One hundred and twenty chapters of Chinese Game of Thrones

Written by

Luo Guanzhong in the 14th century AD

So, this book has now advanced somewhat in the timeline of the Three Kingdoms era, and as time passes, so do people. Once mighty warriors and generals fall by the way side due to age and new dynasties rise and fall. The Three Kingdoms of Eastern Wu, Shu Han and Cao Wei are now firmly established, but none of their founders survive this period, and their sons inherit their empires.

The Three Kingdoms are independent, yet any potential alliance between two parties against the third, no matter how temporary is a threat to the balance of power. There are always schemes and politics between the three leaders, Cao Pi, son of Cao Cao, Sun Quan, son of Sun Qe and Liu Shan, son of Liu Bei, trying to get one up on each other.

As always, the three states are in a state of near perpetual warfare, shifting alliances and angst amongst the changing leadership. It’s exemplified by the always shifting alliances of Eastern Wu, led by the Sun family, who are friendly towards Cao Wei or Shu Han, depending on the direction the wind blows.

As I draw closer to the end of the book, it’s still a very enjoyable read. It’s action packed, and written tightly, sparing not a thought for overt minutae and detail. This helps to keep the flow of the story going. I can imagine what George R. R. Martin would make of this book. It’d be in its tenth volume now, and we’d know exactly what Liu Bei’s last meal consisted of. Still, that would be a marked improvement over the drivel that is A Dream of Red Mansions.

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