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Mike Grell Illustrator. The final book of the Mongoliad trilogy from Neal Stephenson and company tells the gripping personal stories of medieval freedom fighters to form an epic, imaginative recounting of a moment in history when a world in peril relied solely on the courage of its people. The shadow of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II hangs over the shattered Holy Roman Church as the cardinals The final book of the Mongoliad trilogy from Neal Stephenson and company tells the gripping personal stories of medieval freedom fighters to form an epic, imaginative recounting of a moment in history when a world in peril relied solely on the courage of its people.
Only the Binders and a mad priest have a hope of uniting the Church against the invading Mongol host. Veteran knight Feronantus, haunted by his life in exile, leads the dwindling company of Shield-Brethren to their final battle, molding them into a team that will outlast him. No good hero lives forever. Or fights alone. Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , pages. More Details Original Title. The Foreworld Saga 3. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
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Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Shelves: 21st-century , medieval , war , fantasy , historical-fiction , epic. Anyone interested in the historical Mongolian empire should avoid this bilge. Anyone interested in good writing should also beat a hasty retreat. It's hideously bloated and poorly written, like a parody that someone forgot to make funny.
The Mongoliad by Various authors
The first two sentences give a taste of the laughable dialogue - "The Shield-Brethren buried Finn on the hill where they had set up camp. Everyone talks in this mock-heroic, pompous patois except Frederick Hohenstaufen, who throws "goddamn" into every sentence. This is meant to make him sound down-to-earth but just makes him sound American, which is ridiculous for a 13th Century German emperor.
Reading the dialogue is like listening in on a teenage game of dungeons and dragons, and very long game at that. This is the third book in the series, which might explain why the characters spend so much time going over events of the previous books. The non-dialogue writing is better, but there doesn't seem to be any plot; just a parade of groups of characters who spend all their time thinking and talking and doing nothing. And boy, does it go on. There are seven authors here, all writing with the same breathless adolescent portentousness. The urge to introduce unfamiliar words is never resisted, even when there is no need.
For instance, we're told that Haakon has only just learned how to pronounce the Mongol capital Karakorum, though I'm stumped at how else it could be pronounced. Meanwhile, groups of characters wander around and chatter to each other or themselves, but however great the distances not one of them ever seems to stumble on a plot. I'm sure the writers enjoyed themselves, but it's all very self-indulgent, like fan fiction for a book that nobody has bothered to write.
View 2 comments. Mar 20, terpkristin rated it it was ok Shelves: audiobook , fantasy , kindle , , sffaudio. Because it is one story divided--sometimes awkwardly--into three books, there isn't much to say about this one that wasn't said about the other two. These books tell 3 separate stories in parallel, from various points of view. The three stories are: 1 Ogedai Kahn: follows the Rose Knights as they try to kill Ogedai Kahn the son of Genghis Kahn and leader of the Mongol empire but also follows Ogedai's camp including some of his camp followers and Ogedai himself 2 Onwei Kahn: follows a different group of Rose Knights as they try to kill Onwei Kahn Ogedai's brother , but also follows some of the prisoners that Onwei has taken to play in his circus-like battle arena.
The story also opens to the Levonian Knights in the third book.
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Throughout all three books, the narrative was split into a chapter per point of view. Typically, the viewpoint would cycle between the three main plot lines so every third chapter, more or less, would tell part of the story in the Ogedai Kahn line , though it wouldn't always ben from the same perspective.
The Mongoliad: Books Two and Three | Two Dudes in an Attic
This made it confusing, especially at first, to remember which character was which the odd names, especially for the Mongols, didn't help this either , and what had last happened in their particular part of the story line, as well as where the story line was overall. Since the three plot lines were mostly parallel and had only a small bit of commonality between the first 2 plot lines in the first book, it might have also been easier to follow along and understand if each book in the trilogy focused on a different plot line, instead of all three books having all three plot lines.
As was mentioned before, this trilogy and the other works in the series such as the prequels and the "side quest" stories that I have either reviewed or will be reviewing soon were the product of an experiment by Neal Stephenson and some of his colleagues. Unfortunately, as can often happen in this type of collaboration, this made the stories difficult to follow at times, and lead to sub-plots or aspects of the story that didn't seem to really matter in the context of the overall story and its ultimate conclusion There was an open acknowledgement that some of the plot lines were not tied up, and the reader is left wondering why so many pages of the trilogy were devoted to an aspect left unfinished.
This was disappointing to me, and contributes to my overall low rating of this book and the trilogy as a whole. I felt like a lot of this book and the other two in the Foreworld Saga could have been left out with better editing, and the Saga itself would have been stronger, more cohesive, for it.
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This isn't the first time I've come across this with Neal Stephenson 's works, and was probably exacerbated by the social media format that the world and series started with. In the end, the story lines in the trilogy would probably have been better off as short stories in the world, or at least as separate parallel books in this saga. I quite enjoyed the two prequel books I've read so far Sinner and Dreamer , and am excited to listen to the third prequel, Seer, as well as the side quest stories.
I think this kind of world--the world we know, events that are real, but imagining characters within them--lends itself nicely to the short form writing that many of these authors do so well. Somehow, the collaboration into one large story managed to break that recipe for success. Instead of being drawn in, I was jarred from one story to the next, not always remembering what was going on or who the key players were for a given viewpoint.
Some of the sub-plots introduced didn't make much sense in the context of the larger world, the larger work. They were introduced and the reader spent time with them, but in the end, their resolution if it was provided didn't matter to the overall story arc. Worse, some of the sub-plots didn't have any sort of resolution, but were left hanging I wonder what will become of those, if they will be revisited in the smaller stories. I normally like Luke Daniels' narration, but this time, it didn't work overly well for me.
His normal voice usually doesn't add much to the book--which I like, as I find too much acting by the narrator can be distracting--but with this material, his normal voice actually lulled me to sleep I found I had better luck when I burned the CD's to audio files and sped up the playback. My problems with the narration, though, could be more a product of the content, not the narration itself. In the end, I was disappointed by the Foreworld Saga.
I like the idea of it, but I think it could have been better executed. That said, I did enjoy the two prequels that I have read, and am looking forward to jumping to the third prequel and the side quests. I think the short form of those stories will work better in this world, and I look forward to meeting characters that could have in fact been in our past. Oct 22, James rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy , foreworld , i-own-ebook.
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The third part and final pay-off for the Mongoliad trilogy. Stephenson and friend's grand experiment in collaborative fiction draws to its epic conclusion. And Epic is a good word for it, weighing in at a staggering seventy chapters, this isn't a a quick read. As is de The third part and final pay-off for the Mongoliad trilogy. As the final part it should be expected to bring the various disparate stories together into some kind of cohesive narrative — but spread across three different locations in Rome and the Mongolian steppe the chances of them all meeting up was always going to be remote.
The three storylines on the steppe feel somewhat connected. Feronantus's group has left the Khan's circus and is now trying to catch up with the Khagan's journey to re-find himself. But the story with Rodrigo and Ferenc in Rome feels completely disconnected from the other storylines.
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And while it's not a perfect novel or even trilogy , in this respect, it does pretty much succeed as Feronantus completes his bridge from one story to the other completing the circle or triangle, or whatever. Other parts of the trilogy are left pretty much hanging though.
The Binders, who are fairly heavily teased throughout the trilogy, are never fully explained. The sudden introduction of the diary that Raphael has been charged with keeping is then dropped again. And, while the two big end-of-the-book battles both end decisively there's a very definite left-over feeling where you know you're being set up to wonder about what happens next.