In the year 217, a plague ravaged the Han empire. Far deadlier than the coronavirus which forces me to write this review in self-quarantine, it seemed to touch every household, rushing untold numbers of men, women, and children to early graves. The sounds of weeping filled the streets. Common folk hung talismans to ward off evil spirits. Aristocrats blamed an imbalance of cosmic forces and wrote elegies for their beloved friends. Three years later, the Han dynasty collapsed, following nearly four hundred years of relatively stable rule. Three regional polities would compete to succeed the Han. The fighting would last for decades, and the land would not be unified under a...

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