Romance of the Three Kingdoms Volume 2 Paperback – Apr 15 2002
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Note: Tuttle edition uses Wade system which spells differently from current Pin Yin system. Free softwares are available to exchange Pin Yin and Wade but it may take some time to get used to the spelling differences.
Verdict: Zhuge Liang and Simas take greater role in this latter half of the epic.
Rating: 90 out of 100
Recommended for: Chinese literature fans, fans of historical novels.
The story centers around the fall of the Han Dynasty, which is considered a "Golden Age" of Chinese History. I recommend reading this, just to gain an understanding of the attitudes and point of view of most Chinese. On the whole, most Chinese are very proud of their history, and most claim that the history is 5,000 years. Just keep reading, even if you're confused by the names and the discontinuities; by the time you're at the end, it should begin to sink in.
Like many Westerners, I suppose, I had some trouble tracking all the names - there are many characters, and some characters have several unique names depending upon what's going on or who is addressing them. But as the story progresses and your familiarity grows, this becomes less of a problem. When I started I kept lists of characters and even made notes amplifying the character's identity and relationships; but this quickly became cumbersome, and in the end I found I didn't need it. You become familiar with the main characters and easily follow their vicissitudes as the story moves along. The story becomes the main thing, and it is great!
I was introduced to Romance of the Three Kingdoms by a Taiwanese friend, and I'll be forever grateful to him. Wonderful saga - put it on your list of must-reads!
subject and I greatly enjoyed this Chinese classic and recommend it highly.
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