If I had read this book as a standalone, without its three predecessors, I think that I may have awarded it five stars. It really is a wonderful work of historical fiction. However, it is just not up to the standard of the other three in this series.
There is quite a lot of politics in this one, and the rivalries between the secions of the family continue. There is a fair share of savage brutality, and some of it is shocking, but you expect that by now, don't you?
Ogedai is the new Khan, but only just. There is an unsuccessful attempt on his life on the eve of the oath-taking which will confirm his supreme position in the Mongol nation. Some skilful manipulation resolves the splits and rivalries between the most powerful, and makes all of the protagonists relatively happy.
The Khan continues the expansion of the empire, and the building of cities. This may not be the way that Ghengis would have operated, but it works. Sadly, Ogedai is ill. The radical solution is beyond anything that you can imagine, but Iggulden makes it totally believable.
The torrid pace of all of the books in the Conqueror series continues, but I just felt that this was one book too far. Don't let me put you off reading it though. It is still a superb read, and I commend it to you.