review contains plot spoilers.

I picked this up on Amazon Prime figuring it would be fun, well-researched historical fiction along the lines of Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. Well I was totally wrong about that. I'll go through it piece by piece:

Characters: Way too many POV characters, makes it hard to care about any of them. The heroes are all noble, selfless boy scouts and the villains are so cartoonishly evil it's a wonder they never twirl their mustaches while yelling "Curses! Foiled again!". None of them really evolve or develop over the course of the story, except maybe Ocyrhoe who no one cares about anyway.

Plot: Conflicts are introduced in the first 100 pages of the trilogy, and get resolved (kind of) in the final 200 pages. The middle 80% of the trilogy is just people hanging out, sending messages back and forth, traveling from point A to B, fighting a few low-stakes skirmishes, and holding staff meetings. I'll grant that the Epic Journey can be done well, but The Odyssey this ain't. Also, the entire Rome subplot was dull, overlong, and totally superfluous to the rest of the story. This book is advertised as an adventure about Christian knights facing off against Mongol invaders, so don't bait-and-switch me some side story about random useless teenagers getting mixed up with a bunch of squabbling Catholic Church bureaucrats. Lastly, the ending was a huge letdown; major questions are left unanswered and there's no resolution of the characters' fates. What's the deal with the Spirit Banner? Will Gansukh and Lian wind up together? Will the knights make it back to Europe alive? If you felt entitled to have these questions resolved as a reward for grinding through the whole trilogy, well the authors beg to differ.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Richard Jackson on January 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In this third book of the series the 5 or 6 story arcs all come to conclusion. The first two books were mostly concerned with setting up the situations and describing 13th century life in middle Europe. In this book all conflicts are more or less resolved, with much action. Action meaning fighting.

The attention to detail for a period which which most of us are totally unfamiliar is impressive. The multiple characters are clearly defined and my attention was held at all times, even when little or no action was occurring. I did a bit of checking of the real history of this period and the book has it right. I can thoroughly recommend the series, and urge any one considering it to start at Book 1.

Despite this I agonized over whether to assign five or only four stars. In a couple of the story lines I felt the endings did not proceed logically/sensibly. I felt a bit let down. (Won't spell this out because I don't want to create a spoiler.)

At the conclusion the text reads "End of Book 3". Can there be another? Quite a few of the characters are left alive with personal matters to attend to, so it's possible. But the story would have to go off on a whole new tack. If there is a Book 4 I will sign up for it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on February 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I just finished the Mongoliad trilogy with this book, and I'm glad I made it through. The first book took a bit to get rolling, and the second book journeyed off into some strange places from which I feared it never would return, but this book focuses mainly on my favorite storylines - Cnan and the Shield Brethren travelling across the continent, and Gansukh and Lian's story with the Khan of Khans. It also succeeded in piquing my interest in the events in the arena, as well as somewhat more in the cardinals.

Overall, the story of the cardinals never sucked me in much and I felt that the entire section about the binder girl, Ferenc, and Father Rodriguez was a complete distraction. It never connected to the other parts of the book, and I was disappointed by that. I expected somehow for Ocyroe and Cnan to end up in a story together, both being the lost and lonely gals that they are.

there isn't much of an aftermath of this book. It's not clear what happens to the individual characters, or indeed, the entire world, after the events of this book. The most satisfying ending for me was that the people in Hunern, and the Shield-Brethren there, do satisfy that part of the story. Again, it's hard to write about this without spoiling the story.

I think I was going to have a hard time choosing between the Mongols, who I ended up liking, and the Shield Brethren, by the end. It would be a spoiler to discuss what happens here, but I will say - there is the inevitable conflict that the three books led up to. The Shield-Brethren do complete their journey.

I liked that there was much further character development. However, some things were left unresolved. Percival's quest for example.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By G. Kokkinogenis on March 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I finally finished this trilogy (prequel?). This review is for the trilogy and not just on this book.

If you're a history buff/geek with a focus of the crusades,warrior monk societies,(Knights of the Rose-Cross? Really?!?!), mystics,alchemists, Norse mythology, shamanism, if you're into martial arts tactics that vary from med-evil fencing to eastern martial arts, insights into culture and warfare then this series will fill you like a tankard of well brewed ale.

And I'm sure I've missed some as well.

I believe the authors have captured a complicated world with characters that are well developed and complex overt as well as covert plot lines. The 4 star rating (more like 4 and a half for me) is because as much as it was a success in creating the complicated world that the authors did, it does drag. I'm hoping its because it needs to set the stage for the rest of the books and I don't like cliff hangers, especially when the story has left what I would consider loose ends.
Otherwise, the authors are familiar with their subject matter and can weave a good tale. Recommend for all the above.
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