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Genghis: Birth of an Empire (Khan Dynasty Series #1)

Genghis: Birth of an Empire (Khan Dynasty Series #1)

4.4 147
by Conn Iggulden, Be Announced To

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From the author of the bestselling The Dangerous Book for Boys
Genghis Khan was born Temujin, the son of a khan, raised in a clan of hunters migrating across the rugged steppe. Shaped by abandonment and betrayal, Temujin endured, driven by a singular fury: to survive in the face of death, to kill before being killed, and to


From the author of the bestselling The Dangerous Book for Boys
Genghis Khan was born Temujin, the son of a khan, raised in a clan of hunters migrating across the rugged steppe. Shaped by abandonment and betrayal, Temujin endured, driven by a singular fury: to survive in the face of death, to kill before being killed, and to conquer enemies who could come without warning from beyond the horizon.

Through a series of courageous raids, Temujin’s legend grew until he was chasing a vision: to unite many tribes into one, to make the earth tremble under the hoofbeats of a thousand warhorses, to subject all nations and empires to his will.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

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)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

The author of the "Emperor" books about Julius Caesar (e.g., The Gates of Rome) returns with another series, this one based on the life of Temujin, the young man who would one day become Genghis Khan. Iggulden convincingly portrays the harsh conditions of the medieval Mongolian steppes and even harsher circumstances of Temujin's early life. The account of how the canny, observant, and ferociously strong-willed Temujin survived and eventually clawed his way to prominence is both a blood-soaked tale of rags to riches and a rousing adventure. Iggulden's prose is workmanlike rather than poetic, but the action scenes are frequent and energetic and the intertribal politics rife with intrigue and betrayal. In the final pages, Temujin takes the name by which he is better known and sets his sights on greater challenges to be addressed in future volumes of the series. An afterword provides historical commentary and notes where Iggulden has deviated from the historical record. Recommended for all public library fiction collections, especially where there is strong interest in historical military fiction.
—Bradley A. Scott

From the Publisher
“Zesty historical fiction, the kind with plenty of unbridled combat, accurate research, rampaging hordes and believable characters from very different cultures whose motivation rings true across the centuries.... Invigorating.”—Deirdre Donahue, USA Today

"Iggulden writes with sweep and immediacy...the novel races along as swiftly and inexorably as its main character."—Christian Science Monitor

“Brilliantly imagined and addictive.... This is historical fiction of the first order.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Compelling.... this is historical fiction writ large.”—Military.com

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date:
Khan Dynasty Series , #1
Edition description:
Unabridged, 11 CDs, 14 hours
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.50(d)

Read an Excerpt


Birth of an Empire
By Conn Iggulden

Delacorte Press

Copyright © 2007 Conn Iggulden
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780385339513

Chapter One

ON A SPRING DAY in his twelfth year, Temujin raced his four brothers across the steppes, in the shadow of the mountain known as Deli’un-Boldakh. The eldest, Bekter, rode a gray mare with skill and concentration, and Temujin matched his pace, waiting for a chance to go past. Behind them came Khasar, whooping wildly as he moved up on the two leaders. At ten, Khasar was a favorite in the tribe, as lighthearted as Bekter was sullen and dark. His red-mottled stallion snorted and whickered after Bekter’s mare, making the little boy laugh. Kachiun came next in the galloping line, an eight-year-old not given to the openness that made people love Khasar. Of all of them, Kachiun seemed the most serious, even secretive. He spoke only rarely and did not complain, no matter what Bekter did to him. Kachiun had a knack with the ponies that few others could match, able to nurse a burst of speed when the rest were flagging. Temujin glanced over his shoulder to where Kachiun had positioned himself, his balance perfect. He seemed to be idling along, but they had all been surprised before and Temujin kept a close eye on him.

Already some way behind his brothers, the smallest and youngest of them could be heard calling plaintively for them to wait. Temuge was a boy with too much love forsweet things and laziness, and it showed in his riding. Temujin grinned at the sight of the chubby boy flapping his arms for more speed. Their mother had warned against including the youngest in their wild tournaments. Temuge had barely grown out of the need to be tied to the saddle, but he wailed if they left him behind. Bekter had yet to find a kind word for Temuge.

