Conn Igguldens novels are grand historical tales of conquest and vengeance, cruelty and greatness. Now the acclaimed author of Genghis: Birth of an Empire delivers a masterful new novel of the mighty Mongol conqueroras Genghis Khan sets out to unify an entire continent under his rule.
He came from over the horizon, a single Mongol warrior surrounded by his brothers, sons, and fellow tribesmen. With each battle his legend grew and the ranks of his horsemen swelled, as did his ambition. For centuries, primitive tribes had warred with one another. Now, under Genghis Khan, they have united as one nation, setting their sights on a common enemy: the great, slumbering walled empire of the Chin.
A man who lived for battle and blood, Genghis leads his warriors across the Gobi Desert and into a realm his people had never seen beforewith gleaming cities, soaring walls, and canals. Laying siege to one fortress after another, Genghis called upon his cunning and imagination to crush each enemy in a different way, to overcome moats, barriers, deceptions, and superior firepoweruntil his army faced the ultimate test of all.
In the city of Yenkingmodern-day Beijingthe Chin will make their final stand, setting a trap for the Mongol raiders, confident behind their towering walls. But Genghis will strike with breathtaking audacity, never ceasing until the Emperor himself is forced to kneel.
Not much of the book is devoted to character development. The reader isn't really given insight into Genghis's thought processes and motivations. There's very little here that suggests the charisma the real-life Genghis must have possessed to unite the nomadic tribes under one rule. Other characters are equally one-dimensional. The dialog, too, is stilted - a bit like what you'd expect from a Conan movie. Much of it is over the top, particularly the motivational speeches (along the lines of "We will kill all the men and delight in the weeping of their women!"). These flaws, however, do little to diminish the overall appeal of the book. (Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).
Readers who enjoy well-researched tales of historical adventure with an emphasis on political intrigue, exotic settings, and military conflict will enjoy the ride. For all popular fiction collections.
Starred Review. Borrowing from history and legend, Iggulden reimagines the iconic conqueror on a more human scale—larger-than-life surely, but accessible and even sympathetic. Iggulden's Genghis series is shaping up as a triumph of historical fiction.
As Genghis Khan consolidated the nomadic tribes of the
Asian steppe, he realized that a consistent rule of law was necessary to
maintain order. He accomplished this by creating his "Yasa" (or "Yassa"), a
comprehensive set of rules governing nearly all aspects of Mongolian life and
culture. The original
Yasa ("decree" or
"order") is thought to have been written on
scrolls bound into volumes, and kept in a secret archive to which only the khan
and his advisers had access, but the rules were widely known and observed, and in
many cases were adopted by rival cultures. They codified religious tolerance
and social equality, which helped promote peace between the diverse peoples who
made up the Mongol Empire*.
An adulterer is
to be put to death without any regard as to whether he is married or not.
goods (on credit) and becomes bankrupt, then again takes goods and again becomes
bankrupt, then takes goods again and yet again...
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