This book grew on me slowly. At first I was intrigued, but wasn’t hooked. But eventually I grew to really love both the Gansukh/Lian chapters and the Korean/Japanese fighters’ chapters. The historical fiction is Neal Stephenson at his best and I did eventually enjoy the chapters with Cnan and the Shield-Brethren.
To some degree the western chapters are a medieval road trip/quest story. The Gansukh chapters are a palace intrigue story. They don’t really overlap other than both have Ogedai Khan as a central character.
So, there isn’t much yet to say about this story as it appears to be progressing extremely slowly and not only is there not a resolution to anything in this book, it ends on several cliffhangers. I’ll read the rest of the trilogy (which I got for $0.99 each on sale on Amazon), but at this point in time I’m not dying to get to them.
Stephenson has done a good job, but I’m more of a SF than a historical fiction person – especially when it comes to this part of the world.