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Bones of the Hills
Book Three in the Genghis Khan series

by Conn Iggulden


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!

The Book

Delacorte Press
March 24, 2009
0385339534 / 978-0385339537
Fiction / Historical / 13th Century Asia
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The Reviewer

Beverly J. Rowe
Reviewed 2009
NOTE: Reviewer Beverly J. Rowe is's "Babes to Teens" columnist, covering topics related to reading ideas for the youth in the family.
© 2009