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Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Vol. 2 (The Three Kingdoms #2)

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4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  769 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
This epic saga of brotherhood and rivalry, of loyalty and treachery, of victory and death forms part of the indelible core of classical Chinese culture and continues to fascinate modern-day readers.

In 220 EC, the 400-year-old rule of the mighty Han dynasty came to an end and three kingdoms contested for control of China. Liu Pei, legitimate heir to the Han throne, elects t
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Paperback, 680 pages
Published April 15th 2002 by Tuttle Publishing (first published 1522)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jonfaith
Aug 16, 2015 Jonfaith rated it really liked it
Liu Bei replied, I am near my fifth decade and have so far failed to rid the state of evil. I greatly regret my failure. Now I have been accepted by the Dowager as her son-in-law, and this is a critical moment in my life. So I implored of Heaven a portent that I might destroy Cao Cao as I would that boulder and restore the dynasty."

Zhuge Liang has made a crucial difference in this epic novel. (note: the typesetting has improved, compared to the first volume but is still subpar. We shan't waste a
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Greg
Oct 09, 2012 Greg rated it it was amazing
This review is for both volumes, since I read this about 20 years ago and don't recall the differences between the two.

I read this book in 1994 or so, when I lived in Japan after college. The oldest son of a family with whom I was close (he was also about 23) loved this book and emphasized how important this epic had been to East Asian culture. He wasn't an anthropologist or cultural historian, but he was a well-read history buff and I trusted his judgment. Just in pop culture over the past 30 y
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umberto
Nov 15, 2016 umberto rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, china
Starting reading this volume in early June last year, I had planned to read a chapter a day or more depending on my stamina and inspiration. I know reading such a huge book is tough, tedious and demanding but, again, I had no choice but kept going. While reading each chapter, I tried to think positively so that I can find something strategical from which it should support or guide me till I can make it as planned. First, I noticed that each chapter having a wisely-designed format presents many ...more
Fred
Nov 15, 2016 Fred rated it it was amazing
W I N T E R S E A S O N
Taylor Kniphfer
Oct 08, 2016 Taylor Kniphfer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, fiction
An engaging story of a divided China that invokes the age. As a reviewer said, understand the Three Kingdoms for Chinese culture is as important is understand how the Iliad had influenced the culture of the western world.
Adrian Curtin
Sep 17, 2016 Adrian Curtin rated it really liked it
Although the goodreads thing is split, my review is intended to compromise both portions here.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms is not a book to start reading without a little trepidation. There are a whole host of characters that the reader begins by being completely unfamiliar with and often times these characters quickly disappear into irrelevance from chapter to chapter. Without knowing at least an idea of the story and the famed personalities of the principle movers in the story, an unacquainte
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Minyoung
Nov 11, 2015 Minyoung rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
The tale of Three Kingdoms, as epic and fantastical as it is, strikes me more like a tragedy. Spanning from the decline of the Han dynasty around 168 A.D. to the formation of the Jin dynasty around 280 A.D., the text has multiple major storylines running concurrently, but most of the emotional and developmental energy revolves around the conflict between not only the characters Liu Bei and Cao Cao, but also their ideals and legacy. Their deaths came earlier than I expected in the text, but the s ...more
David Harrison
Sep 27, 2015 David Harrison rated it really liked it
(Note: This is a review of both volumes I and II together.)

As a foray into reading the four major Chinese classics (四大名著), I decided to start with Romance of the Three Kingdoms as it has the earliest setting (3rd Century AD) and some very well-known and beloved characters in Chinese culture. It is also often considered one of the first Chinese novels.

I approached this book with some background knowledge of the setting, the revisions the story has been through, and the problem of authorship – Luo
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Nicholas Whyte
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2491825.html

Some time in the last year I read a novel in which the protagonist tried to read this, and bounced off it. (I'm having trouble identifying which novel - a search of my electronic copies of likely suspects The Fat Years and The Three-Body Problem doesn't pull it up, so it must have been something else, possibly a Clarke submission.) I winced a little when I came across that reference - the group of friends with whom I read War and Peace in 2012 and Anna K
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LawStudent Reader
Dec 22, 2015 LawStudent Reader rated it it was ok
**Spoilers ahead - do not read unless finished with book.

I AM DONE. Reading this book felt as long as the war. Do not get me wrong - the subject matter was fascinating. But over 1000 pages of the same nonsense started feeling like torture toward the end. And any book that makes it necessary to keep track of character names is not a book I particularly enjoy. (If anyone was wondering, I had a three-column table to keep up with everyone. I kept switching characters' columns when they changed side
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Kaitlyn Utkewicz
May 14, 2015 Kaitlyn Utkewicz rated it it was ok
**Spoilers ahead - do not read unless finished with book.

I AM DONE. Reading this book felt as long as the war. Do not get me wrong - the subject matter was fascinating. But over 1000 pages of the same nonsense started feeling like torture toward the end. And any book that makes it necessary to keep track of character names is not a book I particularly enjoy. (If anyone was wondering, I had a three-column table to keep up with everyone. I kept switching characters' columns when they changed side
...more
Beth
Mar 21, 2012 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second volume of this saga suffers from the same issues I complained about after reading the first volume: mainly poor proofreading, awkward choices of wording, and bad formatting. The story itself actually started to make sense for me. In the first volume, there were many characters and lots of fighting, people who were important in one chapter might die in battle in the next chapter, so I found it difficult to keep track of who was doing what and why it mattered. The last part of that ...more
Marissa
Sep 10, 2016 Marissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: goodreads-win
Goodreads Win Copy

This is compelling Chinese novel written over six centuries about the end of the Han dynasty. The struggle for power and the people who arose with power. This is the second part of a three part epic which is a classical work for the Chinese people.

