The Han Dynasty of China went through numerous trials and tribulations, ups and downs over a period of over 400 years. In its latter days, power struggle within the palace would result in child emperors being enthroned after short-lived emperors had passed on. The empire fell into the hands of dowagers, their relatives and bands of eunuchs who siphoned from the treasury into their own homes. Floods and famines ravaged the land. From the start of the Yellow Turban Rebellion in 184 AD, the empire went into rapid decline.
As the influence of the palace declined, regional governors battled one another for control of the empire. In these desperate time, only the strongest and craftiest could survive. The power of the generals, the temperament of the leaders and the wit of the strategists would play out on the bloody battlefields. After decades of chaotic fighting, three powers were left standing, the Wei Kingdom, the Wu Kingdom and the Shu Kingdom. How did they all get here? The Three Kingdoms saga is an ancient classic which reveals much of Chinese culture, values, ingenuity and cruelty. Never before written this way in English, this series of Three Kingdoms gives the classic a lively modern interpretation. It is the author’s hope that readers will find it more readable and enjoyable than other English versions.
3 men vow to defend the ailing Eastern Han Dynasty. Emperor Han Lingdi passes on. 12-year-old Liu Bian is enthroned. Power struggle in the palace resulting in massacre. Dong Zhuo enters the palace and assumes leadership. …
Dong Zhuo is eliminated. Another power struggle resulting in absolute chaos. Emperor abandons Chang An but finds no refuge in dilapidated Luoyang. Numerous assassination attempts. Emperor rescued by Cao Cao and moved to Xuchang, the beginning of 挟天子以令诸侯. Bloodbath in Xuzhou, Liu Bei rescues Xuzhou. Liu Bei tries in vain to gain foothold in Xuzhou, fighting Lu Bu at one end, Yuan Shu at another, finally found refuge under Cao Cao.
Liu Bei escapes from Cao Cao, kills his general guarding Xuzhou. Cao Cao attacks. Liu Bei loses Xuzhou again. Guan Yu surrenders to Cao Cao. Cao Cao engages Yuan Shao in battle at Guan Du. Guan Yu escapes when Liu Bei writes to him. Liu Bei establishes new base in Run Nan. Cao Cao crushes Yuan Shao and Ru Nan. Sun Ce conquers the Southeast and builds up at Dongwu.
Liu Bei seeks refuge under Liu Biao at Jingzhou and attempts to build a new base at Xin Ye. Finds Zhuge Liang. Cao Cao attacks, Liu Bei loses Xin Ye, faced total defeat at Chang Ban, rescued by Liu Biao’s son Liu Qi and reorganises army. Jingzhou surrenders to Cao Cao.
Cao Cao threatens Dongwu with his newly-minted navy. Zhuge Liang and Lu Su propose an alliance. Dongwu appoints Zhou Yu as commander. The Battle at Red Cliff begins…
© Chan Joon Yee