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Conqueror #2

Genghis: Lords of the Bow

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Genghis unites Mongol tribes to cross the Gobi Desert and fight the Chin - gleaming cities, soaring walls, and canals. Laying siege to one fortress after another, Genghis cunningly crushes each enemy differently, overcoming moats, barriers, deceptions, and superior firepower—until his army calls the Emperor in Yenking to kneel.

387 pages, Hardcover

First published January 2, 2008

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About the author

Conn Iggulden

116 books5,057 followers
Also publishes under author name C.F. Iggulden.

I was born in the normal way in 1971, and vaguely remember half-pennies and sixpences. I have written for as long as I can remember: poetry, short stories and novels. It’s what I always wanted to do and read English at London University with writing in mind. I taught English for seven years and was Head of English at St. Gregory’s RC High School in London by the end of that period. I have enormous respect for those who still labour at the chalk-face. In truth, I can’t find it in me to miss the grind of paperwork and initiatives. I do miss the camaraderie of the smokers’ room, as well as the lessons where their faces lit up as they understood what I was wittering on about.

My mother is Irish and from an early age she told me history as an exciting series of stories – with dates. My great-grandfather was a Seannachie, so I suppose story-telling is in the genes somewhere. My father flew in Bomber Command in WWII, then taught maths and science. Perhaps crucially, he also loved poetry and cracking good tales. Though it seems a dated idea now, I began teaching when boys were told only girls were good at English, despite the great names that must spring to mind after that statement. My father loved working with wood and equations, but he also recited ‘Vitai Lampada’ with a gleam in his eye and that matters, frankly.

I’ve always loved historical fiction as a genre and cut my teeth on Hornblower and Tai-Pan, Flashman, Sharpe and Jack Aubrey. I still remember the sheer joy of reading my first Patrick O’Brian book and discovering there were nineteen more in the series. I love just about anything by David Gemmell, or Peter F. Hamilton or Wilbur Smith. I suppose the one thing that links all those is the love of a good tale.

That’s about it for the moment. If you’d like to get in touch with me leave a comment in the forum or you can tweet me @Conn_Iggulden. I’ll leave it there for the moment. If you’ve read my books, you know an awful lot about the way I think already. There’s no point overdoing it.

Conn Iggulden

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 833 reviews
Profile Image for Dana Ilie.
404 reviews347 followers
February 18, 2019
This was a gripping page-turner. The author paints a credible picture of Genghis Khan's temperament and psychological tendencies in his decision-making processes and in his dealings with his family, his tribesmen and his enemies.

The story is about how Genghis Khan, having united all the various Mongol tribes, led his army to invade the Xi Xia Kingdom (of Tanguts) and then the Chin (Jin) Empire (of Jurchens). It tells how he developed and improved his assault tactics.

Historical information about the various battles is generally accurate and the battle scenes are vividly drawn. An entertaining read overall.

If you love plenty of fierce combat scenes, fascinating yet unique characters, and historically accurate descriptions of artifacts and customs, Conn Iggulden’s novels are riveting works that will make you want to read more of this creative and talented author.
Profile Image for Pakinam Mahmoud.
755 reviews2,944 followers
June 8, 2023
"سوف يرتعشون خوفاً...سأمنحهم سبباً لذلك.."

سادة البراري..الجزء الثاني من سلسلة مكونة من ٥ أجزاء تتناول سيرة قائد المغول جنكيز خان ...

في هذا الجزء نري رؤية جنكيز خان ،هذا الرجل الذي إستطاع أن يُشكل أُمة من قبائل متفرقة وكان يمتلك قدر هائل من الذكاء والبصيرة وإستطاع أن يحكم ويسيطر علي أراضي شاسعة و يكون في نفس الوقت محبوباً بين كل هذه القبائل التي كانت تدين له بالولاء التام...

بإسلوب سرد مشوق سنري كيف إستطاع جنكيز خان الإلتفاف حول سور الصين العظيم و غزو إمبراطورية تشن(الصين حالياً) في معركة ممر بادغر، واحدة من إعظم إنتصارات جنكيز كما سيوضح الكاتب كيف أستطاع المغول أن يطوروا من أنفسهم وكيف كانوا يجربون تقنيات وأسلحة حديثة ويبحثون دائماً عن طرق لخداع العدو الذي يواجهونه...

الصراحة الجزء ده بالنسبة لي كان ممل مقارنة بالجزء الأول..كان يوجد الكثير من الفصول عن المعارك وتفاصيلها اللي زهقتني شوية كما إن الاحداث مكانتش مركزة أوي علي جنكيز نفسه باستثناء مواقف قليلة له مع أبنائه و أفراد من قبيلته ولكن كان التركيز أكثر علي أخواته وشخصيات أخري...

علي الرغم إن الجزء هنا مش ممتع مثل الجزء الأول إلا إن شخصية جنكيز مازالت بالنسبة لي شخصية مبهرة و عاوزة أقرأ عنه أكتر و أتعرف أكتر علي شخصية ودماغ هذا القائد الإستثنائي...
إلي لقاء قريب يا جنكيز في الجزء الثالث:)
Profile Image for Petrik.
675 reviews43k followers
November 11, 2019
A compelling, brutal, informational, and terrifying depiction of Genghis’ conquest of Yenking.

“Some words can be a cruel weight on a man, unless he learns to ignore them.”

Genghis: Lords of the Bow is the sequel to Genghis: Birth of an Empire; it’s the second book in the Conqueror series by Conn Iggulden. The story takes place approximately eight years after the end of the first book. Temujin, now called Genghis Khan, is 26 years old and the entirety of the book is about Genghis and the Mongol’s invasion of Yenking (Beijing today.) Genghis: Lords of the Bow was almost as good as the first book; the large-scale action scenes—more on this later—was definitely better. I felt like a lot of what makes Conqueror so enjoyable to read was because of Iggulden’s writing style that still follows the same engaging head-hopping narrative that he utilized in the first book, and I personally believe that many authors who use the same storytelling style could learn a thing or two from Iggulden here. As I’ve mentioned in my review of the first book, I never felt lost with the narration; Iggulden makes head-hopping narrative—which I usually despise—very easy to follow and instead of confusing the readers, his writing style made every scene full of emotions due to the constant exchange of dialogues accompanied by the speaker’s thoughts and feelings. I found all of these to be an incredibly positive point in my read.

“If you are asking if my family will take what they want, of course they will. The strong rule, Chen Yi. Those who are not strong dream of it.”

The unfortunate things about Genghis: Lords of the Bow for me was the noticeable slowdowns in the middle section of the book. Unlike the first book where the majority of the perspective takes place from Genghis’ POV, this installment seems to prioritize witnessing scenes from Genghis’ brothers and the enemies’ perspectives; some were good, even great, but one in particular—Temuge—was boring. The middle part of the book centered on Khasar’s and Temuge’s infiltration into Baotou and I found the pacing during this part to be sluggish to get through. It is, however, important to read this section because it’s looking very likely that this would eventually become one of the foundations of Genghis’ vision of the future. Plus, Genghis’ relationship with his brothers and how his brothers view him will always be one of the highlights of the series for me.

“While his brother dreamed of war and plunder, Temuge saw cities in his imagination and all the beauty and the power that came with them.”

Action-wise, Genghis: Lords of the Bow proved to be a much more action-packed installment compared to its predecessor. The first book was about Temujin’s coming-of-age and his unification of Mongolia, this is about his invasion of Yenking. The main spotlight of the book was definitely the battle of Badger’s Mouth, which was insanely breathtaking. The second half of this book was just brilliant; full of actions, drama, and gripping turn of events. Iggulden reminded us why Genghis’ invasion stamped in history terrifyingly by recreating scenes of carnage for us to read. It was incredibly intriguing to witness the tactics and strength the Mongol unleashed in order to conquer cities that are much larger and advanced than theirs. I’m not there, but from what I’ve heard, The Mongols were demonic with their cavalry and bow proficiency; seeing them build a literal path of corpses in their bloody conquest was frightening. The incident of “falling petals” was an event I didn’t know and the word “harrowing” is an understatement to describe the event. I mean, up to sixty thousand young girls in white garments threw themselves from the wall of Yenking so they don’t have to see their city fall; shit doesn’t get much bleaker than that.

