cover image Khan: Empire of Silver

Khan: Empire of Silver

Conn Iggulden, Delacorte, $26 (400p) ISBN 978-0-385-33954-4

Iggulden's smashing fourth installment to his Mongol series (Genghis: Bones of the Hills, etc.) picks up after Genghis's death as his three sons and four grandsons vie to be the Mongol leader. After son Ogedai is named khan, one of his brothers offers himself as a sacrifice; the other is dispatched to rule a distant kingdom; and the four grandsons begin to hatch schemes of their own. While the khan builds the city of Karakorum, his armies fight the Chinese in the east and discover the enemy's effective use of gunpowder against the Mongol horse archers. In the west, a mighty Mongol army commanded by Genghis's best general, Tsubodai, crushes the Russians and the Poles in a series of brilliant campaigns, and as the Mongol horde sacks the cities of Buda and Pest, only the arrival of a disastrous message from Karakorum saves Europe from destruction and Mongol domination. Add assassinations (failures and successes), jealousy, treachery, revenge, betrayal, and surprising plot twists, and Iggulden has created another rip-roaring historical that accurately depicts the cruelty of the age. (Jan.)