Games Gazette Logo

REVIEW TO FOLLOW SOON ............

PRESS RELEASE prior to review:-

 

47North Celebrates the Publication of THE MONGOLIAD: BOOK THREE

by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, Nicole Galland, Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey, and Cooper Moo

New York, NY:   In 2012, fans of Neal Stephenson and Greg Bear were introduced to The Mongoliad: Book One and The Mongoliad: Book Two, the first two installments in the Foreworld Saga, a collaborative series unlike any other that has enthralled fans of fantasy, martial arts, and historical fiction. io9 raved has raved about the series : “This off-beat alternate history of Eurasia could be your new obsession." Readers can now conclude this extraordinary journey this February with the final leg of the Foreworld journey, THE MONGOLIAD: BOOK THREE.

The Foreworld medieval adventure saga was actually born out of swordfighting.  Stephenson and his fellow authors are avid practitioners of Western martial arts and they are part of an enthusiastic study group in Seattle.  When Stephenson realized that the descriptions of swordfighting in his novels would have been much better with contributions from people with fighting expertise, the idea for a saga about the complex, bloody history of Western martial arts was born, featuring Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, Nicole Galland, Joseph Brassey, Erik Bear, and Cooper Moo.

THE MONGOLIAD: BOOK THREE (47North, February 26, 2013; $14.95 trade paperback, $9.99 digital) is the riveting third and final installment in this epic tale.

The shadow of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II hangs over the shattered Holy Roman Church as the cardinals remain deadlocked, unable to choose a new pope. Only the Binders and a mad priest have a hope of uniting the Church against the invading Mongols. An untested band of young warriors stands against the dissolute Khan, Onghwe, fighting for glory and freedom in the Khan’s sadistic circus of swords, and the brave band of Shield-Brethren who set out to stop the Mongol threat single-handedly race against their nemesis before he can raise the entire empire against them. 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.

In this third and final book of the Mongoliad trilogy from Neal Stephenson and company, the gripping personal stories of medieval freedom fighters form an epic, imaginative recounting of a moment in history when a world in peril relied solely on the courage of its people.

About the authors:

Neal Stephenson is a New York Times bestselling author and has received numerous awards including the Hugo and the Nebula for his works in speculative fiction. His more popular books include Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, Cryptonomicon, The Baroque Cycle, Anathem, and Reamde.

Greg Bear is the author of more than thirty books, spanning the thriller, science fiction, and fantasy genres, including Blood Music, Eon, The Forge of God, Darwin’s Radio, City at the End of Time, and Hull Zero Three. His books have won numerous international prizes, have been translated into more than twenty-two languages, and have sold millions of copies worldwide.

Nicole Galland studied comparative religion and theatre at Harvard University and believes they are pretty much the same thing. She is the author of The Fool’s Tale and I, Iago and has written under various pseudonyms, including E.D. deBirmingham, much to the dismay of her mother, who wishes hers was a household name. She lives in rural Massachusetts with her husband and the world's best dog.

 

Mark Teppo is the author of the Codex of Souls urban fantasy series as well as the hypertext dream narrative The Potemkin Mosaic.

Joseph Brassey lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and two cats. He teaches medieval fighting techniques to members of the armed forces. The Mongoliad is his first published fiction.

Erik Bear lives and writes in Seattle, Washington. He has written for a bestselling video game and is currently working on several comic book series.

                                    Cooper Moo spent five minutes in Mongolia in 1986 before he had to get back on the train—he never expected to be channeling Mongolian warriors. In 2007 Cooper fought a Chinese long-sword instructor on a Hong Kong rooftop—he never thought the experience would help him write battle scenes. In addition to being a member of The Mongoliad writing team, Cooper has written articles for various magazines including Seattle Weekly. He lives in Issaquah, Washington, with his wife, three children, and numerous bladed weapons.

THE MONGOLIAD: BOOK THREE

By Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, Nicole Galland, Joseph Brassey, Erik Bear & Cooper Moo

On-sale: February 26, 2013, 47North

ISBN-13: 978-1612182384, ISBN-10: 1612182380

$14.95 trade paperback; $9.99 digital

 

Praise for the Foreworld Saga

The Mongoliad: Book One & The Mongoliad: Book Two

“Stephenson’s knack for dense historical detail combines with lots of sword-swinging adventure...As it stands, the book itself is a romp through this thinly fictional historic period, one that is full of well-described swordplay and richly imagined characters. The transitions between the voices of Bear, Teppo, deBirmingham, Bear (again), Brassey, and Moo is seamless. The Mongoliad: Book One feels like the start of a truly epic adventure.”

Locus Magazine on The Mongoliad: Book One

“The first book to come out of the app that Stephenson and friends created in 2010, this off-beat alternate history of Eurasia could be your new obsession.”

io9 on The Mongoliad: Book One

"The pacing is taut throughout and as befits the original serialized format, each chapter ends with a solid hook that pulls the reader along swiftly to the next part of the story..the fight scenes in particular are written exceptionally well, with a clarity and subtlety missing from just about every other representation of medieval warfare in prose or on film. The authors have clearly done their homework on the period, but they wear their collective education lightly; the result is a world with depth and texture, not a history textbook. Fans of Brian Wood’s Viking comic Northlanders, for instance, will find a lot to like here; The Mongoliad has a similar blend of action, period detail, and modern vernacular that somehow doesn’t feel out of place."