Their high voices carried far across the spring grass of the plain. They galloped flat out, with each boy perched like a bird on the ponies’ backs. Yesugei had once called them his sparrows and looked on with pride at their skill. Temujin had told Bekter that he was too fat to be a sparrow and had been forced to spend a night hiding out from the older boy’s bad temper.

On such a day, though, the mood of the whole tribe was light. The spring rains had come and the rivers ran full again, winding across plains where dry clay had been only days before. The mares had warm milk for drinking and making into cheese and cool yoghurt. Already, the first touches of green were showing through the bones of the hills, and with it came the promise of a summer and warm days. It was a gathering year, and before the next winter, the tribes would come together in peace to compete and trade. Yesugei had decreed that this year the families of the Wolves would make the trip of more than a thousand miles to replenish their herds. The prospect of seeing the wrestlers and archers was enough to have the boys on their best behavior. The races, though, were what held them rapt and played across their imaginations as they rode. Except for Bekter, the boys had all seen their mother privately, asking Hoelun to put in a word with Yesugei. Each of them wanted to race the long distance or the sprints, to make a name for themselves and be honored.

It went unspoken that a boy who returned to his gers with a title such as “Exalted Rider” or “Master of Horse” might one day win their father’s position when he retired to tend his herds. With the possible exception of fat Temuge, the others could not help but dream. It galled Temujin that Bekter assumed he would be the one, as if a year or two of age made a difference. Their relationship had become strained ever since Bekter had returned from his betrothal year away from the tribe. Though Temujin was still the tallest of the brothers, the older boy had grown in some indefinable way, and Temujin had found the new Bekter a humorless companion.

It had seemed an act at first to Temujin, with Bekter only pretending at maturity. The brooding boy no longer spoke without thinking and seemed to weigh every statement in his mind before he allowed it past his lips. Temujin had mocked his seriousness, but the months of winter had come and gone with no sign of an easing. There were moments when Temujin still found his brother’s pompous moods amusing, but he could respect Bekter’s temper, if not his right to inherit their father’s tents and sword.

Temujin watched Bekter as he rode, careful not to let a gap grow between them. It was too fine a day to worry about the distant future, and Temujin daydreamed about all four brothers, brothers–all five with Bekter, even–sweeping the board of honors at the tribal gathering. Yesugei would swell with pride and Hoelun would grip them one by one and call them her little warriors, her little horsemen. Even Temuge could be entered at six years of age, though the risks of a fall were huge. Temujin frowned to himself as Bekter glanced over his shoulder, checking his lead. Despite their subtle maneuvering, Yesugei had not yet given permission for any of them to take part as the spring came.

Hoelun was pregnant again and close to the end of her time. The pregnancy had been hard on her and quite different from the ones before. Each day began and ended with her retching over a bucket until her face was speckled with spots of blood under the skin. Her sons were on their best behavior while they waited for Yesugei to cease his worried pacing outside the gers. In the end, the khan had grown tired of their stares and careful silence, sending them off to run the winter out of the horses. Temujin had continued to chatter and Yesugei had picked him up in one powerful hand and tossed him at a stallion with a white sock. Temujin had twisted in the air to land and launch into a gallop in one movement. Whitefoot was a baleful, snappy beast, but his father had known he was the boy’s favorite.

Yesugei had watched the others mount without a sign of his pride on his broad, dark face. Like his father before him, he was not a man to show emotion, especially not to sons he could make weak. It was part of a father’s responsibility to be feared, though there were times when he ached to hug the boys and throw them up into the air. Knowing which horses they preferred showed his affection, and if they guessed at his feelings from a glance or a light in his eye, that was no more than his own father had done years before. He valued those memories in part for their rarity and could still recall the time his father had finally grunted approval at his knots and ropework with a heavy load. It was a small thing, but Yesugei thought of the old man whenever he yanked a rope tight, his knee hard into the bales. He watched his boys ride into the bright sunshine, and when they could no longer see him, his expression eased. His father had known the need for hard men in a hard land. Yesugei knew they would have to survive battle, thirst, and hunger if they were to reach manhood. Only one could be khan of the tribe. The others would either bend the knee or leave with just a wanderer’s gift of goats and sheep. Yesugei shook his head at the thought, gazing after the dust trail of his sons’ ponies. The future loomed over them, while they saw only the spring and the green hills.

