And here was me hoping a kids book could make ancient Chinese history less confusing

Three Kingdoms Vol 1 by Wei Dong Chen and Xiao Long Liang

So this book recently found it’s way to our shelfs (’cause I asked it to) and I’m hopefully right because when I tried to renew it there was already a hold on it.

I guess I felt like our collections kind of lacking in cultural diversity and also this one time while I was getting my undergrad degree I took a Chinese culture course and it was super interesting, despite the prof being a terrible teacher.

So, the Three Kingdoms is based on the ancient text The Three Kingdoms which explores some semi-mystical, semi-historical events that occurred in the small kingdoms and provinces that would eventually become China. This graphic novel leans a little closer to the battling and less of the history-ing but it’s still pretty well rounded. There are paragraphs at the beginning of every chapter that summarize the events so everyone’s on the same page and helpful character guides.  REALLY HELPFUL character guides.

There’s a lot about this story that was really interesting to me. I loved the three characters who are kind of the main ones, and their sworn brother relationship. I liked the focus on the family, particular the sons. I think it did a pretty good job explaining the history in the paragraphs.

But it suffered from too many characters. Like Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time and most Shakespeare plays I felt like I needed a chart to explain who was who and who worked for who. Which kind of frustrates me.

One the one hand, I get it. You’re trying to take an old historical text that just has lots and lots and lots and lots of characters, but that’s kind of where it falls through. Like 11 main characters, most of whom are warlords makes it really hard to give them all unique, likable or defining characteristics. And without those, what’s the point really?

So it was kind of better as a historical experience and not awesome as a literary one. Which is maybe okay. Maybe that’s enough.

Last movie I watched: Still Hotel Transylvania

Last TV show I watched: V Mars I think. SO GOOD!

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