“Like an island in a raging sea, the Mongol horsemen moved across the face of the Chin army and no one could bring them down.”

Not only it’s engaging, but I also loved the informational nature of this historical fiction series. I know I still have three books left to read in the series but so far Iggulden has been, as far as I know, very accurate in the historical accuracy. Yes, he did change some details to make the flow of the story better, but it was never up to the point where it made me went “what the hell!?” Just like the first book, I also found many inspirational passages about leadership and strength that are eloquently written and applicable to humanity’s character-building these days. This long passage below is one of many examples:

“From this day, you are no longer children. If you have to fight, even if it is a friend, put him down as fast and hard as you possibly can. Kill if you have to, or spare him—but beware putting any man in your debt. Of all things, that causes resentment. Any warrior who raises his fist to you must know he is gambling with his life and that he will lose. If you cannot win at first, take revenge if it is the last thing you do. You are traveling with men who respect only strength greater than theirs, men harder than themselves. Above everything else, they respect success. Remember it.”

Although there was a slight pacing issue in the halfway section, Genghis: Lords of the Bow is certainly another awesome book in the Conqueror series; it’s brutal, convincingly written, and it has a second half that’s super difficult to put down. I know I don’t read much historical fiction series, not as much as I wanted to anyway, but even though I’m only two books into the series so far, I will recommend this series to every historical fiction fans or readers who want to learn more about Genghis Khan and his legends.

“Genghis was far from invincible and was wounded many times in his battles. Yet luck was always with him and he survived again and again – perhaps deserving the belief his men had in him, that he was blessed and destined to conquer.”

You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11k followers
November 20, 2011

Oh really? Well, if the above adage is an accurate sentiment, than I think it's equitable to concede that Genghis Khan, ruler of the mightily manly Mongols, vanquisher and subjugator of a quarter of the known world, was...to state it bluntly...the...MAN...

Your enemies don't come more dripping with macho-awesomeness than that!! 

This second installment of Iggulden’s Conqueror trilogy begins several years following the events of Genghis: Birth of an Empire. In the first book, we followed Genghis from his formative, early years through the moment when he begins uniting the various Mongol tribes under his rule of manliness. As I stated previously in my review of that first installment, Iggulden does a superior job of making this complex, enigmatic figure come to life. 

This second installment maintains the high standards of the first. Inspire of that, I didn't quite enjoy this as much as  Genghis: Birth of an Empire, but I think that was more a result of my fussy, unreasonable expectations than any patent failure of quality in the text itself. 

I shall explain. 

As I mentioned above, the first book ended with Genghis having begun to unite the various warring tribes into a unified nation. Based on how the first novel ended, I was all revved up and geared in excitement for this book to commence the description of the giant, "out to the woodshed" ass-kicking that Genghis unleashed on the world. I was all expecting the firm smack down of some  enemy ass followed by a segue into Genghis pillaging some enemy villages (after kicking some more enemy ass). From there, the narrative was to transition into Genghis stomping some cities into the ground (immediately following another stellar game of stomp the enemy’s naughty bits). After that, we would move into Genghis pummeling more enemies into submission...followed by brief pauses, after plundering a few wealthy towns, to get really, really, really, really drunk and debauched at an impromptu “Genghis is Awesome" celebration.


....then it would be right back to killing and maiming the enemy, expanding the Mongol empire (after capping some more enemies) and finally, after all the asses have been kicked, to climax with a brief segment of taking names, the traditional post-ass-kicking activity. 

Unfortunately, Iggulden decided to take a more measured and less nut stomping pace to the narrative, which caused me some initial moments of melancholy. However, Iggulden's breezy style and well-crafted plot quickly drew me in and I found myself hooked again by the unveiling of this incredible historical figure's momentous life. Before starting this series, I knew next to nothing about Genghis, which shocks and appalls me given his impact on the world. I have found him prior to be a fascinating figure and one that on many levels I admire greatly. 

Now hold up John and Jenny "Jump-the-Gun", don’t go getting me wrong and thinking I condone all of Genghis's actions. He  was certainly ruthless to his enemies and, at times, conducted wholesale slaughter of those he conquered. It's also true that he was clearly the aggressor and that his campaign was offensive rather than defensive.  HOWEVER, in analyzing his actions from the perspective of his own beliefs and motivations, I came to at least understand (even if I did not fully condone) Genghis Khan’s actions. 

From Genghis’s perspective, the neighboring empires, including the Kingdom of the Xi Xia and the Chin or Chinese Empire, had been responsible for keeping the various Mongol tribes fighting and killing each other for centuries. The Chin had also conducted numerous raids and similar acts of belligerence  against the Mongols. Thus, when Genghis united the tribes, part of his motivation was to be able to create a force strong enough to destroy these two enemies in order to secure safety and freedom for his own people.  Not exactly a monstrous goal. 

Now, I admit, that may not be a perfect justification for starting an aggressive war or even as good as say...I don’t know...claiming that  the Xi Xia and the Chin were harboring WMDs. However, I still think that Genghis Khan’s desire to create freedom and safety for his people shows his later actions in a different light even if you don’t agree with his decision to invade Iraq Xi Xia.  

In addition, the book describes how Genghis usually offered his enemies the option of surrendering before he attacked.  Of course, if this offer was refused, he would be ruthless to those who refused upon his eventual victory. However, even that was for the purpose of encouraging future enemies to willingly surrender. A cold, calculating decision, yes. But not necessarily bloodthirsty. 

Genghis is also portrayed as being extremely loyal to those who follow him and inspiring tremendous loyalty in return. He lavishly rewarded those who fought with him and took care of the families of those who died in battle. He cared about his people deeply, and they in turn cared deeply for him. I think this above all else is something I greatly admired about the man as I think inspiring love and loyalty is always worthy of recognition. 

In summary, while Genghis Khan’s reputation as a bloodthirsty conqueror is not without a basis in fact, I think that Iggulden has shown him to have been a much more layered, multi-faceted historical figure. He had many noble qualities and was a superb leader of men, maybe among the best ever. He was also loved by his people and had understandable motives behind the actions that he took. 

Though certainly not perfect, I certainly think Gene Roddenberry should have received a bottom-smacking for placing such a great leader in this motley group:

in sum, this book was well written, well paced and superbly detailed. I'm looking forward to reading the final volume in the trilogy about this larger than life historical figure. In closing, here are a few famous quotes ascribed to Genghis (Conan fans will recognize the first one):


3.5 to 4.0 stars. Highly Recommended.
Profile Image for Zitong Ren.
504 reviews153 followers
November 18, 2019
Lords of the Bow is the second book in Conn Iggulden’s Conqueror series, where it continues from the first book, Wolf of the Plains and it tells the tale of Genghis Khan, where upon the end of this book, Yenking, or Beijing as it is known today, surrenders to the Mongols. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and, as the history buff that I am, wish that more historical fiction was written in earlier time frames.

What do I mean by this, well, nowadays, I find that a great portion of historical fiction is centred around the last century alone, such as the Great War, WW2 and also the Cold War, with many books set in the time frame of that, say, trench warfare or the Holocaust. I have nothing against these books and I have found books like The Book Thief to have been wonderful books and really shows what these people have suffered in recent times. However, I would love for more historical fiction to be written in a setting that is pre 20th century, like this book for instance, for his series set after the death of Caesar. I would love fiction say, set in Napoleonic Europe or Han China as there is so much history for to be discovered and made into fiction. If anyone has any recommendations, feel free to let me know.