The sun was bright on his face as Temujin galloped. He reveled in the lift in spirit that came from a fast horse straining under him, the wind in his face. Ahead, he saw Bekter’s gray mare recover from a stumble on a loose stone. His brother reacted with a sharp blow to the side of the mare’s head, but they had lost a length and Temujin whooped as if he were about to ride past. It was not the right moment. He loved to lead, but he also enjoyed pressuring Bekter, because of the way it annoyed him.

Bekter was already almost the man he would be, with wide, muscular shoulders and immense stamina. His betrothal year with the Olkhun’ut people had given him an aura of worldly knowledge he never failed to exploit. It irritated Temujin like a thorn under his skin, especially when his brothers pestered Bekter with questions about their mother’s people and their customs. Temujin too wanted to know, but he decided grimly that he would wait to find out on his own, when Yesugei took him.

When a young warrior returned from his wife’s tribe, he was given the status of a man for the first time. When the girl came into her blood, she would be sent after him with an honor guard to show her value. A ger would be ready for her and her young husband would wait at its door to take her inside.

For the Wolves, it was tradition for the young man to challenge his khan’s bondsmen before he was fully accepted as a warrior. Bekter had been eager and Temujin remembered watching in awe as Bekter had walked up to the bondsmen’s fire, close to Yesugei’s ger. Bekter had nodded to them and three men had stood to see if his time with the Olkhun’ut had weakened him. From the shadows, Temujin had watched, with Khasar and Kachiun silent at his side. Bekter had wrestled all three of the bondsmen, one after the other, taking terrible punishment without complaint. Eeluk had been the last, and the man was like a pony himself, a wall of flat muscle and wide arms. He had thrown Bekter so hard that blood had run from one of his ears, but then to Temujin’s surprise, Eeluk had helped Bekter up and held a cup of hot black airag for him to drink. Bekter had almost choked at the bitter fluid mingling with his own blood, but the warriors had not seemed to mind.

Temujin had enjoyed witnessing his older brother beaten almost senseless, but he saw too that the men no longer scorned him around the fires at night. Bekter’s courage had won him something intangible but important. As a result, he had become a stone in Temujin’s path. As the brothers raced across the plains under a spring sun, there was no finishing line, as there would be at the great gathering of tribes. Even if there had been, it was too soon after winter to really push their mounts. They all knew better than to exhaust the ponies before they had a little summer fat and good green grass in their bellies. This was a race away from chores and responsibilities, and it would leave them with nothing but arguments about who had cheated, or should have won. Bekter rode almost upright, so that he seemed peculiarly motionless as the horse galloped under him. It was an illusion, Temujin knew. Bekter’s hands on the reins were guiding subtly, and his gray mare was fresh and strong. He would take some beating. Temujin rode as Khasar did, low on the saddle, so that he was practically flat against the horse’s neck. The wind seemed to sting a little more and both boys preferred the position.

Temujin sensed Khasar moving up on his right shoulder. He urged the last breath of speed from Whitefoot, and the little pony snorted with something like anger as it galloped. Temujin could see Khasar’s pony out of the corner of his eye, and he considered veering slightly, as if by accident. Khasar seemed to sense his intention and lost a length as he moved away, leaving Temujin grinning. They knew each other too well to race, he sometimes thought. He could see Bekter glance back and their eyes met for a second. Temujin raised his eyebrows and showed his teeth.

“I am coming,” he called. “Try to stop me!”

Bekter turned his back on him, stiff with dislike. It was something of a rarity to have Bekter come riding with them, but as he was there, Temujin could see he was determined to show the “children” how a warrior could ride. He would not take a loss easily, which was why Temujin would strain every muscle and sinew to beat him. Khasar had gained on both of them, and before Temujin could move to block him, he had almost drawn level. The two boys smiled at each other, confirming that they shared the joy of the day and the speed. The long, dark winter was behind, and though it would come back too soon, they would have this time and take pleasure in it. There was no better way to live. The tribe would eat fat mutton and the herds would birth more sheep and goats for food and trade. The evenings would be spent fletching arrows or braiding horsetails into twine; in song or listening to stories and the history of the tribes. Yesugei would ride against any young Tartars who raided their herds, and the tribe would move lightly on the plains, from river to river. There would be work, but in summer the days were long enough to give hours free to waste, a luxury they never seemed to find in the cold months. What was the point in wandering away to explore when a wild dog might find and bite you in the night? That had happened to Temujin when he was only a little older than Kachiun, and the fear had stayed with him.

