This is the first doorstopper of a book in a multi-volume epic; I believe I read the first three or so, years ago. The basic premise is that the world is dominated in the future by a global Chinese empire. The setting is a high-tech futuristic one with a culture that has inexplicably reverted to dynastic China in its political structure. So there is lots of betrayal and treachery and the world is as violent, ugly, and brutal as it was in the middle ages, except soldiers have high tech weapons with which to torture and kill the masses. It held my interest for its somewhat original premise and the science fiction elements, but it's a long read and the names and storylines have not stuck with me.