Tor.com on The Mongoliad: Book One

“Historical fiction heavy on accuracy, especially in the sword fights and martial arts as the protagonist mystics and European knights penetrate the Mongol empire...

pretty dang good”

Cnet, selecting The Mongoliad: Book One for holiday ebook list

“As an early installment in Foreworld Saga series, The Mongoliad: Book One is only the first book of a trilogy that promises to be not only an incredibly complex and involved saga, but also intelligent and well written--and a lot of fun as well. The characters are intriguing, the plots interesting and complex without being convoluted, and the fighting and descriptions of battle scenes realistic and exciting while not shirking from describing the more brutal truths of the horrible things humans are capable of doing to each other.”

Blog Critics on The Mongoliad: Book One

“... a compelling story of Genghis Khan’s sons as they try to maintain the continents-wide empire built by their legendary father...There’s an epic feel to the proceedings that is enthralling to read; the descriptions of battle are particularly rich – medieval combat rendered in visceral detail... The Mongoliad is an interesting work not just for how it came into being, but for what it wound up becoming.”

The Main Edge on The Mongoliad: Book One

"An outstanding historical epic with exceptional character development and vivid world building... In addition to the heroic battles--including swordfights, archery, wrestling, and martial arts--romance, political intrigue, and promises of betrayal and rebellion are suffused throughout this cinematic tale...Stephenson and Bear & co.

have set the bar high for the series."

Publishers Weekly on The Mongoliad: Book One

"I loved this book. The action was some of the best I’ve read in a while. Each fight is important to the story. The battles range from one-on-one to ten-on-sixty. Each one is the right kind of detailed and wonderfully inventive. The characters are well drawn and multi-faceted... The plot pulled me to the next page relentlessly. I was thrilled when it was time for a battle, and I was thrilled when it was time for character development. I spent the entire time excited to see what this book had in store next. I am now excited to see what the next book has in store. I cannot recommend this one enough. Five Lovable Mongol Hordes out of Five."

Fanboy Comics on The Mongoliad: Book Two

“[It] feels most like a Neal Stephenson novel--specifically, the sub-genre of sprawling historical epic that made his Baroque Cycle trilogy so much fun . . . The story of the Mongoliad is consistently engrossing...a new spin on epic adventure . . .  individual chapters crackle with a fast-paced energy, particularly the vigorous action scenes.”

Shelf Awareness on The Mongoliad: Book One

"Story lines abound but interconnecting them all is the fascinating evolution of sword fighting... sf and military-history buffs will devour this genre-bending saga."

Booklist on The Mongoliad: Book One

"... The pacing is fast...The Mongoliad is a book full of sword action, and the battle scenes are swift and furious."

Ars Technica on The Mongoliad: Book Two

“...A collaborative epic unlike any other that will enthrall fans of fantasy, martial arts, and historical fiction.”

SF Signal on The Mongoliad: Book One

“Multiple battles, torture, betrayal scenes, and more fill these pages…one gets a surface glimpse into the prevailing culture in Northern Asia and Europe at the time.”

 Historical Novel Review on The Mongoliad: Book Two

“Suggestions of revelations to come combine with expertly crafted fight sequences and immensely enjoyable characters to hold the reader’s interest.”

Publishers Weekly on The Mongoliad: Book Two

“The Mongoliad was born as a community-driven, enhanced serial novel set in the year 1241, when only a small band of warriors and mystics stood between Europe and the Mongol Horde. But don’t let its unconventional beginnings steer you wrong; this story is pure adventure, with much swordplay and swashbuckling. This story is pure adventure, with much swordplay and swashbuckling."

Kirkus Reviews on The Mongoliad: Book One

“[A] sprawling, character-rich, action-packed epic that’s part history, part alternate history, part fantasy, part martial-arts saga.”

Booklist on The Mongoliad: Book Two

"Fact and fiction are seamlessly blended to create a detailed vision of 13th Century Asia and Europe, and the fear of the overwhelming Mongol horde is palpable. The violence is detailed but not gratuitous, and the fact that likeable characters aren’t safe proves the authors are not afraid to make sacrifices in order to provide a wonderful story.

What began as a literary experiment has transformed into a cohesive tale, more than capable of standing on its own two feet. Not once did I feel like I was reading different stories stitched together, or notice any clashing of style; I genuinely would have believed one person wrote this book. This is a true collaboration and I am eager to see how these characters’ strands will be woven together into a satisfying conclusion.”

Geek Planet on The Mongoliad: Book Two

From some of the best minds working in fantasy today. It just proves that there is room for all forms of fiction in this business and how passionate people can create wonderful literature.”

Suvudu on The Mongoliad: Book One

“An entertaining summer read”

SF Site on The Mongoliad: Book One

A fast-paced military fantasy story set amidst the Mongol conquest of Europe.”