Something I do like about this book, though it undoubtedly may draw away some readers is that it is meant to be as realistic as possible, despite how gruesome, bloody or dangerous it may seem. This was a time where women where treated incredibly unfairly(and in many countries, still are) and when life was incredibly harsh. This book is full of death and selling off women got others and slavery is also common, so it is may not be suited to younger readers or people who do not like reading this sort of stuff. I did not particularly like this stuff and certainly do not support it and found myself grimacing often when I was reading it, yet it was oddly immersive and makes it fell more like you are actually there with the characters in their current situation.

As it is the story of the great Khan, it is filled with military tactics, detailed battle scenes and gore, which may, again, draw readers away, but history is not something that is lighthearted and this book shows it at how much the Mongols seemed to have loved killing and slaughtering innocent people. It is certainly not a good thing, yet the battle scenes and sieges make the book so much more epic in every sense and since Iggulden writes action pretty well, it does not hurt the book in any way.

The book is not overly fast paced and in fact drags a bit in the middle despite the action scenes as there are areas where everyone is just sitting around waiting for people to surrender, like the end, where the Mongols sit outside Yenking for literal years. Yes, there are bits that do get a bit boring, but there are also parts of the story that is just so riveting that it, in a sense, makes up for it.

All of the different characters are all very interesting and the dialogue has obviously been made up as nobody would of known exactly of what they would have said in that time. They are all very written and fully realised characters that all fit suitably well into the historical setting.

I did really enjoy this book and would recommend for fans of both fantasy and historical fiction alike. 8/10
Profile Image for Mizuki.
2,973 reviews1,177 followers
March 26, 2017
My review for the first book: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
My review for the third book: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Thanks to the editor of the Chinese translated version of this book and all those footnotes in the text, here we can get some Mogul Empire History 101:

(1) Genghis Khan had tons of wives, not just two wives.

(2) the Chi Empire (in other translation: the Jin Empire) and the Xi Xia Empire/Tangut Empire did not share the same ancestor.

(3) there is a 'Buddhist monk' Yao Shu in the novel, but historically Yao Shu is a Taoist.

(4) historically the Xi Xia Emperor at Genghis Khan's time is called Li Anquan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor...), the 'Xi Xia Emperor' in this novel is totally made up.

Actual review here:

In this book, we follow Genghis Khan, his brothers and his warrior buddies on a quest to conquer more land across Asia!

Since this series was written on the view point of Genghis and the Mongol Empire, therefore the Chi Empire and their royal family are more or less being painted as the 'bad guys' (the author reasons that the Chi Emperor was responsible for the death of Genghis' father), still fortunately the author didn't rely too much on such justification. I mean.........perhaps the Chi Emperor had done some dark things, but it really isn't like Genghis and his buddies are any more merciful or righteous.

In this book Genghis is still the main character, and his family dramas (mostly the tension he had with his chief wife Börte and his oldest son Jochi) also foreshadows the undercurrents within the ruling family, which lead to the many major events and plot twists in the sequel.

Beside Genghis, I like how his brothers are having more roles to play instead of being the mere followers of Genghis in the previous book. For example, I like Qasar and Temüge's quest to the Chi Empire and how the brothers meet up with new, unfamiliar friends/foes, deal with the new surrounding and new challenges. Not to mention, Lords of the Bow also ends with yet another heart-stopping epic battle (once again I'm impressed!)

Genghis' general Subutai (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subutai) also has more role to play in this book, and the general will take on an important role in the sequel.

Reading Mr. Iggulden's novels really help me to experience the charms of historical novels (I'm not a huge fan of this genre, mind you), my knowledge on Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire is mostly from what I'd read in my highschool textbooks, but Mr. Iggulden and his story successfully manage to breath life into all those impassive historical details. I really appreciate what the author had done with his works.

PS: but please bear in mind that many of the historical details in this series aren't exactly accurate.

An ass-kicking book review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
April 19, 2019
Genghis Khan continues to sweep all before him showing a vision for an empire that will stand long after he has gone. The strategy of the Mongol army is fascinating when and how to outsmart their enemy is as much the achievement as the battle itself. The discipline of military planning and execution, the weapons and machines for battle, and the network of scouts and the infrastructure around the armies is absolutely amazing for its time. What a wonderful insight brought to life in an exceptional novel.

The Mongols meet the age-old enemy, the Chin, and the battles are fierce and bloody and often on a knife-edge as to their outcomes. With the victory, everyone starts to realise that to fight Genghis’ armies they will face an intelligent, brutal and merciless foe. Fight and you will be slaughtered, surrender and you will be integrated into the Mongol empire. The choice for many becomes obvious.

The pace of the narrative is relentless and rich with detail and a fascinating perspective on the power-plays and motivations of those that surround Genghis. It is jaw dropping to appreciate all the elements the Mongol armies brought to bear in conquering cities and regions, that were so much more advanced and innovative than anything that came before.

While the detail is fictional, Conn Iggulden writes with such authority that I want it to be fact. I want to feel this book taught me who the real person was. I would highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Alice Poon.
Author 5 books270 followers
October 28, 2017
This was a gripping page-turner. The author paints a credible picture of Genghis Khan's temperament and psychological tendencies in his decision-making processes and in his dealings with his family, his tribesmen and his enemies.

The story is about how Genghis Khan, having united all the various Mongol tribes, led his army to invade the Xi Xia Kingdom (of Tanguts) and then the Chin (Jin) Empire (of Jurchens). It tells how he developed and improved his assault tactics.

Historical information about the various battles is generally accurate and the battle scenes are vividly drawn. An entertaining read overall except that there are some glaring historical inaccuracies.
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
2,933 reviews10.6k followers
January 15, 2012
Genghis Khan continues uniting the Mongol tribes and takes them across the Gobi Desert into the lands of the Chin. The Khan's forces sack village after village, until setting their sights on Yenking. Can even the vast horde break an impregnable fortress-city?

Lords of the Bow picks up a couple years after Birth of an Empire left off. While the story wasn't as gripping as Birth of an Empire, it was still good. The most interesting aspects were the ways Genghis inspired confidence in his men. It wouldn't take much for me to leave cube land and ride with the Khan.

Genghis's relationship with his family was well done, particularly with Jochi, whose parentage is in doubt. The way he interacts with his brothers humanizes him a bit and makes him more than a cold military leader. He's even funny at times, afraid of his two wives becoming closer. The budding hatred between Joshi and Chagatai sets up elements in the next book.

Iggulden makes the siege of Yenking and the battle of Badger Mouth pass sweaty-palmed page turners. I'm hoping the third and final book has its share of epic battles.

A lot of people complain that Iggulden plays fast and loose with the facts. I scoff at that notion. The differences are where the fiction part of historical fiction comes into play. If you want history, read a history book.

If you read Birth of an Empire, you won't want to pass this one up.
Profile Image for Sud666.
1,944 reviews158 followers
July 8, 2022
"Lords of the Bow" could be read as a stand-alone novel (in fact the entire Conqueror series can be read as stand-alone). But this is the follow up to "Birth of an Empire".

Temujin has become Ghenghis Khan. The story starts after the events in the first book and seeveral more years after. Having banded all the tribes together under the banner of "Mongol", Ghenghis turns his eyes towards the Chinese Empires.

This is the story of the campaign of Ghenghis against the Xia and Jin Empires. It details how the Mongol army has changed and the new style has remarkable merit. The story ends with the surrender of Yenking (Beijing).

Iggulden's Ghenghis books have been a pleasure to read. Interesting and exciting, it also reveals the author's deep historical roots in the accuracy of the telling. An absolutely wonderful series for anyone interested in the Mongols.
Profile Image for Negativni.
148 reviews65 followers
March 2, 2017
Drugi dio počinje uništavanjem zadnjeg otpora spajanju monogolskih plemena u jedan narod, Džingis-kan tako ostvaruje svoj životni san. Nakon toga priprema jednu od najvećih vojnih kampanja u povijesti čovječanstva, osvajanje velikog carstva Jin koje je stoljećima tlačilo njegov narod.

