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“Fall of Han” books

I originally intended ‘“Yellow Sky”: Crisis for the Han Dynasty’ to be a one-off project that would provide some back-story to my first work, ‘Crouching Dragon: The Journey of Zhuge Liang’, but things turned out very differently! This is now very much a series of books (although they are designed, within reason, to act as standalone titles that can be read in any order or not at all if one part is not of any interest but another is. This page just provides some comments regarding the three completed books of what is now intended to be, in total, a four-part series, with the final book ending at some (as yet unspecified) point after the last Han emperor abdicates.

“Yellow Sky” book cover
“Yellow Sky”

I naively embarked upon this thinking that I could cover ‘everything’ in one book, and I was quickly proven to be wrong. The circumstances surrounding the collapse of the 400-year-old institution are many and complicated. I realised that the usual start point - the Yellow Turban Rebellion - overlooks a few important events, hence my decision to start with the “Partisan Crisis” (I could have gone even further, but that would have produced a work with no well-known figures in it and gone against my self-imposed remit). This book begins in the year 166CE and ends in the year 194CE, when the Han government is represented by two “co-regents” that enjoy a surprising amount of deference from the other warlords; that is five years short of my planned end point (199CE, where ‘Crouching Dragon’ begins), so...

“Turmoil” book cover

This should have been the end of the road: this book actually ends where “Yellow Sky” was supposed to - 200CE - after chronicling the end of the co-regency, Cao Cao installing the Han government in Xuchang and eliminating most of the other warlords, Yuan Shao’s consolidation of the northeast and the famous Battle of Guandu that pitted Cao and Yuan against each other for control of the Han government and the empire. I enjoyed writing the characters and the events so much, however, that I did not want to leave it there: I wanted to properly relay the background events in the first act of ‘Crouching Dragon’ - 200CE to 208CE - as I never really felt that I conveyed their historic significance by portraying them as asides, which led to...

“Intention” book cover

This turned out very differently to the expected product: once I got started, I once again expected that I could cover the exact same time frame as ‘Crouching Dragon’ and that it would serve as a parallel piece, but it was not to be. The circumstances that led to the Battle of White Wolf Mountain are numerous and occasionally baffling, and the events that occur in the aftermath are not to be sped past without detailing them in some way. I decided that I would go to the end of the Han when I wrote the scenes where Cao Cao becomes the Chancellor of State: it was too interesting to leave it be. So...

Future title placeholder

That’s right, I either do not wish to divulge a detail as yet or do not know what form it takes yet. The most that I can say is what I have already said: I would at the very least cover the last 12 years of the Han Dynasty, but I would like to go beyond that and spend some time looking at the immediate aftermath. I had felt that four books would cover this particular perspective but that is quickly proving to be an incorrect estimation: there will be five, but I cannot commit to the project schedule-wise at present due to other, higher-priority concerns and cannot say when I will complete the fourth installment or begin the fifth.

Thanks for reading: I hope that what I have had to say has at least been an interesting insight into the process behind my work.

T. P. M. Thorne

Release information

Other available titles are listed below.

Eastern Wu
Realm of the Sun Clan

The Sun clan’s battles with Liu Biao and the Battle of Red Cliffs (199-210CE).

East of the River
Home of the Sun Clan

Early exploits of the famous Sun clan of Jiangdong that forged their own southern kingdom (184-199CE).

Crouching Dragon
The Journey of Zhuge Liang

The 27-year career of Zhuge Liang, depicting his efforts to preserve the Han Dynasty (199-234CE).

Unless otherwise stated, all media & content © T. P. M. Thorne 2012

(last site update 10/03/2020).