Wars and Heroes

A Kingdom in Turmoil

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 11/02/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I have always been fascinated by historical fiction. Historical novels tell stories that both entertain and educate. That’s why they hold a special place in my heart. Chinese historical fiction is no exception. However, most of them have not entered into the mainstream of
international literature. Unlike Tolstoy’s War and Peace or Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers, Chinese historical fiction is mostly reserved for a domestic readership. Some say the cultural chasm is too wide to bridge. Perhaps. Yet I want to give it another try. Of the many historical periods in China, I find the Three Kingdoms era to be most appealing. Having read the novel the Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong (1330-1400 AD) written more than 700 years ago, I find it to be the most interesting book I have ever come across. On the other hand, I can also understand why modern readers find themselves in unfamiliar
territory. For English readers, in particular, names and places are confusing. Ancient customs in an alien culture are assumed to be taken for granted without contextual background. It is with those thoughts in mind that I decided to employ my limited literary capability but an insatiable curiosity to rewrite the story of the Three Kingdoms Period, this time aimed at a global audience. I began writing book one of the planned trilogy after I turned 14. I am now in the middle of finishing book two which will be released in early 2023.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Wars and Heroes: A Kingdom in Turmoil is a work of fiction in the historical and drama subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and was penned by Robert T Wang. Leaning heavily on the hard side of historical fiction with tons of research and ancient history packed in, this is a serious look at the Eastern Han Dynasty of China covering roughly a century from 184 to 280 AD. As we travel through epic battles and complex political struggles, a series of rebels, soldiers, warlords, and civilians tell the tale of the Three Kingdoms and deliver an English language version of an epic Chinese tale.

Blending hard historical facts with imaginative storytelling, legend, and a cultural flavor is no mean feat, but Robert T Wang delivers on all fronts with a novel that will surely suit history readers of all types. I was fascinated by how much there was to learn, and although a novel of this type understandably takes a little while to get going, the pace builds up surprisingly quickly as the action takes over and the subplots intertwine with precision and depth. The work certainly focuses on the plot, culture, and context of war far more than any individual character. Big-picture readers will enjoy seeing the pieces of the puzzle fit together, as the author dedicates a lot of time to construct the overarching political and military storyline perfectly. I recommend Wars and Heroes to all historical fiction fans who want a strong plot-driven tale with plenty of research and depth.

Vincent Dublado

Wars and Heroes: A Kingdom in Turmoil by Robert T. Wang is a magnificent historical novel with a strong Eastern theme. The Han Empire is being ravaged by famine and corruption. Tsao Tsao is a statesman, politician, military strategist, and romantic poet during those times. Coming from a noble family, he convenes a meeting with his clansmen. He decides to sell the title deeds to some of his lands and raises an army of 15,000 men with the proceeds. He then drafts a proclamation inviting compatriot royalists to join him in an alliance to oust the Usurper to restore and revive the kingdom of Han. Many answer his call, and among them are Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei - the three men at the heart of this story who make a sworn oath to restore the Han Empire to its glory.

Who would not be impressed by this historical tale where many factual characters are portrayed with a little bit of romanticizing while remaining close to who they truly were in ancient Chinese history? If you are familiar with China’s long history, you will see that Robert T. Wang doesn’t throw in any revisionism here. What he writes is Chinese history with a western appeal that allows Chinese historical fiction to extend its reach outside its domestic borders. Wars and Heroes succeeds where many have failed. The trajectory of the storyline has a strong sense of communal ideology, which is inspiring regardless of whether you’re a leader or a follower. You can just imagine how much blood will be spilled to restore an empire, but the main protagonists here do not work alone. They carry swords, but they become prominent figures as they operate under collective heroism. This is a great introduction to anyone who wants to know more about China’s colorful past.

Keith Mbuya

While an unsparing famine ravaged his territory, Emperor Ling of China’s East Han dynasty (184 AD) was completely lost in worldly pleasures. Angry subjects led by Zhang Jiao form a rebel group called the Yellow Turbans to overthrow the emperor. In a bid to seize power, the Yellow Turbans cause mass destruction of property and loss of life as they seize towns and cities within the kingdom. Emperor Ling drafts an imperial edict seeking recruits all over his territory for the imperial army. Soon formidable warriors join the imperial army to fight the rebels. Who will win the war? After the war, wrangling in the palace threatens to put the throne in the hands of a usurper. What will become of the Imperial kingdom of East Han? Get yourself Robert T Wang’s Wars and Heroes to find out.

Wars and Heroes is by far the most intriguing historical fiction novel I have ever read. Robert Wang had me hooked on his compelling read, flipping through page after page. He anchors the storyline on power, love, deception, war, loyalty, lust, greed, strategy, and betrayal, among others. The vivid depictions breathe life into the scenes, making me feel like I was right there with the characters in the middle of all the action. I loved how the author captures the setting of the story, describing the unique Chinese culture with so much detail. Wang keeps the reader on edge with adventure, suspense, tension, action, mind-blowing plot twists, thrill, fascinating drama, and wit. Wang Yun and his daughter’s plan to stop the usurper from ascending the throne left was brilliant. Wang wonderfully developed the characters, highlighting their traits and emotions. All this made me connect with, understand, and appreciate them. Wars and Heroes is the first installment of Wang’s A Kingdom in Turmoil series. I can't wait to lay my hands on the next book. It is a magnificent piece of work and I loved it.