Saturday, January 21, 2012

Conquerer - a review..

Cover courtesy of http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk
The fourth in the series and one of my favourites - this and the first one (about Genhis himself) are unputdownable...

Conqueror tells the story of Kublai Khan one of Genghis's many grandchildren and by far the most famous of the Mongolian khan's alongside Genghis himself.. 

His early life was a somewhat book'ish boy and at the end of the previous book his older brother (who is cast in the old school) sends him off to fight the Chinese, with his own army & advisors - a Mongol version of "sink or swim" if ever there was one..

At the end of the previous book Mongke is killed by assasins and this books deals with Kublai's rise to power, and the Mongol nations first civil war caused by Kublai's other brother, Ariq Böke, declaring himself Khan in Kublai's absence..

 Kublai is campaigning against the Song Dynasty in South China when he finds out - he immediately gives up on his Chinese campaign and gathering his supporters declares himself the Great Khan in opposition. The book deals with the campaigns, treaties, bribes and politics and the eventaul final battle where for the first time Mongol fights Mongol, and Kublai wins..

Gripping from beginning to end...  Steve the Wargamer rates this 9 out of 10 - read it!

Somewhat surprisingly (to me anyway) this turns out to be the last book in the series, I was expecting at least one more book with further detail on the life of Kublai, who was the fifth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, reigned for 30+ years, founded the Yuan Dynasty in China, and who met Marco Polo...  in the afterword Iggulden says that he decided not to, as just for once he wanted to end a series where the major player lived...   can kind of understand that!

4 comments:

  1. unputdownable....I think that's my new favourite word!! Another book added to my must but list!

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  2. Hoping these our in our local library :D Just working through his Caesar series at the moment.

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  3. Hi Steve

    How does "Empire of Silver" fit in? As I was under the impression that this book was also part of the series.

    Thanks

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  4. Hi Dave - that's the book before this one.. sets the stage for Kublai but really it's a homage to Subotai - Genghis's master general... reviewed it here:

    http://steve-the-wargamer.blogspot.com/2011/11/empire-of-silver-review.html

    ...also recommended! :o)

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