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The Mongoliad: Book Three by Neal Stephenson
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This final installment of the Mongoliad trilogy takes us to the conclusion of three separate plotlines--Feronantus's company has their final showdown with the Khan of Khans, the knights of Hunern finally take action against Onghwe Khan, and we get to see the resolution of the actions of Father Rodrigo in Rome. So yes, that means big battle scenes in a way that only Stephenson and friends can do. The events of these plots manage to resolve themselves in a satisfactory and somewhat historically-accurate way, it's hard to say as much for the actual characters--I found myself wishing that there was some sort of epilogue to show where the surviving characters ended up. As it was, the ending felt a little abrupt. I was also disappointed that the events in Rome never integrated into the other plotlines; this really might as well have been a completely separate novel as the characters never interacted and the historical backdrops were barely related. Despite these complaints, I did enjoy the characters and action of this book and am glad I read the entire series. ( )
  Phrim | May 9, 2018 |
I enjoyed the first book of the trilogy; got a bit bored by the second (but put that down to it being the "difficult" second book; but then got a bit fed up with this supposed finale.
Only one of the four main threads really finished, and even that leaves room for spin-offs, sequels, prequels, etc etc. I also got annoyed at the cliff hanging ends of chapters, which we then didn't get back to for a long long while. I suppose the cooperative approach limited the capacity for better editing.
The whole Rome based storyline, whilst entertaining at times added nothing to the overall structure and the eagerly awaited (by me) "Grail" thread just petered out with no link back to Percival.
Some memorable characters and some interesting ideas, but nothing to justify 2,000 pages! I definitely will not venture into "Foreworld" again and my former avoidance of Neal Stephenson will be resurrected. ( )
  johnwbeha | Nov 18, 2015 |
This was an enjoyable read, but also very long story, with a huge number of characters and a lot, really a lot, of hand-to-hand combat. Although the authors kept the pace up, I felt myself flagging at the sheer length of the story, especially in the first half of book 3, which seemed as if it would go on forever (probably because I mostly read for a few minutes before falling asleep at night). I had mixed feelings about all the fight scenes. They were very well done, in that they were both realistic and exciting, but they filled a disproportionate amount of the books for my tastes. I would recommend it, but only to people with plenty of reading time on their hands, who have some enthusiasm for martial arts. If you are, like me, someone who used to swing a sword around, it will make you itch to get back to practice! ( )
  Amelia_Smith | May 2, 2015 |
If you are considering part three of the Mongoliad series, then you have certainly read parts one and two. I suggest you read part one before buying the other two volumes. I purchased all three Mongoliad novels, so felt compelled to finish them. Had I only purchased the first one, I likely would not have purchased parts two and three.

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 “saga”, 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.

Don’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. ( )
  santhony | Mar 20, 2015 |
a satisfying conclusion to the series so far. I find the process more interesting than the product, but I do like the books. ( )
  nnschiller | Sep 18, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Neal Stephensonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bear, Erikmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bear, Gregmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Brassey, Josephmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Galland, Nicolemain authorall editionsconfirmed
Grell, MikeIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Moo, Coopermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Teppo, Markmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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The conclusion of the epic adventures of the Shield-Brethren.

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