In Book 2 of the series, revolution is brewing and the characters we have come to know in Book 1 are swept into greater conflicts. Wingrove displays excellent characterization and engaging prose in the entire epic series. Highly recommended.
Second Novel Is As Rich As The First, January 25, 1999
Reviewer: A reader
This second novel is as rich as the first. Wingrove is truly a sci-fi force. The characters are vividly portrayed, both good and evil, and the complex plots and subplots are a true delight for me, a fan of this genre. Wingrove seems to be able to keep a story alive while not causing the reader to lapse into incredulity. Devore is up to his usual tricks, with a few powerful allies, and the members of the T'ang are slowly losing power as the Seven is struck by assassinations and dissent. Events in this novel -- the allegiances that are forged and the ties that are broken -- will surprise some. I can see where some people might be intimidated by this series because of its scope and length but to anyone who is looking for a mixture of superior, intelligent science fiction with a soap-operatic yet action-oriented feel, then this series fits the bill...bar none. In addition, there is a welcome emergence of very strong female characters in this novel that continues into the third novel of the series. Be forewarned, however; the sheer number of characters can be frustrating if you haven't read Chung Kuo first.
Seven continents, Seven Chinese kings. A benevolent rule and a stable, sensual, high-tech society. But the T'and overlords no longer control all three hundred levels of City Earth. Revolution is brewing. As the all-powerful Seven plot the boldest imaginable counterstrike, a plan to control the minds of all humankind, Chung Kuo speeds toward cataclysm, the final game between East and West, between the privileged Above and the downtrodden Below -- a monumental confrontation with forty billion lives in the balance.