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The Mongoliad (The Mongoliad Series Book 3) by [Stephenson, Neal, Bear, Erik, Bear, Greg, Brassey, Joseph, Galland, Nicole, Moo, Cooper, Teppo, Mark]
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The Mongoliad (The Mongoliad Series Book 3) Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 325 customer reviews

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Length: 804 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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.
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Product Details

  • File Size: 6330 KB
  • Print Length: 804 pages
  • Publisher: 47North (February 26, 2013)
  • Publication Date: February 26, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005ML3ATA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,892 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Finally! Finished! That was my most overwhelming sentiment upon completing the final book in the Mongoliad.

An important note: there is a reason why each of these books have the same name. It is all "The Mongoliad". This was not a sequel to Book Two, and Book Two was not a sequel to Book One. They are essentially the same book, just broken up into volumes. There is no way I would recommend anyone interested in these books to allow any space of time between them. But it would also be unfair to not note that by doing so, you will be reading the same story forever. There is a certain level of impatience that comes from reading the same story for a month and a half.

Unfortunately, my experience with Book Three was marked by that impatience. It's hard for me to discern whether the book dragged or whether I was beginning to fatigue from the story. It is a story that at some points will drive you to read more right away or drive you crazy with boredom.

The story covers multiple storylines happening simultaneously, some more loosely connected than others. Knights on a journey to asassinate the Khan of Khans, a Mongolian falling in love with a Chinese slave, the Khan battling alcholism, cardinals trying to determine the next pope in Rome, a priest battling insanity, a messenger discovering herself, a gladitorial battle for the entertainment of another Khan, the slaves' plight for freedom, and the Western knights positioning amongst themselves. That's a lot going on.

I was left disappointed. I can usually handle open-ended/disappointing endings (though I will say some of the storylines' endings were particularly aggravating). I found myself depressed and it took a little while to discover why.
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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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