Delight and Disappointment

Before I tell you what I don’t like about Mongoliad let me share what, in my opinion, are its strengths.

Most amazing is the ability of these seven diverse writers to bring about one consistent voice across 400+ pages. The skill with which they melded their writing styles delighted me. Like a spectator at a magic show, I kept wondering, how did they do that?

The plot is a strength worth noting. While the blurbs describe one strand of the plot, two other strands are braided into the book. Each of them is interesting in its own right, but they also build suspense into the others. In all three, the cost of war and barbarism paints a dark and foreboding background.

A large host of characters moves the three stories forward concurrently. It would be easy for these characters to lack depth. The writers, however, succeeded in developing the characters with such uniqueness that there never was a moment of confusion. This facet of the book is not easy to pull off either.

“With all these accolades,” you might ask, “why are you disappointed?” Simple. The book only begins a story. I read Mongoliad because I was given a copy to review. Otherwise, I would have waited the two or three years it takes to get a trilogy published before I read page one of book one. I resent reading 400+ pages of a book, hoping that the promised “epic-within-an-epic” means it will have – at least – a stopping point that wraps up some of the plot. Instead, I was led to the edge of a cliff and left teetering there waiting for the next installments. That was very disappointing.