Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.50 shipping
The Mongoliad (The Mongoliad Cycle) Paperback – April 24, 2012
|New from||Used from|
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
A Q&A with Mark Teppo, co-author of The Mongoliad: Book One
Q: How did you get the idea for The Mongoliad?
A: It all started with sword fighting, of course. My co-authors and I are part of a Western martial arts study group that practices in a non-descript loft in Seattle. A lot of the initial impetus for the group came from Neal Stephenson who had realized the sword fighting in his earlier novels was lacking the input from individuals with actual expertise. In the course of learning about the history of Western martial arts, he coaxed a couple other writers into the same circle. From there, the idea of writing a saga about the complex history of Western martial arts was born. Since the idea grew out of a group experience, it seemed best to continue the collaborative aspect of the project, and that was how the core team of Neal, Greg Bear, E.D. deBirmingham, Joseph Brassey, Erik Bear, Cooper Moo, and myself came together.
Q: The Mongoliad trilogy began as an online subscription service. How would you describe this first incarnation of the trilogy?
A: At the time, we were also talking about new ways of interacting with our audience, and an online subscription service seemed like an interesting experiment. The edition that grew out of that experience is best characterized as a serialized work-in-progress. Not only were we conducting an experiment in writing collaboratively, but we were also learning what it was like to interact—in near real-time—with our readers. It was, in many ways, not unlike the manner in which Charles Dickens wrote his own novels. The first iteration of many of his classics were serialized, with Dickens shaping and revisiting his plots based on readers' responses to the episodes. He even started to think of the episodes differently—writing more cliffhangers than one would normally use in a traditional novel format
Q: How is the Mongoliad trilogy different from the serialized version of The Mongoliad?
A: We wrote the serialized narrative in one long rush, constantly shifting stories and plotlines in response to writer availability and to what our audience was talking about. I don't know how well it will read after the fact as I think there was a certain amount of inescapable frisson that went on during that process. But it was a serialized experience and much of that emphasis is a weekly cliffhanger, which doesn't necessarily translate well to three separate volumes.
The trilogy that is being released via 47North is a much more coherent narrative where the emphasis is now on world-building and story-telling. The Mongoliad has a beginning, middle, and end, but it's also the starting point of a huge explosion of stories and characters—in the medieval world and beyond—that is still forthcoming. We know so much more about Foreworld now (the world in which The Mongoliad takes place) that we are able to properly understand these characters' place within the larger narrative that has yet to unfold.
Q: What are the strengths of this book-length version of The Mongoliad?
A: Firstly, each of the three volumes of The Mongoliad have been polished, re-structured, and re-edited into the definitive edition of the narrative. The 47North publication is the authors' preferred text. As we said, throughout the serialization a book is never really done for the writers until they can hold it in their hands. We're old school, that way. It's done when you put it on the shelf.
Secondly, having been the guy who had to take it all apart and put it back together across three volumes, I think it's a much stronger narrative now. There are four story branches that move back and forth across the year 1241, and lining up intersection points between the branches was complicated in a serialized non-linear format. The 47North edition allowed us to build a better pace and structure for the narrative.
For example, the Rome branch, which began immediately in the serial, doesn't begin in the 47North edition until Book Two. Which makes sense in a linear story-telling fashion because the events that occur in Rome take place much later than the initial events in Book One. In the serial, we didn't do it that way—much to our chagrin. But we couldn't do anything to fix that misstep. Until now.
“This off-beat alternate history of Eurasia could be your new obsession.” –i09.com
“This story is pure adventure, with much swordplay and swashbuckling.” –Kirkus Reviews
“A terrifically engaging book that pulled me along at least as quickly as The Hunger Games. Think Lord of the Rings without all that pesky fantasy…Five frighteningly accurate historical sword fights out of five.” –Fanboy Comics
"While there might be some truth to the saying "too many cooks spoil the broth", it doesn't apply to The Mongoliad: Book One. In fact it's a distinct advantage in a book where we see the world through the eyes of such a diverse group of people. Differences in voice make each character a distinct individual while not detracting from the story's coherency or cohesion. The overall narrative actually flows far more smoothly than usual for a book covering as much ground as this one, as events build upon themselves naturally and logically. While there's no indication as to who wrote which parts it ends up being irrelevant. After the first few pages you'll find yourself so wrapped up in the story you'll no longer care who the author is, you'll just want to turn the page to find out what happens next." -Blogcritics
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $0.99 (Save 50%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
What's it about, very quickly? In short, it is a collaborative, almost crowd-sourced literary experiment. It was originally released episodically on their website, but I read it all in its combined format. There are different story lines converging around the Mongol invasions of Europe. There is an ancient order of knights going on a quest to protect Europe, a Mongol solider tasked with curbing the Khan's drinking, and slaves participating in a circus (read: Gladiator-type fighting).
My initial thoughts: At first, I was disappointed. I had read the bonus story "Sinner" which was explained as a prequel short story to the larger story. But I found there was little connection between "Sinner" and "The Mongoliad". I was left confused by both the story and the amount of new characters I was being introduced to. Additionally, each chapter alternated between the different story lines, which can be very frustrating when you are not familiar with the characters or get too caught up with one story vs. another. But I was fascinated by the historical aspect...and I was in need of an immersive escape.
My conclusions: Once I got into the story, it was a lot of fun. I was no longer confused and I was curious to know what was going on. It is definitely a story that sucked me in, though I am not happy with how Book One finished. It just cut off. It was like the rest of the story failed to load. It is another case of there being multiple books just to do it. Maybe to get more money, maybe for space considerations, but certainly not for the sake of the story. I hope I can remember everything by the time I start reading Book Two.
The book starts out with a kind of preface about a group of Christian knights, which is engaging. So when Chapter 1 began, I wanted to know what happened to the main character in the preface, Andreas. But he was gone, lost in the muddle, appearing only occasionally like a bobbing log in a raging river. My emotional attachment to the narrative dwindled to nothing. And I kept asking myself, why should I be interested in all these groups? How do they relate to each other? What story thread can I follow? The only reason to continue reading is to see if there's any clarity somewhere down the road.
I'm reading the Mongoliad on my Kindle before I go to sleep, because it makes my brain tired.
I found the concluding installment of the trilogy to be marginally better than its predecessors, if for no other reason than the various story threads begin to converge and proceed to resolution. (I say resolution, but there are actually succeeding books in the â€œsagaâ€, though it appears that Neal Stephenson has washed his hands of the project, as will I.) In addition to the threads involving the Mongols and Christian Shield Brethren, a new storyline, centered in Rome and dealing with a disputed Papal election was introduced and well handled.
Taken as a whole, I found the trilogy to be very simply written with little to recommend it. Several times, the author(s) attempt to make the Mongols appear sensitive and caring, a complete absurdity. I cannot help but think that the experiment of having seven authors collaborate in the work of crafting a novel has resulted in an utterly mediocre effort, as if the finished product devolved to the lowest common denominator. Whatever the case, I saw very little of what I have come to expect from Neal Stephenson, the best writer of the bunch. Perhaps he merely lent his name to the effort.
Donâ€™t get me wrong, this is not an awful work, just run of the mill. Too many cooks may not spoil the broth, but in this case they have produced a very bland meal indeed.