Mislio sam da će mi se drugi dio serijala svidjeti i više od prvog jer sad kreće prava akcija. Iggulden je izbjegao ponavljanje i opisivanje opsada svakog grada i fokus stavio na epsku bitku za glavni grad carstva Jin. Planiranje napada i strategije su dobro opisani, a sama bitka je opisana iz nekoliko kuteva. Ipak, nešto mi je falilo. Mislim da je problem u samom liku Đingis-kana, on je sad gotovo nedodirljiv, pa nema one napetosti i jake emocionalne povezanosti kao u prvom dijelu kada je bio sam protiv svih.

Ipak, nije ovo loš akcijski povijesni roman, kako rekoh dobro je napisan i povijesne ličnosti su dobro oživljene. Prvi dio mi je bio za mršavu peticu, a ovaj za jaku četvorku. A sad da vidimo gdje će me horda dalje odvesti u trećem dijelu...
Profile Image for Scott  Hitchcock.
779 reviews223 followers
February 12, 2017
Another great volume in this saga. The idea of the Mongols rising up and bringing a city the size of Yanking (later Peking and Beijing) is pretty amazing. The author does a great job bringing the characters to life in a believable fashion.
Profile Image for Tahani Shihab.
592 reviews830 followers
May 17, 2020

الجزء الثاني من السيرة الملحمية للقائد المغولي جنكيز خان، في هذا الجزء يصل القائد جنكيز خان إلى تخوم العاصمة الصينية بيجين، لكنه يصدم بسورها المنيع. يتملك الغرور الإمبراطور الصيني وقائد جيشه، بسبب التحصين وبسبب كثرة جيوشهم التي تفوق تعداد جيش جنكيز خان. لكن جنكيز خان استعمل حنكته وذكائه ومهاراته القتالية في الالتفاف على الجيش الصيني وإبادته إبادة تامة.


“إن من مصلحتنا أن يهاجم أعداؤنا بعضهم البعض، أين يكمن الخطر بالنسبة لنا في ذلك؟”.

“كان الشعب قد اعتاد أن يخاف من الملك، وعلى الرغم من ذلك كان الملك في أفكاره الخاصة يخاف منهم أكثر”.

“أجسادكم مثل أي حيوان آخر تعتنون به. سيصرخ مطالبًا بالطعام، والماء، والدفء، والتخلص من الألم. اكتشفوا الوجه القاسي ويمكنكم إسكات صوته الصاخب”.

“خدمت والدك بإخلاص يا جلالة الإمبراطور. معه، كنت سأنتصر. معك، أيها الأقل شأنًا، خسرت”.

“لم يكن والدك ليسمح لي بالمجيء إليه يا جلالة الإمبراطور. كان ينبغي ألا تثق بقائد جيش عائد من الهزيمة”.

كون إيغلدن.
Profile Image for Mark Harrison.
704 reviews20 followers
March 16, 2017
Excellent second part of the Mongol story. Genghis now takes the united tribes to fight against the Chin. Quite brilliant battle sequences, subtle espionage in the Chin cities, politics, betrayal, love, death, decapitation, mayhem, chaos and more decapitation. Moves at great pace and, whilst there have been some historical liberties, it is a great read.
Profile Image for أحمد فؤاد.
Author 7 books660 followers
March 2, 2019
" لا يُمكنني تخيّل السلام... لم أعرفه أبدًا." جنكيز خان.

بهذه العبارة نستطيع أن نفهم المُبرر الرئيس لمُوحّد المغول جنكيز خان في حربه المستمرة التي لم تتوقف. إن الصور التي وصلت لنا عبر التاريخ، تصوّر لنا وحشية شعب المغول، والإمعان في التدمير وقتل الأعداء عن بكرة أبيهم، وتدمير المدن التي يعبرونها خلال غزوهم، جعلني أتساءل بشكل مُلِحّ "لماذا كل هذه القسوة؟" ودفعتني رغبة عارمة في معرفة الإجابة عن هذا التساؤل، وكان أفضل محاولة للبحث هو المقارنة بين آراء أعدائه وآراء مؤيديه، وذلك للوقوف على صورة مُحايدة توضّح لي سببًا يختفي في أوراق التاريخ. بحثت طويلًا في الشبكة العنكبوتية عن مصادر عديدة أجنبية وعربية، وأغلبها يستقي مصادره من كتاب "التاريخ السري للمغول" والذي هو مرجع رئيس للرواية أيضًا. تأكدّت من بعض أحداث الرواية أو الكتاب عندما قرأت مقال للدكتور محمد بن عبد الرحمن البشر، بعنوان "التاريخ السري لجنكيز خان"، يحكي عن زيارته لدولة منغوليا عندما كان سفيرًا لخادم الحرمين الشريفين بدولة الصين، وجدت الخطوط الرئيسة لتاريخ المغول وجنكيز خان موجودة في مقاله، والتي بالتأكيد قد سمعها أثناء زيارته أو حياته في تلك الفترة من الناس هناك.
رابط المقال:

رواية سادة البراري وهي الجزء الثاني من ملحمة السيرة الذاتية لجنكيز خان، تكمل رحلة توحيده لقبائل شعبه التي عاشت لسنوات طويلة مُتفرّقين غارقين في البداوة، في سهول قاحلة قاسية في أجواءها تصبغ أرواحهم بقسوة مماثلة أو أشد قسوة. ينتقل بعدها ليغزو الصين ويُحاصر بيكين حتى يُخضعها ويجبرها على الاستسلام. الرواية ممتعة للغاية وتم تصوير المعارك الحربية بشكل رائع، تظهر براعة جنكيز خان في التكتيكات الحربية وكيفية التغلّب على الأسوار الشامخة بخوض ما يظن عدوه أنه من المستحيلات. من أجمل المشاهد التي برع الكاتب في وصفها في هذه الرواية، هو مشهد الانتحار الجماعي لأكثر من 60 ألف شابّة من أعلى أسوار ينكنج " بكين". وهذا المشهد -للأسف الشديد- حادثة حقيقية بالمناسبة.

يقول الكاتب دانييل ديفو في روايته الشهيرة " روبنسون كروزو "كانت الطبيعة قد تركت هذه السمة في الدم، بأن كل الرجال سيصبحون طُغاة إذا استطاعوا"

دفعني حُ��ي لعلم النفس أن أقارن بين شخصية جنكيز خان وبين شخصيات عبر التاريخ اشتهرت بالقسوة أو بإبادة أعدائها، فوجدتني أذكر هتلر -كمثال فقط – والذي رغم أنه كان يعيش حياة مُضطربة بسبب عنف أبيه ضده، إلا أنه بالنهاية كان انسان مُتحضّرًا يعيش في دولة مُتحضّرة، التزم بقوانين بلده وألفها. وهكذا قست أمثلة في عقلي لمعظم الطُغاة أو الشخصيات المدنيين الذين اشتهروا بتصفية أعدائها. لكنني شعرت بالرعب من هذه المقارنة، لأن أولئك الطغاة كانوا أهل مُدن، مُثقفين مُتعلّمين على قدر كبير من التحضّر، فكيف لهذه القسوة غير المتوقعة أن تصدر منهم بهذه الصورة. إن حياة جنكيز خان كبدوي عاش وسط القبائل حيث قسوة الطبيعة المناخية والجغرافية قد أثّرت بالتأكيد في طبيعته، حيث كان الشجاعة والقوة هما فقط ما يضمن لهم الاستمرار في الحياة، وحيث أن السبيل الوحيد للحصول على طعام -إن نضب في أماكنهم- هو الحصول عليه بالقوة عبر غارات على قبائل مُماثلة، هذه الحياة هي التي تجعل النفوس قاسية. ويشترك في ذلك جميع الرعاة أو أهل القبائل الرحّالة، وتختلف قسوتهم باختلاف درجة توحّش البيئة حولهم. وهذا ليس تبريرًا لأفعالهم، وإنما يعطينا ذلك سببًا كي نفهم ذريعتهم، لأن الفزع الحقيقي يكون عندما تأتينا القسوة ممن لا نتصوّرها لديهم. إننا نستطيع أن نتقبّل الوحشية من قاتل مُحترف، لكننا نشعر بالهلع عندما تأتينا من شخص مُهذّب يبتسم في وجوهنا!

