It’s the first book of the Chung Kuo series and it’s Superb.
I have to admit to a little confusion initially. What I’d read about the Chung Kuo series suggested that it is set 200 years in a Chinese dominated future yet Son of Heaven is set in 2065 and 2043 and tells the story of a global collapse and the rise of a resurgent China.
A little research, however, reveals that the original series (which was published between 1988 and 1999) was originally planned as a set of three trilogies. This was cut short at the insistence of the publisher. I have not read any of this series but am genuinely surprised that I wasn’t aware of it as this is exactly the sort of science fiction that I tend to reach for.
Son of Heaven is the first book of an ambitious re-release of the entire Chung Kuo series, recasting it as a twenty book saga with 500,000 words of new material. This includes two prequel novels, of which Son of Heaven is the first.
Did I say that it’s superb?
The writing is incredibly solid and depicts a frighteningly believable plot to bring down the Western economies. This is followed (in the first part of a three part novel) by the story of one of the survivors and the rebuilding of his life. In the third part of the novel, the Chinese finally make an appearance.
Son of Heaven is gripping, well written, satisfying in it’s own right and sent me straight to Amazon to order Daylight on Iron Mountain.