We are thrown into Liu Bei's strategist adviser Zhuge Lian role which allows Liu Bei to be victorious over numerous battles. The continuing battle of people usurping for power and title.

Being a messenger can be dangerous at this time
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Brian R. Mcdonald
Jun 02, 2010 Brian R. Mcdonald marked it as books-with-go-references
The Raomance has a number of references to the game of go, but the most notable occurs in Chapter LXXV of this translation. Kwan Yu is a general known for his bravery and loyalty. He gets wounded in the arm by a poisoned arrow, and requires surgery to cut out the affected flash. Hua Tuo, portrayed as the greatest doctor in Chinese history or legend, approaches the general while the latter is engaged in a game of Go. The doctor proposes bringing general Kwan to a private room, where his arm can ...more
Trey
Apr 10, 2012 Trey rated it it was amazing
The edition is not a good translation and has issues with grammar structure.

Overall the story is great as it finishes what began in Volume 1. Here we see many heroes age and fall. The next generation prepares to accept the weight put on their shoulders by their fathers. This volume details the end of the heroic age, and the beginning of peace under one banner. Major battles ensue and internal corruption will eventually lead to the destruction of one clan.

"A country divided will unite."

Luo Guanzh
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Ryan Jiorle
May 23, 2016 Ryan Jiorle rated it really liked it
What a great read! I learned a lot about Chinese history, politics, and war. Of course there are scores of characters that are difficult to keep straight (I had a bit of a leg up, having played the Dynasty Warriors video games), but it's overall a great chronicle of this period in history. Also, on a sillier note, I enjoy reading translated books because of the specific words used. Perhaps it's mean, but I always get a few chuckles seeing words like "dryasdust" and "pedant" over and over again.
Benjamin
Mar 02, 2007 Benjamin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: As first book
Shelves: classics
Book 2 is not as good as Book 1. Same translation problem, but as the principals of Book 1 die off, you start to wonder, "other than Chuko Liang, who kicks much ass, why do I care about these people?"

By the last chapter, you think, "everyone who I cared about is dead; do we really need to wrap up the whole war?"

However, there are 600-some pages of Book 2, so most of it provides the same besieging, beheading goodness as Book 1.
Meeg
Dec 07, 2013 Meeg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alas, the Three Kingdoms Era is finally at an end and China has been reunited by the Jin dynasty (apparently that doesn't last very long). Its a melancholy ending in that all our favorite characters have died before the last 16 chapters. Still, as the story winds down treacherous acts are repaid, lessons from the past are ignored, countless armies are ambushed and plenty of messengers are beheaded.
Craig Herbertson
As for volume 1: brilliant. Chinese Lord of the Rings with a million names and several deep and enchanting characters. Superbly balanced and plotted - archaic though, superficially repetitive and difficult to follow the variety of similar Chinese names. However the repetition of battles in a war torn kingdom somehow doesn't pall.
Wendy
Three Kingdoms, vol. II down! I couldn't keep up the same momentum as I did in vol. I--I think I'll take a break and return to finish off the third volume when I'm feeling fresh and recovered from my reading slump.
Sammie Hatch
Jan 09, 2015 Sammie Hatch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This last week has been a whirlwind of adventure with this novel. A very interesting read for people who are inclined to be entertained by blood shed and romance!
Zach
Nov 03, 2015 Zach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
A step up! Less repetitive than the first book (though "retreating" into an ambush seems to appear every chapter), great characters, slightly more stable storyline. Lots of fun.
Lisa
Oct 28, 2011 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Three Kingdoms (Library of Chinese Classics: Chinese-English, 5 Volume Set) (Chinese and English Edition) by Luo Guanzhong (2000)
Jg Paul
Keep a pencil handy to keep track off all the names! Trying to keep everyone straight demands a heroic effort on the part of readers!
Scott Beale
Scott Beale rated it really liked it
Feb 07, 2012
Bobby
Bobby rated it really liked it
Nov 27, 2012
Pawee Kongcheep
Pawee Kongcheep rated it it was amazing
Jan 24, 2013
Emily
Emily rated it it was amazing
Jan 04, 2009
Rje
Rje rated it liked it
Jun 12, 2010
Tavipat Oparad
Tavipat Oparad rated it liked it
Sep 29, 2011
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Luo Ben (c. 1330–1400), better known by his style name Luo Guanzhong (罗贯中) (Mandarin pronunciation: [lwɔ kwantʂʊŋ]), was a Chinese writer who lived during the Yuan Dynasty. He was also known by his pseudonym Huhai Sanren (Chinese: 湖海散人; pinyin: Húhǎi Sǎnrén; literally "Leisure Man of Lakes and Seas"). Luo was attributed with writing Romance of the Three Kingdoms and editing Water Margin, two of th ...more
More about Luo Guanzhong...

Other Books in the Series

The Three Kingdoms (3 books)
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Vol. 1
  • The Three Kingdoms: Welcome The Tiger (The Three Kingdoms, #3)

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