"لقد أبقونا متفرقين ألف جيل يا كيشون. لقد قاموا باستغلالنا حتى لم نعد أكثر من كلاب متوحشة. ذلك هو الماضي. لقد جمعتُ الشمل، وسوف يرتعشون خوفاً. سأمنحهم سبباً لذلك" جنكيز خان

هكذا نفهم أن الثأر هو السبب الرئيس لعنف جنكيز ضد الصين، وإصراره على توحيد قبائله لتكوين أُمّة ضخمة لمحاربة الصين وجعلهم يدفعون الثمن غاليًا. يرى جنكيز ضرورة قتل جميع الأسرى وحرق المدن التي يمر عليها في طريقه، وذلك لأنه لا يريد أن يترك خنجرًا في ظهره، لا أستطيع أن ألومه في طريقة تفكيره كثيرًا، خاصة أنه هو نفسه كان أكبر مثال على هذه الضرورة عندما تركه من قتل أباه على قيد الحياة ذات يوم. كان يعرف أنه بمجرد إكماله المسيرة إن ترك أحد المدن التي فتحها خلفه سليمة، سيتداركون هزيمتهم ويطاردونه ليصبح بين مطرقتهم وسندان العدو الذي أمامه. وهذا كان جزءًا من تلك الحياة الخشنة التي لا تحمل في جعبتها إلا أقل القليل من الرحمة، فأي ضعف معناه الموت.

لخّص جنكيز خان ذلك في عبارة قصيرة موجزة" لا يُمكنك أن تجرح دبًّا ثم تهرب... سيُلاحقك."

إن حياة مُحاربي القبائل عبر التاريخ وفي جميع أنحاء الأرض تتشابه في خصال حروبهم، وبغض النظر عن القسوة التي تتفاوت بين مكان وآخر، إلا أن هناك سمات مُشتركة تجمع بينهم.

ذكر المؤرّخ ابن خلدون في مُقدّمته الشهيرة التالي:"في أن العرب اذا تغلبوا على أوطان أسرع اليها الخراب " حيث يقول:

" والسبب في ذلك أنهم أمة وحشية باستحكام عوائد التوحش وأسبابه فيهم فصار لهم خلقاً وجبلة وكان عندهم ملذوذاً لما فيه من الخروج عن ربقة الحكم وعدم الانقياد للسياسة‏.‏ وهذه الطبيعة منافية للعمران ومناقضة له‏.‏ فغاية الأحوال العادية كلها عندهم الرحلة والتغلب وذلك مناقض للسكون الذي به العمران ومناف له‏.‏ فالحجر مثلاً إنما حاجتهم إليه لنصبه أثافي للقدر فينقلونه من المباني ويخربونها عليه ويعدونه لذلك‏.‏ والخشب أيضاً إنما حاجتهم إليه ليعمدوا به خيامهم ويتخذوا الأوتاد منه لبيوتهم فيخربون السقف عليه لذلك‏.‏ فصارت طبيعة وجودهم منافية للبناء الذي هو أصل العمران‏.‏ هذا في حالهم على العموم‏.)

أقتبس من الرواية حوار بين جنكيز خان وأخيه عندما كان الأخير يحاول أن يقنعه بضرورة بناء مدينة للمغول، يوضح الحوار طريقة تفكير إناس لا تعني لهم الحضارة سوى الضعف.

قال كشيون: نبني عاصمة يا شقيقي، مدينة واحدة للأمة التي صنعناها، يمكنني أن أتخيّل ساحات تدريب رائعة لرجالنا، مكانًا يعيش فيه أولادنا ولا يعرفون أبدًا الخوف الذي عرفناه.
رد جنكيز خان: سيكبرون رقيقين. سيجعلهم ذلك ضعفاء وعديمي الفائدة مثل جيوش تشن أنفسهم. ويومًا ما، سيأتي شخص على صهوة جواده، ويكون قاسيًا ونحيلًا وخطيرًا. عندها، أين سيكون شعبنا؟

أرى حوار جنكيز يذهب في اتجاه رأي ابن خلدون في أسباب انهيار الحضارات، يقول ابن خلدون:
(فلتعلم أن الحضارة في العمران أيضًا كذلك؛ لأنه غاية لا مزيد وراءها، وذلك أن الترف والنعمة إذا حصلا لأهل العمران دعاهم بطبعه إلى مذاهب الحضارة والتخلق بعوائدها، والحضارة كما علمت هي التفنن في الترف واستجادة أحواله، والكَلَف بالصنائع التي ت��نق من أصنافه وسائر فنونه من الصنائع المهيَّئة للمطابخ أو الملابس، أو المباني أو الفرش، أو الآنية ولسائر أحوال المنزل، وللتأنق في كل واحدة من هذه صنائع كثيرة لا يحتاج إليها عند البداوة، وعدم التأنق فيها، وإذا بلغ التأنق في هذه الأحوال المنزلية الغاية تبعه طاعة الشهوات، فتتلون النفس من تلك العوائد بألوان كثيرة لا يستقيم حالها معها في دينها ولا دنياها)

بعد قراءتي وبحثي عن محاربي المغول والتتار، أظنني أذهب إلى أن ابن خلدون في الحقيقة لم يكن يقصد مهاجمة العرب أو الانتقاص منهم رغم الظاهر في كلماته، وإنما كان هدفه التوضيح ومحاولة الفهم الصحيح لسمات أهل الب��ا��ة بشكل عام، فهو يذكر مثلًا:
(أن العرب لا يحصل لهم الملك إلا بصبغة دينية من نبوة أو ولاية أو أثر عظيم من الدين على الجملة والسبب في ذلك أنهم لخلق التوحش الذي فيهم أصعب الأمم انقياداً بعضهم لبعض للغلظة والأنفة وبعد الهمة والمنافسة في الرياسة فقلما تجتمع أهواؤهم‏.‏ فإذا كان الدين بالنبوة أو الولاية كان الوازع لهم من أنفسهم وذهب خلق الكبر والمنافسة منهم فسهل انقيادهم واجتماعهم وذلك بما يشملهم من الدين المذهب للغلظة والأنفة الوازع عن التحاسد والتنافس فإذا كان فيهم النبي أو الولي الذي يبعثهم على القيام بأمر الله ويذهب عنهم مذمومات الأخلاق ويأخذهم بمحمودها ويؤلف كلمتهم لإظهار الحق تم اجتماعهم وحصل لهم التغلب والملك‏.‏ وهم مع ذلك أسرع الناس قبولاً للحق والهدى لسلامة طباعهم من عوج الملكات وبراءتها من ذميم الأخلاق إلا ما كان من خلق التوحش القريب المعاناة المتهيىء لقبول الخير ببقائه على الفطرة الأولى وبعده عما ينطبع في النفوس من قبيح العوائد وسوء الملكات فإن كل مولود يولد على الفطرة كما ورد في الحديث وقد تقدم‏.)