It was Khasar who saw that Temuge had fallen, glancing back in case Kachiun was staging a late rush for the grass crown. Khasar claimed to have the sharpest eyes of the tribe, and he saw that the sprawled speck was not moving, making a decision in an instant. He whistled high-low to Bekter and Temujin, letting them know he was pulling out. Both boys looked back and then farther to where Temuge lay in a still heap. Temujin and his older brother shared a moment of indecision, neither willing to give the race to the other. Bekter shrugged as if it did not matter and reined his mare into a wide circle back the way they had come. Temujin matched him exactly and they galloped as a pair behind the others, the leaders become the led. It was Kachiun now who rode first amongst them, though Temujin doubted the boy even thought of it. At eight, Kachiun was closest in age to Temuge and had spent many long evenings teaching him the names of things in the gers, demonstrating an unusual patience and kindness. Perhaps as a result, Temuge spoke better than many boys of his age, though he was hopeless with the knots Kachiun’s quick fingers tried to show him. The youngest of Yesugei’s sons was clumsy, and if any of them had been asked to guess at the identity of a fallen rider, they would have said “Temuge” without a moment’s hesitation.

Temujin jumped from his saddle as he reached the others. Kachiun was already on the ground with Khasar, lifting the supine Temuge into a sitting position.

The little boy’s face was very pale and bruised-looking. Kachiun slapped him gently, wincing as Temuge’s head lolled.

“Wake up, little man,” Kachiun told his brother, but there was no response. Temujin’s shadow fell across them and Kachiun deferred to him immediately.

“I didn’t see him fall,” he said, as if his seeing would have helped. Temujin nodded, his deft hands feeling Temuge for broken bones or signs of a wound. There was a lump on the side of his head, hidden by the black hair. Temujin prodded at it.

“He’s knocked out, but I can’t feel a break. Give me a little water for him.”

He held out a hand and Khasar pulled a leather bottle from a saddlecloth, drawing the stopper with his teeth. Temujin dribbled the warm liquid into Temuge’s open mouth.

“Don’t choke him,” Bekter advised, reminding them he was still mounted, as if he supervised the others.

Temujin didn’t trouble to reply. He was filled with dread as to what their mother Hoelun would say if Temuge died. They could hardly give her such news while her belly was filled with another child. She was weak from sickness and Temujin thought the shock and grief might kill her, yet how could they hide it? She doted on Temuge and her habit of feeding him the sweet yoghurt curds was part of the reason for his chubby flesh.

Without warning, Temuge choked and spat water. Bekter made an irritable sound with his lips, tired of the children’s games. The rest of them beamed at each other.

“I dreamed of the eagle,” Temuge said.

Temujin nodded at him. “That is a good dream,” he said, “but you must learn to ride, little man. Our father would be shamed in front of his bondsmen if he heard you had fallen.” Another thought struck him and he frowned. “If he does hear, we may not be allowed to race at the gathering.”

Even Khasar lost his smile at that, and Kachiun pursed his mouth in silent worry. Temuge smacked his lips for more water and Temujin passed him the bottle.

“If anyone asks about your lump, tell them we were playing and you hit your head–understand, Temuge? This is a secret. The sons of Yesugei do not fall.”

Temuge saw that they were all watching his response, even Bekter, who frightened him. He nodded vigorously,wincing at the pain. “I hit my head,” he said, dazedly. “And I saw the eagle from the red hill.”

“There are no eagles on the red hill,” Khasar replied. “I was trapping marmots there only ten days ago. I would have seen a sign.”

Temuge shrugged, which was unusual in itself. The little boy was a terrible liar and, when challenged, he would shout, as if by growing louder they would be forced to believe him. Bekter was in the process of turning his pony away when he looked thoughtfully at the little boy.

“When did you see the eagle?” Bekter said.

