The Mongoliad: Book Two

Written by Cooper Moo E. D. deBirmingham Erik Bear Greg Bear Joseph Brassey Mark Teppo Neal Stephenson
Review by Viviane Crystal

The year is 1241, the year in which the Mongolians crossed into Europe and began conquering its territories. The reigning Khan is a man haunted by the death of his brother and drinking away his sense of failure. But his tribe longs for more conquests, impatiently holding sword and wrestling contests. Haakon, a Shield Brethren (monk) warrior, becomes one of the contestants, with a secret goal of overthrowing the despised invaders. The Shield Brethren have another foe, Christian knights who have been decimated in a previous battle against the Mongolians but still vie for supremacy in the Catholic Church. Meanwhile, the latter church is in shambles as the Pope has died. Father Rodrigo believes he has a prophecy to deliver to the new Pope who has not yet been chosen.

This novel is the product of collaboration among numerous well-known writers. While the separate scenes are interesting, they just don’t demonstrate much cohesion. Multiple battles, torture, betrayal scenes, and more fill these pages; in one sense one gets a surface glimpse into the prevailing culture in Northern Asia and Europe at the time. Aside from that, this novel is a rehash of Book One with some minor plot additions.