Friday, 27 November 2015

Genghis: Birth of an Empire, by Conn Iggulden

5 stars

Everything I know about Genghis Khan, I learnt from Bill and Ted. He may not totally ravage any sporting goods stores in this, and I have nothing but the afterword to go by regarding its accuracy, but it's one hell of a compelling and already blood-soaked book, and we're only at the beginning of the story.

The sons of Yesugei, khan of the wolf tribe, have been brought up hard. The life of the tribe is a harsh one - constantly at war with other tribes (as well as the Tartars) and eking out their existence in an unforgiving land (where something you have to soften under your saddle for days is a culinary treat, while fast food means drinking straight from your mare's veins). Following Temujin - our Genghis - from birth through his father's death and his family's cruel abandonment by the tribe, through his getting a wife and beginning to gather the tribes to him as one, I loved every moment of this and have been sucked entirely into the world that Iggulden has built. 

Having already had a lifetime's worth of action as I've torn through this opener, I'm now kind of glad that Bill and Ted didn't burden me with too much knowledge as I can just sit back and let me eager fingers tear through the pages, blissfully unaware of what's to come. Bring it on!

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