Iggulden takes up where he left off in Lords of the Bow (also
reviewed on Myshelf).
After the subjugation of China and Korea, Genghis Khan expands his conquest of central Asia.
He pushes west with his hordes of mounted warriors to take on the Muslim lands ruled by Shah
Mohammad in retaliation for the torture and death of some of the Khan's warriors. The vast
armies of the Shah outnumber the Mongols and the Shah's fleet of formidable armored elephants
is a new challenge.
This historical fiction takes place in the thirteenth century and is way beyond the
ordinary...well researched with characters who are unforgettable, showcasing Genghis's brilliance
as a strategist, tactician, administrator and leader. He is a charismatic, utterly fearless man
who commands the loyalty of his followers as few other leaders in history have been able to.
His sons are in fierce competition with each other and maintain a deadly rivalry to be the next
khan. Murder, treachery, attempted assassination, and environmental hardships must be dealt with
in addition to the bloody battles as they engage the enemy day after day.
Violent death was a constant threat to all, along with death by natural causes and disease.
At one point Genghis ordered the 163,000 captured Moslems put to death by the sword as a lesson
to the surviving cities of the Shah. After the Shah Mohammad is overthrown and finally dies,
the surprising rise of his son as a serious threat to Genghis steps up the tension. The
brutally long battles are detailed in exciting, bloody action in years-long campaigns that take
the entire Mongol population across the land en masse. Iggulden's blow-by-blow description of
each battle puts the reader right in the action.
Iggulden is one of the best writers I have had the pleasure of reading and has moved to the
top of my "favorites" list. I read the first two books in the series nonstop, and had to wait
impatiently for volume three. (I did take advantage of the hiatus to read Conn Iggulden's four
book series on
Julius Caesar.) This final book in the Genghis series definitely lived up to my expectations...I
hated for it to end. I look forward to other books by this talented author. What a writer!