Demian's Gamebook Web Page

Item - Ancient China



Series: You Choose: Interactive History Adventures
Author: Collins, Terry
Date: August 1, 2012
ISBNs: 1429694726 / 9781429694728
1474706452 / 9781474706452 (paperback)
Length: 112 pages
User Summary: Three stories from three different time periods: In the first you can choose between being a soldier and a scholar during the first or Qin dynasty, a time during which the emperor has forbidden the teachings of Confucius. In the second story you are a young girl/woman during the rule of Tang dynasty Empress Wu. The final story is of a silk trader journeying to the western silk road city of Dunhuang to exchange fine silks for a jade statue desired by the Ming dynasty emperor.
Dtar's Thoughts: The first story for me was a bit of a revelation in a couple ways, that the works of Confucius had been banned by the first emperor (the same guy whose tomb includes the famous terra cotta warriors) and that there were actual bound books at such time. Printing had of course been invented in China, but not printing with moveable type, so (I assume) a single stamp would have made a single page rather than the moveable type that Gutenberg devised. It's a bit of a historical interest to read of government mandated book burnings that happened roughly 2000 years ago.

The second story is an interesting picture of life during the time of the first Chinese empress. In it you learn of some deadly intrigue on the royal court and can, if you play it right, ascend from your peasant class to being a member of the Empress' court.

The third story is basically a Wild West story of outlaws and thievery and without trying to spoil anything you (possibly realistically) have little chance to achieve your goal, surrounded on all sides by unsavory characters.

I found all stories to provide an informative and also fairly vivid picture of the times and places in them. A great start to this series.

More reviews by Dtar

Special Thanks:Thanks to Ken G. for the cover images and to Dtar for the plot summary.

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