Genghis: Birth of an Empire

Conn Iggulden, Author
Conn Iggulden, Author . Delacorte $25 (383p) ISBN 978-0-385-33951-3
Reviewed on: 03/05/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007

Author of the bestselling Emperor series on the life of Julius Caesar, Iggulden turns to another of history's great conquerors, Genghis Khan, for a new series of brilliantly imagined and addictive historical fiction. Future conqueror Temujin—"a man of iron"—is born to the khan (ruler) of a fierce Mongol tribe that roams central Asia's steppes in the 12th century. When his father is killed by Tartar raiders before Temujin reaches manhood, a rival claims the tribe and banishes Temujin's family. Left behind without resources when the tribe migrates, the family struggles to survive the harsh environment, and Temujin dreams of gathering similar outcasts—wanderers and herdsmen—into a new tribe. After assembling a core of these "men scorned by all the others," Temujin begins raiding Tartar camps. As his fame spreads, Temujin launches an ambitious campaign to unite the Mongol tribes "after a thousand years of warfare" into a single people, defeat the Tartars and invade China. Building on the fragments of Genghis's life, Iggulden weaves a spellbinding story of an exotic and "unforgiving land" and the enigmatic young man—charismatic, a brilliant tactician and capable "of utter ruthlessness"—who sets out to tame it. This is historical fiction of the first order. (May)

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