Temuge shrugged. “I saw him yesterday, circling over the red hill. In my dream, he was larger than a normal eagle. He had claws as large as–”

“You saw a real eagle?” Temujin interrupted. He reached out and held his arm. “A real bird, this early in the season? You saw one?” He wanted to be certain it was not one of Temuge’s idiotic stories. They all remembered the time he had come into the ger one night claiming to have been chased by marmots who rose up on their hind legs and spoke to him.

Bekter’s expression showed he shared the same memory. “He is dizzy from the fall,” he said.

Temujin noticed how Bekter had taken a firmer hold on the reins. As slowly as he might approach a wild deer, Temujin rose to his feet, risking a glance to where his own pony cropped busily at the turf. Their father’s hawk had died and he still mourned the loss of the greathearted bird. Temujin knew Yesugei dreamed of hunting with an eagle, but sightings were rare and the nests were usually on cliffs sheer enough and high enough to defeat the most determined climber. Temujin saw that Kachiun had reached his pony and was ready to go. A nest could have an eagle chick for their father to keep. Perhaps Bekter wanted one for himself, but the others knew that Yesugei would be overcome with gratitude to the boy who brought him the khan of birds. The eagles ruled the air as the tribes ruled the land, and they lived almost as long as a man. Such a gift would mean they all could ride in the races that year, for certain. It would be seen as a good omen that an eagle had come to their father, strengthening his position with the families.

Temuge had made it to his feet, touching his head and wincing at the speck of blood that showed on his fingers. He did seem dazed, but they believed what he had said. The race of the morning had been a lighthearted thing. This one would be real.

Temujin was the first to move, fast as a dog snapping. He leapt for Whitefoot’s back, calling “Chuh!” as he landed and startling the illtempered beast into a snorting run. Kachiun flowed onto his horse with the neatness and balance that marked all his movement, Khasar only an instant behind him, laughing aloud with excitement. Bekter was already lunging forward, his mare’s haunches bunching under him as he kicked in and went. In just a few heartbeats, Temuge was left standing alone on the plain, staring bemusedly after the cloud of dust from his brothers. Shaking his head to clear his blurred vision, he took a moment to vomit a milky breakfast onto the grass. He felt a little better after that and clambered up onto the saddle, heaving his pony’s head from its grazing. With a last pull at the grass, the pony snorted and he too was off, jolting and bouncing behind his brothers.


Excerpted from Genghis by Conn Iggulden Copyright © 2007 by Conn Iggulden. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Conn Iggulden is the author of Genghis: Birth of an Empire, the first novel in the series, as well as the Emperor novels, which chronicle the life of Julius Caesar: Emperor: The Gates of Rome, Emperor: The Death of Kings, Emperor: The Field of Swords, and Emperor: The Gods of War, all of which are available in paperback from Dell. He is also the co-author of the bestselling nonfiction work The Dangerous Book for Boys. He lives with his wife and three children in Hertfordshire, England.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Genghis: Birth of an Empire (Genghis Khan: Conqueror Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 147 reviews.
JGolomb More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the first in Conn Iggulden's "Genghis" series. He created a lot of depth of character for Genghis (or Temujin as he's originally called) and his family, a solid foundation for his motives, and his core cadre that make up the base of characters for all three books in the series. In broad strokes, "Birth of an Empire" traces the rise of Genghis Khan from his birth through his first melding of tribes to unite against a common Asian foe. It's a bit of your typical rags-to-riches: Temujin grows up as son of a mongol tribe leader who's deposed (and probably murdered); he and his family are then exiled and hunted and he's forced to grow up sooner than he should, but because of it is stronger. Come to think of it, the story is less rags-to-riches, than it is rags-to-different-rags-and-charismatic-brooding-power. The story is rife with action and adventure and Iggulden creates an enjoyable ride out of the snippets of his early life that motivate a young Temujin to emerge leader of the Mongol empire Iggulden freely admits that he takes liberties with history to make better fiction. I don't have much background on Khan, but in a couple of quick comparisons, I didn't feel that Iggulden stretched too far to make his story work well. I also believe that there are relatively few solid historical resources on the young Genghis which leaves a lot of space for Iggulden to explore. By comparison, I struggled to get through the author's first historical fiction series on Julius Caesar. Caesar's motivations were mild at best, and the changes in history seemed rather random and unnecessary. But such is the nature of historical "fiction" - the extent of "fiction" will have varying appeals based on the pre-existing knowledge and interest of the reader. So, to my taste, I didn't mind the liberties taken with Genghis, but found the liberties taken with Caesar bothersome. I thoroughly enjoyed "Birth of an Empire" and was taken in enough by the story to gobble up the second in the series "Lords of the Bow" and buy the hardcover 3rd in the series "Bones of the Hills" as soon as it was released. I even jumped into Mongolian non-fiction with Weatherford's "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World". Iggulden hit on a number of recommendation-worthy elements with his book: 1) as a standalone novel it is fun, engaging, exciting and contains solid depth of character; 2) I was drawn into the storyline enough to want to read the rest of the series; 3) the historical nature of the story was strong enough to draw me out of the Genghis fictional realm and into non-fiction.
UncleHammy More than 1 year ago
Genghis ¿ Birth of An Empire is a well written and fascinating account of the early life of Genghis Khan. Written with great skill the author keeps the reader¿s interest in this page turner novel.

