Aaron's Reviews > Genghis: Lords of the Bow

Genghis by Conn Iggulden
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's review
Oct 10, 2008

really liked it

I first really got into Iggulden's work when he was writing a series of books following the life of Julius Caesar. This is the second novel in another series, though, you probably guessed from the title that it follows the life of Genghis Khan. While the first novel in the series focus on the rise of Genghis from an exile from one of the many Mongol tribes to the uniting force of a Mongol Empire, this volume he sets his eyes on the Chin Kingdom, the neighboring Chinese that have looked down and abused the barbarian people who lived on the Asian steppes.

The Mongol nation starts to head east and stakes it's first claim on the kingdom of Xi Xia after some in-depth research by two of Genghis' brothers, who traveled to Chin and brought back engineers who could teach the Mongols how to break down the massive walls the Chin used to defend themselves. Xi Xia quickly folds, and even becomes a vassal state, providing Ghengis with a second wife in the form of one of its princesses.

The story progresses as a number of characters get a chance to develop, which also allows a deepening understanding of Mongol society of the time. Genghis is dealing with the fact that he still questions the fatherhood of his eldest son while also dealing with the fact that his youngest brother is by no means a warrior. There is also a bizarre shaman who uses his skills to gain power among the Mongols while also getting close with Genghis' youngest brother.

As for the interaction between the Chin and the Mongols, things slowly built toward an epic battle at the capital city of Yenking. For those who like epic historical fiction, this is a really good choice. You definitely have to read the first book beforehand!

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