نستطيع أن نرى هنا أنه من الضروري وجود رمز ما أو عقيدة يتوحّد عليها الناس ويُبنى عليه الجيش ليتم توحيد مُحاربيه للبدء والاستمرار في فتوحاتهم أو غزواتهم، ونرى أمثلة كثيرة في التاريخ وكأنها تصرخ في وجوهنا بوجود سُنن ثابتة لا تتغيّر، فعند أهل الكتاب كان الدين، وعند غيرهم كانت هناك عقيدة ما يخضعون لها، وعند المغول كانت الثأر هو ما جمعهم قبل أن تعميهم شهوة الانتقام فيستمروا في طريقهم. باختلاف المُعتقد أو المذهب أو حتى الفكر الأيدولوجي لأي شعب، تبقى الرغبة في السيطرة على العالم سمة مُشتركة كعرض جانبي تُسبّبه نشوة القوة.
انتهى الجزء الثاني بإخضاع جنكيز خان لمدينة بكين، وهروب إمبراطورها إلى الجنوب، وأتطلّع إلى الجزء الثالث والذي سيكمل رحلته في القضاء على الدولة الخوارزمية وتدمير سمرقند، وأظن أن هذا لجزء سيشهد موته أيضًا.

ملحوظة تاريخية هامّة: التتار يختلفون عن المغول وليسوا شعبًا واحدّا، والسبب في الإشارة إليهم باسم واحد هو ما ذكره رشيد الدين الهمزاني في كتابه «جوامع التاريخ»، إذ قال إنه في أغلب العصور القديمة، كانت الغلبة للتتار، الذين كانت تخضع لهم معظم القبائل بتلك المنطقة، وبسبب مكانة التتار في ذلك الوقت، أُطلقت تسمية التتار على القبائل الأخرى. لكن بعدما قوي المغول عقب هجرتهم من شمال الصين إلى منطقة منغوليا الوسطى، وأصبحت الغلبة لهم على بقية الأعراق والقبائل في تلك المنطقة، ظهرت تسمية «المغول»، الذين كان ينتمي إليهم القائد جنكيز خان. من حيث الموقع الجغرافي، سكن التتار بالقرب من أواسط آسيا، فيما سكن المغول ناحية الشرق، وقد تم إدماج التتار في الجيش المغولي في القرن الثالث عشر، حيث اعتُبروا جزءاً أساسياً من الإمبراطورية المنغولية في ذلك الوقت.
ويعيش التتار الذين يقدر عددهم حالياً بنحو 7 ملايين نسمة، في روسيا – وخاصةً في شبه جزيرة القرم -، وأوزبكستان، وأوكرانيا، وكازاخستان، وتركيا، وطاجيكستان، وقيرغيزستان، وأذربيجان، ورومانيا، وروسيا البيضاء، أما المغول – الذين يعتبرهم بعض العلماء شعباً تركيا -، فقد عاشوا حول نهر اونون ما بين روسيا ومنغوليا الحالية، قبل أن يقتربوا من الصين بعد توحيد جنكيز خان للقبائل التركية. بعد موت جنكيز خان أكمل هولاكو قيادة المغول، بينما التتار كان قائدهم تيمورلنك، وقد انهارت دولة التتار تمامًا.

أحمد فؤاد
26 شباط / فبراير 2019
Profile Image for Vagner Stefanello.
119 reviews77 followers
July 9, 2016
Review in Portuguese from Desbravando Livros:

Alguns meses após ter lido O Lobo das Planícies, primeiro livro dessa série do Conn Iggulden, consegui encaixar Os Senhores do Arco na lista infinita de leitura e afirmo: deveria ter lido antes!

Esse segundo volume começa alguns anos após o anterior, quando Temujin havia acabado de se anunciar como Genghis e começado a juntar as tribos em prol de um objetivo maior. Liderados por Genghis e seus homens de confiança, mais de 70.000 guerreiros mongóis atravessam o árido Deserto de Gobi em direção às terras chinesas, buscando vingança total contra os seus inimigos do passado.

E é nessa hora que a figura de Genghis faz uma tremenda diferença. Historicamente rivais, a maioria das tribos mongóis ainda possuem as suas desavenças, criando alguns conflitos aqui e ali que precisam ser resolvidos com a audácia e implacabilidade do grande khan. Um homem que não tolera traições, que fará de tudo para proteger seu povo e a sua ideia de uma nação mongol unida.

“Behold a people shall come from the north, and a great nation. They shall hold the bow and the lance; they are cruel and will not show mercy; their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses every one put in array, like a man to the battle.”

“It is done. We are a nation and we will ride. Tonight, let no man think of his tribe and mourn. We are a greater family and all lands are ours to take.”

O discurso de Genghis Khan para os seus comandados no começo do livro é algo digno de se citar, acredito que todo leitor se arrepiará lendo as palavras do conquistador e a confiança que ele tem.

Nessa sequência, finalmente percebemos a importância do arco para as estratégias dos mongóis. Os guerreiros montados a cavalo, que aprendem a ficar firmes na sela e usar o arco mortalmente desde que são crianças, tornam-se uma força brutal nas fileiras do exército de Genghis, estraçalhando os inimigos mais fracos e que ainda não aprenderam a combater a eficácia da cavalaria mongol o suficiente para fazer frente ao avanço de Genghis. Cidade após cidade, os mongóis começam a devastar o território chinês e só param ao avistar Yenking (atual Pequim), uma cidade com muralhas grossas e altíssimas, tornando-se um obstáculo de peso para a nação mongol.

O inverno também está ali para atrapalhar e adiar um pouco o avanço dos mongóis, mas um plano de Genghis pode garantir uma vitória na Boca do Texugo, um desfiladeiro cercado dos dois lados por montanhas altíssimas e incapazes de ser escaladas, segundos os chineses. E é exatamente lá que os dois exércitos travarão uma batalha ferrenha, com algumas consequências para ambos os lados.

Focando um pouquinho mais nos dramas familiares de Genghis, percebemos também o seu escárnio com Jochi, filho mais velho e que parece não ser seu, fruto de um estupro que sua esposa Borte sofreu quando foi capturada pelos tártaros, que acabaram sendo dizimados pela fúria de Genghis.

Também deu pra perceber um leve toque "sobrenatural" nesse segundo volume de O Conquistador, com alguns shamans aparecendo e dando o seu toque de magia negra na trama, conquistando poder em meio à grande tribo e deixando alguns guerreiros apreensivos com o seu súbito crescimento.

Genghis Khan está se tornando um dos meus personagens preferidos, e eu temo pelo dia que lerei as páginas dos próximos livros e terei que dar adeus a esse visionário. Os traumas de seu passado estão sempre presentes, principalmente o momento em que ele e Kachiun (na vida real foi Khasar) se juntaram para matar Bekter, o irmão mais velho que estava roubando comida da família e deixando-os passar fome. Vocês já pararam para imaginar a força de espírito que alguém precisa ter para fazer isso? Matar o próprio irmão! São atitudes como essa que moldaram a personalidade forte de Genghis e o fizeram ser conhecido até hoje como o maior conquistador de toda a História.

“What is the purpose of life if not to conquer? To steal women and land? I would rather be here and see this than live out my life in peace.”

Uma narrativa que é praticamente impossível não gostar, cheia de momentos tensos e frases impactantes, sem contar que Genghis Khan é um personagem fora de série, temido e impiedoso, mas cruel apenas com seus inimigos. Essa é uma daquelas séries que eu certamente lerei até o fim!
Profile Image for Debbie Zapata.
1,791 reviews37 followers
October 9, 2020
This is the second of five in the author's series about Genghis Khan. This is also my second reading, the first was many years ago, pre-GR. The remaining books in the series will all be new to me.

Here Genghis solidifies his power among his countrymen, and looks to the Chin dynasty for his next battles. We follow the horde into battle after battle, at the same time watching the growing power of the suspicious shaman Kokchu, who came to Genghis after seeing his own tribal khan's men slaughtered for their leader's refusal to acknowledge Genghis as his leader. One of the Khan's rules was never to leave enemies behind him.

