Reviews for Genghis
m. b. whitlock chapter 1 . 11/24/2014
RG Depth #4,511:

I have wanted to read and review this story for a while. The premise has always seemed so intriguing to me, a fiction that deals with one of the most remarkable conquerors in history (and most destructive of human life and culture), Genghis Khan.

I will be discussing the following topics in this in depth review: opening, character, writing/style/techniques, and the ending.

So, I have read some stuff about the historical Genghis Khan but I certainly don’t know everything. ;) So, if anything I say conflicts with your knowledge I apologize in advance. I didn’t know that Genghis Khan was a lover of poetry. In fact, as far as my knowledge goes, he was more of a back-slapping, in–your–face general, as opposed to a cerebral type who laid back and read stuff. That sounds a bit more like Genghis Khan’s grandson, Kublai Khan, to me. Then again, I think it’s totally cool to mess with historical figures (I certainly do in my fiction so I can’t possibly critique others for doing so).

Regardless I like your portrayal of Genghis’ lifestyle here in the opening:
“Early on the evening of the twenty first year of the Mongol Empire Genghis was near the end of a scroll of Chinese poetry when a Mongol chief burst into his abode calling, "Great Khan, oh great Khan! You must come quick, there is turmoil at the main gate!””

I like this line, it really gives your readers a fluid image of the character:
“He retrieved his massive double bladed battle ax next to his collection of poetry scrolls and sighed.”

I think the opening does a lot to establish not only the character of the erudite Genghis Khan but also the setting and the plot that’s about to unfold.


I think the following passage works very well:
“The mares reared back in fear and flung their riders from the saddles and the warriors cowered in terror of the thunderous blast, all except for Genghis Khan, who peered through the haze as something lumbered through the debris. At first Genghis thought that the treading behemoth advancing into the Mongol stronghold was a dragon – its menacing reptilian visage and smoldering hot coal eyes suggested as much – but as the smoke and dust cleared Genghis could see its frame clearly, all reinforced bamboo and streamers the colors of the sun and the grass trailing in its wake along with banners emblazoned with Chinese Calligraphy and he knew instantly what they were facing.”
Really good action description here. You also give a crystal clear portrayal of Genghis’ iron character. Nothing seems to frazzle this guy. I also like the detail about the mares. The Mongols did only ride female horses. ;)

You give Huli Jing a wonderful entrance here:
“"It is neither your attention nor your ax I seek."“

I like this line too:
““More bloodshed! As long as there are men like you who keeps the wheels of war forever spinning my work will never be done.“”

I really like the imagery here and I can totally see the child’s drawing pasted into the scroll:
“The drawing had been given to him by a pale skinned blue eyed boy many years ago and now Genghis held the scroll before Huli Jing as if it possessed talisman like powers.”
Character-wise, I also like how Genghis uses a child’s hopeful dream drawing to battle the sorcerer Huli Jing.

I don’t know if you need to say Gobi desert if the heat of the flame is worth a thousand suns:
“The flames burned with the heat of 1,000 suns beneath the fiercest of days in the Gobi Desert“ :)

Really beautiful descriptions here:
“The dragons bamboo hide exploded into a very many tumens of splinters like the crushing of a forest and in his final moments the Merchant of War Huli Jing had brought a marvelous beauty to the world when the gunpowder in the dragons head ignited, sending streamers of gold, crimson, and violet Chinese flowers deep into the sky.”

I think you tied things up well at the end and I feel like I had a brief glimpse of the Khan and his empire.

Cool stuff. Iconic. :)


ArgentanHeart chapter 1 . 6/23/2014
So I really liked the conversation between Genghis and the Merchant of War. It was very powerful and had really important themes in it. It was definitely the strongest part of the story.

I think there was some issues, especially with the opening, and to some extent the using of such a prominent historical figure. Starting with "In the year 1227" and using a known figure made it feel like you were positioning the story firmly in our world, more than a timeless world of myth. And the dragon tank was just so unbelievable that it really felt at odds with the positioning. I think you should adjust the intro to make it clear that this is more parable than historic fiction so that the reader has some idea what to expect and isn't as critical of the realism.

But otherwise, it was a good short story!
faerie-gumdrops chapter 1 . 6/23/2014
I liked how different this was to most other short stories you see - how you combined something historical with sort of a tale on morality. I'm not sure how much I agree with genghis's sanctimonious attitude, given that he himself has his own selfish greedy sort of ambition which drives his conquering at least a little (and is obedience or die really a choice at all?) but I thought it was an interesting facet of his character. The merchant of war was pretty cool with his dragon, although maybe he could have stood up for himself a little more :p.