With a keen eye to historical accuracy Iggulden creates a magnificent tale full of intrigue and betrayal, tragedy and triumph worthy of the subject Genghis Khan.

The characters are real and personal, by the end of the book the reader is not sure whether to like or fear the man that takes the name Genghis. He is ruthless and brutal but you are compelled to cheer for his triumphs and lament his sorrows.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of historical fiction, this is one of the best examples I have had the pleasure to read.
history_lover-555 More than 1 year ago
Never really knew about this series before so thought I would pick this one up before checking out the second one, and am glad I did. Historical fiction can be done very well, or very badly, this is one of the former. At times it was hard to put down, I was pulled into the story and lived through the life of Temujin feeling his pains and his joys. I wanted to get through the last chapter in one so I wouldn't miss any of the battle, I was glad I did and though sorry to see it end I was glad it ended where it did - making me want more. I'm definitely going to get the next one.
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Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com More than 1 year ago
Genghis: Birth of an Empire by Conn Iggulden is a his­tor­i­cal fic­tion story fol­low­ing the young man who will even­tu­ally become Genghis Kahn. This is the first book of a series which at the time of the writ­ing of this post num­bers five nov­els known col­lec­tively is the Con­queror series. Temu­jin is a son of Mon­gol tribe leader who has been killed. Temu­jin and his fam­ily get exiled, hunted and forced to aban­don their child­hood and inno­cence. The charis­matic Temu­jin grows stronger and soon takes con­trol of his father's tribe to become Genghis Khan. I had waited a long time to read Genghis: Birth of an Empire by Conn Iggulden, I bought it while it was on sale one day and it sim­ply resided there until I had a chance to read it (there are many other books suf­fer­ing the same fate). Once I got started though, the book was dif­fi­cult to put down. Mr. Iggulden weaves a good story with fas­ci­nat­ing his­tor­i­cal detail while keep­ing up the drama in the story. As bru­tal as life was in the plains of Mon­go­lia, Genghis man­ages to mix bril­liance with vio­lence, respect with strength and under­stands the neces­si­ties of sur­vival in a community. Unlike other Mon­gol lead­ers, Genghis Kahn under­stood the impor­tance of the tribes unit­ing, both for secu­rity and strength (even though I'm sure many saw them as one and the same). While the book is cer­tainly not an encom­pass­ing biog­ra­phy of the famous leader, the author does won­ders with his story-telling. Aside from the his­tor­i­cal aspects, this is mainly an adven­ture story of a young boy who grows up to be an incred­i­ble leader. This is a "man's book", not that I don't rec­om­mend it for women, but the author is clearly writ­ing for males, under­stands males and shapes his story to that affect. Genghis is an excit­ing, fast paced story. The char­ac­ters in the novel are won­der­ful, the his­tor­i­cal detail fas­ci­nat­ing and the author's affin­ity to Mon­go­lia is felt on every page.
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DonFranco More than 1 year ago
WOW,so well written, it was like I was transformed back in time! Compelling drama of one man dream to unite all the Mongols tribes, then Genghis has the intelligence to carry it off and make it a part of history. Of course, it helps that he fathers many sons from more than one wife! Bought all four series.
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