Ruthless and cruel? You bet. But also practical and realistic. He was trying to lead men who had never thought beyond their own clans, their own kinsmen. He was trying to build a nation. It is one thing to lead a country that has a couple of hundred years of history behind it (and as we can see all too clearly each day, it is still not a job for fools) but it is something else entirely to create that nation and the IDEA of it in the hearts and minds of a people as rugged and independent as the Mongols were.

This book did not quite capture me the way the first of the series did. We are a little apart from Genghis in these pages, where in the first one we lived through everything with him. Here there is more distance, and while Genghis is of course the main force of the book, the scope of our attention has to widen in order to see the whole story. That is the only reason I did not give this the five stars I gave the first book. It was indeed gripping and intense, but a bit of spirit was missing for me.

At the end, the author once again gives some notes in which he explains his sources and talks a bit about the various people now involved in the saga. We get the ominous hint that the story of that creepy shaman is not over yet. I don't know what he is up to, but I can imagine. I am off now to book three, Bones Of The Hills, to find out if my suspicions are true, and to see what Genghis Khan himself will do next.

Profile Image for David Sven.
288 reviews445 followers
February 16, 2014
This books starts off with Genghis completing his subjugation of the Mongol tribes under his banner before marching on his hated enemies, the Chin, and we end at the walls of Yanjing (Beijing)

There are a lot of large set piece battles this book, but most notable was the battle of Badger Mouth where the Mongols bypassed the choke point by climbing what the Chin thought were impassable peaks - especially in winter.

I think I liked Genghis coming of age story in the first book better because we got a real close up view of the man himself and his personal prowess. This book we step back a bit from the legend to encompass his army, his war tactics, and his success and failures on the battlefield. They are still very interesting but I can't help comparing Iggulden's battle descriptions with Bernard Cornwell. Cornwell's battles just seem that more in depth. Then again, Iggulden is using broader strokes to propel the reader swiftly across events covering years rather than days or weeks.

One of the interesting things I found was how the Mongols didn't really seem to have a plan for what to do when they had finished conquering their enemies - other than to go back home. And it seems their cohesion relied heavily on war, but with no grand vision of what to build in peace time.

Another fascinating read from Iggulden

4 stars

Profile Image for Ron Sami.
Author 3 books81 followers
October 8, 2021
The second book about Genghis Khan tells about his first military campaigns outside Mongolia.

Plot. Rating 4
This book has a more complex and rich plot than the previous book in the series. The reader can follow the campaigns and military tricks of Genghis Khan, his relations with his children, the affairs of his brothers, and various intrigues both in Mongolia and in other states.
Some events have been simplified to speed up the plot. For example,

Characters. Rating 5
In the second book, less time is devoted to Genghis Khan, although his actions, decisions and relationships with people are more diverse. Also, I think the old and new minor characters have made the story more detailed. Their human qualities are well shown, and it was interesting for me to observe them.

Dialogues. Rating 4
The dialogues are good. There are quite a few details from the life of sedentary people that are revealed in dialogues.

Writing style. Rating 5
Compared to the first book, there are more necessary descriptions here which makes it possible to better present a picture of the events taking place. Also, sentences have become longer and smoother.

Worldbuilding. Rating 4
In connection with the expansion of the world, it became more detailed. It was interesting for me to learn about the various aspects of the life of the Mongols and other peoples. The combat scenes are excellent. The battles and sieges of cities are shown clearly and in detail for historical fiction. I enjoyed reading about the various military tricks of Genghis Khan and his people.
However, there are plenty of historical inaccuracies in the book, and, as it seems to me, they were optional. For example,

Overall conclusion. Rating 4
I liked the second book more than the first. This is a great story about the Mongols, not only for those unfamiliar with their history.
Profile Image for M(^-__-^)M_ken_M(^-__-^)M.
343 reviews78 followers
May 8, 2020
Lords of the Bow, Conn Iggulden has breathed life into history books, the stratagems and tactics weapons effectiveness the political intrigues and the spy networks, the failures of battle plans and of course the victories, there's a slew of characters from fairly honorable indepth types to cannon fodder with scant mentions. The Mongols regarded a straight fight unhonourable but victories won by deception and cunning plans as the only worthy type of battle. They weren't fools and regarded large losses of their own men as poor leadership and not using tricks even if they won the fight as stupid and wasteful. A fully trained Mongol warrior was not easily replaced a lifetime of training with the bow and being born to ride a horse as an extension of their own body was guarded and looked after, their system of equally dividing war spoils meant leaders were slightly richer than those they led. They were masters of long distances attacks thinking nothing of 1000 km in 9 days and extreme distance travelling of 225 km in a single day, opposing armies of the time were out manoeuvred at every step and didn't stand a chance. They were masters of terror tactics if a city resisted everyone was massacred if a city surrendered without a fight, they may have kept living, but paid a tribute of either valuables and or fresh raw recruits the Mongols incorporated into their army. A formula that worked and until that time they ended up with the worlds largest continuous land empire ever been.
Profile Image for Olethros.
2,617 reviews429 followers
October 24, 2013
-Seguimos suponiendo, pero menos.-

Género. Novela histórica.

Lo que nos cuenta. Genghis Khan ya no es Temujín. En sus luchas para unificar los clanes mongoles como una nación, se enfrenta a las tribus aliadas de los naimanos, a los que arrasan sin piedad si no se unen a ellos. Al terminar, une a sus tropas al chamán naimano, que capta su atención con algo a medio camino entre la magia y la prestidigitación. Pero a pesar de que el Khan está actuando como aglutinador de los mongoles con los ojos puestos en el reino Xi Xia para empezar con sus planes, hay sospechas, venganzas y asesinatos entre los hombres bajo su mando. El chamán, Kokchu, comienza a hacerse un nombre tratando al enfermizo hermano de Genghis, Temuge, mientras su hermano Khasar es testigo directo de las tensiones en el campamento. Segundo libro de la serie Conquistador.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

Profile Image for Tim The Enchanter.
350 reviews178 followers
March 8, 2014
An Entertaining and Bloody 4 Stars

If you don't know any of the history (and likely some mythology) surrounding the infamous Genghis Khan, I suggest you pick up these books and start reading now. While I was aware of the story of his childhood and his early years, I knew very little of his exploits as a war chieftain. While I was aware that he was successful in bringing together disparate Mongolian tribes I was unaware of the sheer ferociousness and determination of these warriors.

This volume tells of the earliest years of his conquests. Genghis Khan had no formal education. He was not trained in leadings massive armies of warriors and was trained in tactics used by small raiding parties. Lords of the Bow paint a picture of a man who possessed natural genius for warfare, an innate ability to lead and the intelligence to seek out knowledge necessary to defeat the enemy

Plot summary

In this second volume, we follow Genghis on his early campaigns to fight the Chin (Chinese) dynasty. A band of 60,000 mongol warriors, newly formed in a community that violated the ancient tribal of governance of the Mongol people, set themselves against and ancient and advanced civilization. The plot weaves epic battles with a staggering number of combatants with Genghis` quest to obtain and use his enemies knowledge to defeat them.

The Good

Are you Ready to Rumble!

The battles described in the volume, especially the final battle, can be described in one word, EPIC. In these early years, Genghis was able to use his force of 60,000 warriors and the Chinese belief that the Mongol Tribes were weak and disorganized, to its full advantage. In early battles, he used the vast size of his army to overwhelm any city in his path. The final battle in this volume takes place between Genghis` army and the army of Yenking (now modern day Beijing) and the surrounding cities. The author paints a vivid picture of the nearly insurmountable task of the taking the city. Not only was the city wall nearly impenetrable, the entrance to the city plane was through a narrow passage and between a mountain range. The efforts that Genghis army took to besiege the city and fight the army was extraordinary. If nothing else, read the book for the account of this battle alone.

