Early Book Review: Three Kingdoms Volume 1: Legends from China

Three Kingdoms Volume 1: Legends from China is a graphic novel by Wei Dong Chen and Xaio Long Liang. This graphic novel is a based on the influential novel, The Three Kingdoms, and is scheduled for release on September 04 2012. JR Comics is publishing this version of the classic Chinese story in a twenty volume graphic novel series. The story takes place in the late second century when a tyrant takes advantage of the turmoil surrounding the fall of the Han Dynasty. The tyrant overthrows a weak emperor and considers himself the ruler of the world. Unexpected heroes emerge, and valor and honor challenge ambition and power in a fight to save China.

Three Kingdoms Volume 1: Legends from China is a well done graphic novel that would act as a good introduction to the history of the time period. Readers that see the term 'graphic novel' and think they can get away without doing quite a bit of reading will be surprised here. There are several pages through out the book that give detailed information about the history, the people involved, and of course the politics. This is not something you can skim through and get the gist of it, you need to be able to devote some time and mind to the story and history as a whole.

I really enjoyed the characterization of the three heroes, and since I have not read the original version of the story I do not know if that was already included or was part of this interpretation. There are plenty of battle scenes and snarky comments to make the story thoroughly entertaining, so do not be put off by the educational factor. I also enjoyed the beauty of the landscapes, the realistic characters, and the reality of battle that the images portrayed.

I recommend Three Kingdoms Volume 1: Legends from China to readers that are intrigued by the Chinese culture, want to learn the history, or have read another version of the story. This is not a quick light read, but I think it is well worth the effort.

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