I think the main issue with this (is very little, don't worry) is that you have a few very long sentences with very little punctuation that tripped me up a bit. I think the first two paragraphs are good examples. Also I noticed a small redundancy when you talk about something wafting in the air along with the warm breeze. Given that the waft *is* the breeze, maybe just replace with wafting along in the warm air or something?
IAmButAWindow chapter 1 . 3/23/2014
So...I guess this was a one-shot story? Either way, it was pretty cool. When you said there was a dragon, I thought you were mixing history and fantasy, and I wasn't quite sure how I felt about that seeing as how Genghis Khan was an actual guy that probably didn't fight dragons. Then you showed that it was a mechanical beast, and I got kind of giddy inside. It was pretty cool.

There were a couple of typos (although maybe you meant them this way). The first was when you said Genghis reached 'under his robe and brandished fourth (forth?) a thin scroll.
The second is "fur lined armor and a ferocious bears (bear's) head helm". I'm not convinced on that last one. Maybe it was supposed to be that way. It was short, and I wonder why. The dialogue was interesting, and I like history, so it was a fun read. Thanks. :)
tstul006 chapter 1 . 3/22/2014
Hello greetings from RG easy fix.
First thing I notice right off the bat is your first paragraph is just one big run on. I’m guilty of doing this too. It happens when one gets so caught up in writing. I also noticed that you did it more than once. Throughout the piece.
Genghis is a very interesting character isn’t he. I loved how in the beginning he was just like ‘whatever I’m reading’ until the chief really let him know what was going on.
So this was supposed to be a moral type story? That’s what your final paragraph makes it appear to be… guess what. I liked it over all. I liked the dragon the best. It was inventive and clever. Kinda reminded me of the Trojan horse. Although this time the horse got what was coming to him.
Thanks for the great read.
Persevera chapter 1 . 3/20/2014
I like the Old World flavor to this story. The first part of the narrative seemed to have a sing- song quality, like someone reciting Homer.
I loved the line about Genghis's weapons lying beside his poetry scrolls. It was a cool way to tell us that he considered himself a cultured man who conquered not for the violence, but to bring his version of peace.
The first descriptions about the fire-breathing creature reminded me of the Bradbury story, The Dragon, and I wondered if a locomotive hadn't burst into Genghis Khan's stronghold.
Unlike the knights in that story though, Khan was able to defeat his monster and keep the world safe for poetry to flourish.
There are a few punctuation issues but we shan't quibble with material so unique.
dmasterxd chapter 1 . 3/17/2014
I like the idea of this being a Fantasy story as it allows for very interesting plotlines. However it is very
dull and I noticed a load of unoriginal metaphors (over a thousand suns, mounting of corpses? Stared death on the face, tell etc An interesting Fantasy story exucuted horribly from blandness and unorginality. I know you can do better.
alltheeagles chapter 1 . 3/17/2014
For the RG EF

I like the originality of the plot, though I'm not too sure about the historical accuracy of some details like, was Genghis literate and when did Genghis have his first contact with pale skinned blue eyed people? Apart from that, I enjoyed the suggestion that even in the days of old, the profession of warmonger/weapons trader was very much alive and well. I also like the description of the dragon-machine, from its initial mention to its appearance to its eventual destruction. For improvement, I would suggest general editing for typos (in particular the word 'fourth' which should be 'forth') and some grammar errors, because these can really distract from the story.
Ventracere chapter 1 . 3/14/2014
"The flames burned with the heat of 1,000 suns beneath the fiercest of days..." "burned with the heat of 1000 suns" is a little cliche. Sure, it's fitting, but I think you can work around with a stronger metaphor to bolster your story. You've got strong imagination, and I think with the type of language/diction you're using, a more original metaphor would help you here.

Overall, I think you have little bits and portions of your sentences. You're missing a few commas here and there, and while I think those are not as important, they also serve to break up some really long sentences you use. On another note, Genghis Khan and his group, ahahah. I love this take of Genghis Khan. To be fair, I don't know much about Khan, but the deal with Huli Jing reminds me a little of the demon trope.

Write on!
freddyburn chapter 1 . 3/14/2014
OK, what I like and what I dislike.

I liked the descriptive language you used. The vivid imagery aided the story, making it a joy to read. I really loved the story because of it.

I disliked the first two sentences for one reason- they were way too long. Each one could easily be broken into two sentences- if not three.

Overall, a great one shot. I would love if there were more in this line of stories