TITLE : Yellow Sky Revolt (The Three Kingdoms Chronicles #1)
AUTHOR : Baptiste Pinson Wu
GENRE : Historical Fiction
FR RATING : ⭐⭐⭐⭐(4 – 4.5 Stars)
DATE OF PUBLISHING : October 18, 2022
PUBLISHER : Self-Published
NO OF PAGES : 283
DISCLAIMER : Thank you so much to Baptiste Pinson Wu for sending me an E-Review Copy of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Yellow Sky Revolt by Baptiste Pinson Wu is a fantastic and enterprising effort in crafting a great opener to an epic historical fiction series. This book tells us the story of the Yellow Turban Rebellion or the Yellow Scarves Revolt where the peasants/villagers mutinied against the Eastern Han Dynasty in China. It is a monumental part of history, and the amount of research, effort, dedication, and passion it must have taken to tell this story is commendable. I am not very knowledgeable about this piece of history and so I was worried it wouldn’t work out for me despite my interest in the book. Well, I shouldn’t have worried because not only was I pleasantly surprised by the accessibility of the story, but also how engaged I was. Now I am definitely looking forward to learning and reading more about this event in history, which obviously has created a lot of major shifts in the Kingdom of China’s rule. Romance Of The Three Kingdoms, here I come!!
In this book, we follow a very young protagonist Liao Hua, who later on becomes a huge symbol of this religious uprising and he takes us on this journey through the villages of ancient China as they grew the rebellion and finally faced the tragic loss. The first-hand account from someone who has seen it all and who’s been through it all was a very fascinating way to explore the events. Because of Liao Hua’s age, I had some reservations regarding the veracity and credibility of his claims and his accounts. But then I realized that living in hard times is not like what life or existence of a regular young kid. I mean, my kid of that age is not going to be doing things Liao Hua did, but I know from my dad’s life and his stories he had experienced things that I couldn’t even think about. And so there goes my reservations !!
The experiences and the life Liao Hua leads during his childhood to early adulthood is quite fascinating with a deeper look into how this child from a small faraway village, ends up being a huge symbol for this revolt. I loved seeing this conflict through his eyes, and it was heartbreaking at times to see the loss of his innocence and the hit of reality he has to take several times during the course of this revolt. What I loved the most about him is how passionate he was about the cause and how determined and hardworking he was to get to his goal. He was very much resourceful, insightful and a force to be reckoned with even at such a young age. Liao saw and got to the pulse of things better than his adult counterparts, which in and of itself was quite impressive for someone his age and it showed how special he was. A very smart and brave person who looks at all those experiences he had in the past and now telling his story to a young scribe with all the wealth of knowledge and hindsight he gained as an adult. It’s a fascinating way to tell us this story and I have to say Baptiste excelled in its execution. I absolutely loved seeing Liao’s different relationships and dynamics with the father-like figures he had throughout the story. I loved reading from his perspective a lot because he was a very compelling character to follow around. By the end of the book, I wanted to know more about this era and the major players as well. That to me is great because it means the author succeeded. Having said that, my biggest challenge while reading the book was keeping track of all the characters we get to meet in this story. There are so many of them, and for me, it was hard to remember and got a bit confusing because I was pronouncing some of the names quite similarly. So if you are thinking about picking this book up, which you definitely should, all I say is make sure to keep notes on the players. You will need it, if you are like me. This is not a critique of the book, just my experience with it and telling you about my crappy memory.?
Now let’s talk about the setting and how alive it came on the pages. The villages, ancient China, and the feel of the land were all done so well with the right details and descriptions. I could imagine the setting very clearly in my head, and it did remind me of our own villages back home in some ways. So this was a huge plus because I was able to immerse myself in this story fully and engage with it just the way I wanted to. The early pages describing the day-to-day grind of work and activities all showed us the simple life of the farmers and the tough life decisions they had to make for their survival. It was very interesting to see how a revolution with interesting religious ties was able to influence, inspire, gather people, then gain traction, and even for a moment in time cause some major ripples in the Kingdom’s rule. It will be fascinating to see how things will progress in the upcoming books.
The writing is very straightforward and accessible. There were at times modern phrases were used. It wasn’t a lot, just a couple of instances where I did notice it. So it was a bit jarring considering the setting. But other than that it was simply wonderful.
Overall, a fantastic and promising debut that I highly recommend everyone check out. I really loved it and had a great time with it. Even if you are not a seasoned historical fiction reader, you should still give it a try. I am definitely looking forward to continuing with the series and am so excited to see what Liao Hua is up to in book 2, Heroes Of Chaos. I already have it on my Kindle, so I am hoping I will be able to get to it soon. If you enjoy Historical fiction, then Baptiste is a promising writer you need to keep your eyes on.
China, 184 CE
An empire will shatter.
Dark clouds loom over the Han dynasty. The Yellow Turbans, simple folks turned rebels, threaten the power in place with their sheer numbers and burning anger. Among them, Liao Hua, a young peasant boy, becomes the symbol of the uprising’s vengeful spirit.
But what should have been a short revolt turns into a bloody war for survival. As untrained farmers face the full might of the empire, Liao Hua forges himself a will of iron and vows to do whatever it takes to become the greatest warrior of his time. However, when his path crosses that of the bearded warrior, he understands ambition won’t be enough to come out on top.
An age of chaos is beginning. Men will fall, warlords rise, and warriors clash, but only the strongest will leave their names to be praised for the centuries.