This is great writing. It is what historical fiction is all about and is why this is my favourite genre. I really wish that I could write like this.
Conn Iggulden excels at bringing the characters and the events to life. It is fast and furious. It is captivating. It is heavily atmospheric. Well done Mr Iggulden; again!
As Ghengis recalls his armies from Chin and other distant outposts so that his united Mongol forces can wage more terror towards the south and west, huge rivalries brew up and approach boiling point. These rivalries are at their hottest amongst his own family members, and become particularly intense as the Great Khan announces his successor.
Having read the previous two books in the series, and you really must before you open this one, you will be expecting a high dosage of gruesome brutality. You will not be disappointed. In fact, I can confidently predict that your expectations will be exceeded. However, all of that brutality is in context and is absolutely necessary.
This book will stir your emotions. Iggulden builds the characters up to such an extent that you will feel that you know all of them very well. You will have your favourites, and there will be those whom you will hate. You will feel that many of your new-found friends and acquaintances, and those characters from the previous episodes, are treated unfairly, and you will be awaiting the awful revenge.
There is one particular character in this series whom you will probably already dislike and distrust if you have read thus far. Will he escape, or will he die a horrible death? You can probably guess which, but I won't spoil it by revealing his identity, and you will almost certainly know who I mean when you have read the book. I'll be surprised if you don't.
I can't say much more without adding spoilers. You'll just have to read it, and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did. It has been a long wait, for me, since I read Lords of the Bow
, but it has been worth the wait.