Freelance Star on The Mongoliad: Book One

"Think Lord of the Rings without all that pesky fantasy… a tremendously good read. A terrifically engaging book...  Five frighteningly accurate historical sword fights out of five."

Fanboy Comics on The Mongoliad: Book One

“If Michael Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead had been written by Guy Gavriel Kay, Mongoliad would have been the final result. Fans of historical fiction are certain to count The Mongoliad as a staple of the genre, and hardcore Neal Stephenson won’t be disappointed, either..Highly authentic historical detail. Frequent, inventive battle scenes . . . expect a long, richly detailed read fraught with nerd-worthy minutia, protracted exposition, and action sequences that read like they were shot in bullet-time. In short, this is historical fiction for geeks and nerds...The descriptions are crisp, the characters are distinct and interesting, and the setting is stunningly authentic.”

The Great Geek Manual on The Mongoliad: Book One

“The first book of The Foreworld Saga is a terrific alternate history thriller starring a brave band of warriors on a mission behind enemy lines. Filled with gory action from the start (the killing of captives is vividly haunting) and never slowing down, it is the full blooded cast that makes for a strong opening act.”

Alternative Worlds on The Mongoliad: Book One

"Neal Stephenson Promotes The Mongoliad in a way only the maestro of speculative fiction can. This book trilogy, from Stephenson and Gregg Bear, has been on the top of my waiting list for a while."

SciFi Readers on The Mongoliad: Book One

“As you might expect from the genesis of the project, the fights are uncommonly well-written – and clear. A sword teacher myself, I can tell this tale was crafted by sworders. Almost every bit of martial action in this story displays that.”

Green Man Review on The Mongoliad: Book One

“Simply put, this is an epic sweep of a novel, weaving multiple stories of ordinary people swept up in a Mongol invasion of somewhere almost, but not quite, Europe of the 13th century...The descriptions are evocative, the combats are exciting (and give ideas both for tactics and for ways in which to describe action for any role-player who wants to make combat narrative as well as a feast of die-rolls), and the whole ends up leaving one feeling that this just might have been.”

RPG Resource on The Mongoliad: Book One

“This is a Trilogy of historical fantasy tales from some of the more creative authors in this genre.
Book One: from the minds of Greg Bear and Neal Stephenson and collaboratively written with Mark Teppo, E.D. deBirmingham, Joseph Brassey, Erik Bear and Cooper Moo ignites a dangerous quest where willpower and blades are tested, and the scope of World Building is redefined.”

—Games Gazette on The Mongoliad: Book One

Sharp wit, humane insight, delicious action, and rather profound social commentaries course through this tale without any concessions...

No amount of praise will do this justice.”

Naturallusions on The Mongoliad: Book One

The Mongoliad recalls Steven Pressfield’s Gates of Fire, the must-read account of Sparta’s 300, in both the authenticity of the battle scenes and the realistic, gritty perspectives of the characters, told without a modern sensitivity filter...As a 7-year (and counting) practitioner of Japanese sword, I appreciated the authenticity behind the fight scenes. The book manages to describe the horrors of war from the perspectives of those who lived in a more brutal age, where starvation was a harvest away, without descending into mind-numbing gore...For anyone who loved Gates of Fire or band-of-hero adventures, The Mongoliad is highly recommended.”

New Myths on The Mongoliad: Book One

“...Excellent and very engaging...This is a complex, involved world that closely resembles our own historical one.”

Fantasy Book Review on The Mongoliad: Book One

“I found the characters to be believable, dialogue was well thought out, and very rarely felt out of place with the characters.  The plot lines follow well, and served to drag me right into the novel.  It is highly readable...It’s well worth a read, and I’ll be looking forward to the next one in the series.”

Novelnaut on The Mongoliad: Book One

“Fast pace? Check. Detailed battles? Check. Intrigue and politics of the Khan's court? Check. Main characters getting killed? Check? Politics in the Vatican? Check. Dead Pope? Check. I finished this 400 odd page book in two days...Book 3 is scheduled for release on February 26, 2013. I don't know if I can wait that long.”

Book and Reader Forum on The Mongoliad: Book Two

“It is amazing to me that so many authors can work together to create a fluid piece of fiction.”

No More Grumpy Bookseller on The Mongoliad: Book One

“I’m not sure what their arrangement is for who writes what, but it’s working well for them.  The other reason that I find that I like the book (and the series) is that the characters are well done...  I find myself reading on to find out what happens to them, and where they end up.  That’s a sign of a pretty good novel in my book.”

Novelnaut on The Mongoliad: Book Two

“[Gansukh] is a distinctive personality, and his point of view is easy to follow. Also, the ‘fish out of water’ position he finds himself in is one that is easy to sympathize with. He wants to be back on the steppes, and the reader understands completely!”

Reading Reality on The Mongoliad: Book One

“The fight scenes are great and I think it is always a mark of a good book when you start rooting for one or more of the characters.”
W. Paul Blakey of Twin Eagles Publishing on The Mongoliad: Book Two

“Recommended for readers of alternate history and military fantasy‚ and fans of Stephenson.”

Library Journal on The Mongoliad: Book One

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015