'I am the land and the bones of the hills. I am the winter.'
Temujin, the second son of the khan of the Wolves tribe, was only eleven when his father died in an ambush. His family were thrown out of the tribe and left alone, without food or shelter, to starve to death on the harsh Mongolian plains.
It was a rough introduction to his life, to a sudden adult world, but Temujin survived, learning to combat natural and human threats. A man, a small family, without a tribe was always at risk but he gathered other outsiders to him, creating a new tribal identity. It was during some of his worst times that the image of uniting the warring tribes and bringing the silver people together came to him. He will become the khan of the sea of grass, Genghis.
I was at the bookstore the other day. I had nothing that I wanted to buy, I was just at the mall. I saw that this book came out in paperback, and I just bought it. I did not even know it was the first book in a series, there was just something about it that made me impulse buy it. I am so glad that I did!
Genghis Khan is one of the great conquerors from history, and not a subject that I have read a great deal about, so I was interested to see how Iggulden captured him in historical form. I think he did a fantastic job! In many ways you feel like you are watching a movie or are really there. Iggulden has a very good writing style. In many ways, I am surprised I liked this book as much as I did. I expected to enjoy it, but I flew through the first 3/4's of this book, and only got slowed down because of life getting in the way. I think in many ways this was the book I have been waiting for for months. One of those books that I can stay up late reading and have a hard time putting it down when I do decide to sleep.
Iggulden reminds me of Jack Whyte in some aspects, and I really like the Camulod Chronicles, so it was easy to see why I got caught up in this book. Iggulden is a bit more flowing in style, but he is not trying to capture as much history as Whyte tackles in his novels. Both authors have taken on the ancient worlds, but in different time periods and locations. They both do not have straight adventure novels, though, there are the little things that make you feel for the characters and get interested in their personalities. In many cases the main characters are the ones that you get to know the best because this is their story, but I felt that I got to know some of the other characters as well.
Iggulden writes good villians. The enemy of Genghis is seen as a person, but you also understand both his side of things and Genghis' side of things. You are given the chance to decide who you side with, and which person you wish will win. It was amazing to watch how Genghis thought. Whether or not it is true, Genghis, to me, comes across as the first civil rights supporter. He believed that all the tribes should be united because at the core they were all the same people. That really struck a cord with me, even if he felt the need to fight. He seemed to only kill what was necessary for his survival and immediate advancement. He was also very young in this book, and a bit naive, but you get the chance to watch him grow into a young man and face the daily travels of life as a mongrel.
I do not think I can say enough good things about this book! I am looking forward to book two, which will be out next year, it will be an automatic buy!
If I have not convinced you, watch this and see if you can still resist: Wolf of the Plains trailer.