Swords, lances, bows and arrows, clubs, rifles, cannon—weapons of war fill the "Warriors of History" series, which seems designed to capture the attention of boys who may be reluctant to read, but are well-attuned to the constant violence and bloodshed of films, games, and the daily news. Each volume introduces a military organization or cult in four chapters, including at least one gruesome incident for added thrill. Some of the volumes are better than others, some contain mistakes—all offer unattributed illustrations (a major fault of this series), ranging from modern photographs and movie stills to period engravings, prints, or paintings. In Mongol Warriors, chapters describe the origins of the Mongol empire under Genghis Khan, life and training of warriors, siege tactics and fighting on horseback, and the final fading of the Mongol empire under later khans. The text, although abbreviated, is generally correct. Especially fascinating are photos of a modern statue of Genghis Khan and several historical prints, although without attributions it is hard to judge how appropriate these images are. Oddly, a map of the Mongol Empire is printed in French; the effects of the Mongol invasion of Kievan Rus under Batu Khan (c. 1232) are not discussed, despite their important influence on the development of modern Russia. While Mongol Warriors presents interesting, though limited, information about an Asian people, parents and teachers will need to decide whether a series focusing on war, violence and cruelty is appropriate for their children's classrooms. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
Terri Dougherty has written more than 90 books for children, including 10 weather-related titles. She wrote for newspapers before exploring other writing styles and lives in Appleton, Wisconsin, with her family.