Yellow Sky Revolt (The Three Kingdoms Chronicles Book 1)

Written by Baptiste Pinson Wu
Review by Cindy Vallar

Liao Hua, a defeated general, dictates his story to keep alive the memory of his fallen comrades and to recount the upheaval in imperial China after the Han dynasty falls. The present is 263 CE, yet like all stories, his begins in the past… a past when he tilled the earth but dreamt of being a soldier like his uncle Cheng.

Six-year-old Liao accompanies Cheng on a trip to Xiangyang in 183 CE where they witness an unjust beheading. In a time when ripening unrest ripples through the countryside, Liao realizes his uncle may face a similar death. The militia arrests Cheng, but the villagers retaliate; soon, others join the revolt. Known as the Yellow Turbans, this army of peasants fights for freedom and justice against corruption and greed. They lack martial weapons and training but win battles until the emperor unleashes his hardened warriors. Taken prisoner, Liao is noticed by one victor. If Liao swears loyalty to him and does his bidding without question, Colonel Cao Cao will educate and train Liao to be a warrior. But the way is filled with painful and bitter lessons that leave indelible scars.

Yellow Sky Revolt is the first book of ten in The Three Kingdoms Chronicles and covers the first seven years of Liao’s journey. It is told in first person, with interludes of the present interwoven with the past. Wu vividly re-creates time and place, bringing to life the characters and history. Rife with emotions, the recounting hooks readers much like Cheng’s stories captivate Liao. This is a tale of endings and beginnings, of love and vengeance, of actions and consequences, of rivalry and trust. Readers connect with Liao and witness how he begins to mature from a child to the man he will become.