Its all in the Detail

The author has a wonderful eye for detail. This is not a story of crazed and bloodthirsty Mongols bent on world domination. This is the story of a man. We are afforded a look into the life Genghis Khan but are also in the surrounding cultures and customs. For example, there is a scene where Genghis and his warriors enter an opulent home in a Chinese city. The Mongol warriors have spent their entire life in open plains and living in gers. The author points out that the would have likely felt uncomfortable and unsettled with high ceilings, large rooms and slaves. It is these small details that round out this novel.

The Bad

What about Bob (and Borte)

There is a large cast of characters that are important in the story of Genghis Khan. His wife, Borte, was an important figure in the first book and she was the reason he made many of his early decisions. While the relationship with his brothers continues to be explored, the relationship with his own children and wife is not. For someone that was so affected by his relationship with his own father, I am interested in Genghis the Father and husband. Hopefully this will be explored in later volumes.

Final Thoughts

While I enjoyed the book, it lacked the overall excitement of the first book. While the siege on Yenking was epic, large portions of the book were left to scheming, planning and searching out people to teach them that which they did not know. Overall, this volume paints a picture of a far sighted man who was prepared to go to some amazing lengths to reach his goal. I am excited to read the rest of the story of Genghis Khan.

Content Advisories

It is difficult to find commentary on the sex/violence/language content of book if you are interested. I make an effort to give you the information so you can make an informed decision before reading. *Disclaimer* I do not take note or count the occurrences of adult language as I read. I am simply giving approximations.

Scale 1 - Lowest 5 - Highest

Sex - 2.5

Part of the warrior culture in these books and at this time allowed the victors to take their liberties with the women of vanquished enemies. There is discussion of rape on multiple occasions but there are no graphic incidents. There is a minor sex scene in which sex is implied. There are several other discussions related to sex but overall they are not graphic.

Language - 2

There is very little use of what the average reader would consider traditional adult language. There is certainly name calling and phases that would be considered insulting in the context of the culture.

Violence - 4

Violence is a major theme in the book. I reduced the rating for the second volume and it was not pervasive as in the first. This volume included far more planning a scheming and less fighting. They violence is not as graphic as in the first novels. There are scenes in which a character is abusive to a woman that are mildly graphic. There is a scene of mass suicide.

Cross Posted to TheLiteraryLawyer.ca
Profile Image for Clemens Schoonderwoert.
1,089 reviews79 followers
November 16, 2021
Read this book in 2008, and its the 2nd volume of the amazing "Conqueror" series, featuring Genghis Khan and his descendants.

In this book Genghis Khan will be tested not only as leader of the united Wolves, but also as a strong father/brother towards his sons and younger brothers with ambition.

At first he will enter and attack with his Mongolian horde their long-time enemy, the Chin, and he will show his Mongolians how to wage war against these Chin and finally overcome them.

Not only the Chin are his enemies, but also his restless factions between his own generals, and he has to cope with the ambitions from his younger brothers and his sons.

All these factors will make Genghis Khan not only a formidable leader of fighting men but also as a great leader of the different religions and races who are part of his people of nations.

What is to follow is an excellent tale about Genghis Khan as a man but also as leader of men of all conquered nations, and in doing so he will maintain being the Wolf of the Plains and dominate the world in his own dominant and strong-willed way.

Highly recommended, for this is a fantastic follow-up of this great series, and that's why I like to call this episode: "A Superb Conqueror Sequel"!
Profile Image for Tosh.
163 reviews38 followers
April 27, 2018
Gotta say, I was disappointed in the author’s depiction of Genghis Khan in this second installment. Such a powerful historical figure should have jumped off the pages, and yet what little time is spent in his point of view is pretty dull. The first book did an excellent job of creating an interesting, if none too accurate, picture of his early life, and the struggles that grew him into the man he eventually would become. Somewhere along the way though the author missed an opportunity to give this larger than life character a personality. He also rushed over his merging of the tribes, which I feel was important enough to deserve more page time.
Overall this was an decent read, but I much preferred the biographies.
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
Genghis Khan: His Conquests, His Empire, His Legacy

Profile Image for Paul A..
Author 1 book1 follower
September 15, 2016
Genghis Lords of the Bow is a fast, entertaining read. Writing a book like this must be tough. Balancing Genghis the barbarian and Genghis the family man is difficult. Iggulden does a good job of putting a human face on Genghis and the Mongols, although I think he may have gone a bit too far. These were ruthless men who devastated entire populations and cultures. They killed tens of millions in China alone, and his progeny did just as much damage when they rode their ponies west.

I did not read the first book in this series, and maybe I should have. I would have liked more information on the lives of the Mongols and Genghis’ other accomplishments. When he wasn’t slaughtering people he did some interesting things. He forbade the selling and kidnapping of women, adopted a writing system, allowed freedom of religion and more. If he wasn’t hellbent on conquering the world, he might have been an enlightened leader.

It’s possible Iggulden covers some of Genghis’ nonmilitary achievements in the other books. I’ll check out the rest of the series and find out. All in all, this is a successful book.
Profile Image for Mariya Mincheva.
213 reviews21 followers
January 7, 2021
Ако и вие обичате историческите романи не бива да пропускате това. Знам,че има много опити да се представи историята на Чингис - и много добри, и много лощи, но този не заслужава да бъде подминат.
Във втората книга вече зрелият Чингис успява да обедини монголските племена около себе си и решава да отмъсти на Дзин за годините, през които са подклаждали враждите между племената.
Историята е динамична, с много фактология и интересни описания на бит и култура при двете воюващи страни.
Възхитена съм от умението на Игълдън да балансира разказа си, да не прекалява с личното отношение, да внесе достатъчно достоверност, да изгради много и разнолики герои, да им даде естествени реплики. Благодарна съм и за превода, който е изключително адекватен и само на едно място героите търсеха "ферибот" :)
Продължавам с трета книга и нямам търпение.
Profile Image for Ramón S..
446 reviews7 followers
March 31, 2021
Intenso y trepidante. No me he aburrido nada . Interesante para conocer la historia de Genguis Kahn.
Es bastante violento, eso es lo malo
Profile Image for Hannah.
305 reviews15 followers
April 30, 2019
This was better than the first one! Im actually surprised by how much I enjoyed it considering the first one didn't blow me away. Khan is shown as turning into the dominating alpha male he must have been, I usually don't like that kind of character but his psychology was interesting to watch unfold. I liked that we saw him through the eyes of other characters. The battle scenes were well written but I wasn't very attached to the characters so it loses a star for that.
Profile Image for KB.
189 reviews7 followers
July 15, 2016
I definitely did not enjoy this book as much as the previous one. I really loved the first part of Wolf of the Plains, but I found myself less drawn-in by the second part. Lords of the Bow feels more like a continuation of that second part.

I think what I loved so much, initially, about the series was the relationships between the characters. There were no battles, the number of main characters was limited, and you got to see Iggulden's skill of writing this handful of people and how they connected with each other. In my opinion, this really disappears once you finish the aforementioned first part of the first book.

The second book in the series, Lords of the Bow is very much battle and conquest-driven as Genghis and his army take on the Xi Xia and the Jin. There's also a good portion of this book were Temuge, Khasar and Ho Sa travel to Batou to find a mason and it was... less than exciting reading. And when they finally get the guy back to Genghis, all of a sudden it's another part of the book and they have siege engines. There is very little shown in terms of planning and development for these battles.

There were still moments here and there that I enjoyed between characters, like Genghis and his brothers or Genghis with his sons (particularly his relationship with Jochi), or the half a second Borte shows up. Subedei also makes his appearance early on in the book, and he was a character I was waiting for.

The book wasn't bad, but not as good as the first. And I have to admit that I'm having trouble recalling a lot of it to even write a review. But I'm already part way through the third book, so I'm moving right along.

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