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Lords Of The Bow Hardcover – Jan 29 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: UK General Books (Jan. 29 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007201761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007201761
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 4 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 739 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #311,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Iggulden, coauthor of the megaseller The Dangerous Book for Boys, continues his masterful series on Genghis Khan (following Genghis: Birth of an Empire) with another vividly imagined chapter. In the debut volume, the Great Khan rises from the barren plains of central Asia to unify the scattered Mongol tribes into a nation. Here, Genghis turns to the conquest of the bloated, wealthy cities of the Chin, or Chinese, Kingdom. Aided by his brothers Kachiun and Khasar, Genghis strikes first against the Xi Xia Kingdom south of the Gobi Desert—a route into China that circumvents the Great Wall. The Mongols' insatiable quest to conquer drives the narrative, but Iggulden deftly weaves several intriguing character-driven subplots into the saga, including tales of sibling rivalry between Genghis's two eldest sons and the cupidity of a powerful and enigmatic shaman. Borrowing from history and legend, Iggulden reimagines the iconic conqueror on a more human scale—larger-than-life surely, but accessible and even sympathetic. Iggulden's Genghis series is shaping up as a triumph of historical fiction. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.


'...every bit as addictive as his Emperor books.' The Bookseller Praise for Wolf of the Plains: 'I felt as if a blockbuster movie was unfolding before me and a blockbuster movie will surely emerge from this. Read the book before Hollywood takes it over ' Daily Express 'This is energetic, competent stuff; Iggulden knows his material and his audience ' Independent 'Epic hisorical fiction at its finest; enthralling, exciting and utterly believable. Volume two is eagerly awaited ' Yorkshire Evening Post Praise for the Emperor series: 'If you liked Gladiator, you'll love Emperor' The Times 'A brilliant story -- I wish I'd written it. A novel of vivid characters, stunning action and unrelenting pace. It really is a terrific read.' Bernard Cornwell 'The great events and breathtaking brutality of the times are brought lavishly to life.' Guardian

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Pollard on Nov. 26 2009
Format: Paperback
This was the first book I picked up by Conn Iggulden. As soon as I was finished (which did NOT take very long - I couldn't put it down) I went and bought the rest of the series. I was pleasantly surprised by this book that I had pretty much randomly chosen without any previous exposure to this author.

I do not know the history of Genghis Khan in great detail, but this book did not seem like a history lesson in any aspect, unlike previous reviews have told. The story does follow the history of Genghis as he starts to build his empire but reads like a fast-moving action/war novel with vivid battles. I never felt as if I was being dragged through a history lecture. Iggulden also often writes from the perspective of different characters and thereby gives the reader the greatest understanding of what makes those characters tick. It is through Temuge's journey to Baotou that the reader understands his desires and drives, for example. None of the important characters lacked depth, especially after reading the first book in the series.

Genghis' ruthless desire for conquest, the strength and skill of his officers and the resilience of his people are well featured in this epic. I highly recommend it and the rest of the series as well.
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By kbruynzeel on Aug. 13 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Authors stays true to the first book and the continues the story where book one ends. Enjoyed it as much as the first
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Nolene-Patricia Dougan on Feb. 9 2008
Format: Hardcover
Journey with "Temujin of the Wolves," as he unites the tribes of the Mongols and becomes the conquering warlord, Genghis Khan.

When I was asked to review this book, I was filled with anticipation. What could be better than to sit back and dive into a book that tells the story of Genghis Khan? I expected a story filled with Machiavellian intrigue, glorious battles, and bloody revenge, all centered on a slick, iron-willed central character worthy of a legend. What I got was a rather dry retelling of historical events. The book seems to lean more toward a factual account of the many battles and sieges that resulted in Genghis Khan's victory of the Chin Empire. In fact, most of the characters seem devoid of any personality, and it is a struggle to either empathise or even appreciate any of them.

Genghis Khan is as much a figure of legend as he is a figure of history. And, I think any author can be forgiven for including a bit of mythos in retelling the story of the great Genghis Khan. Sadly, the author, Conn Iggulden, has chosen not to include anything he could not prove to be true, and thus, I think his story suffers for that fact.

However, the novel is not all bad, as there is enough blood- and-guts to keep even the most ghoulish reader pleased. Also, the small glimpse the reader has of Genghis Khan's mercilessly competitive and highly suspicious sons is a good teaser for the next book in the series.

I have no doubt that Lords of the Bow will be just a blip in Conn Iggulden's illustrious storytelling career, and by the time he gets to Kubla Khan, he will be back on track.

In short, the author seems to be more concerned with making his book historically accurate than to tell a good story. If you like reading about the history of the Mongols and Genghis Khan, then this is the book for you. But, if you want to read a tale filled with high adventure and passion, then avoid Lords of the Bow at all costs.
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By peter jackson on Oct. 27 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Take no prisoners
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 165 reviews
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
`The world will hear my name.' April 4 2008
By Jennifer Cameron-Smith - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In this second novel in `The Conqueror' series, the metamorphosis of Temujin of the Wolves into Genghis Khan is completed. Gathering the tribes is the first step towards Genghis building a nation which he will then lead against the fortress nation of the Chin.

This is an epic story magnificently written. From the beginning, as Genghis seeks to unify the tribes as one nation, we can sense the magnitude of the task ahead. The Mongolian tribes are people of the plains, fighters on horseback and nomadic in lifestyle. Their greatest strengths are their capacity to move quickly, their iron discipline and their skill with the bow. To prevail against the Chin, they need to travel vast distances over desert, cross inhospitable mountains, and deal with complex fortifications.

Tackling these challenges and keeping the nation together in a strange environment presents new challenges for Genghis. The success of this campaign depends on his ability to effectively govern the tribes, manage his own generals, mediate between his ambitious brothers and deal with his own feelings. The transition from young warrior to conqueror of nations is not easy, and is not without cost.

`Some of you will die, but the sky father loves the warrior spirit and you will be welcomed.'

This is a deeply satisfying novel. If the first novel gave us the boy who would become the man, then this novel gives us a sense of both the conqueror himself and the challenges of command. The fiction is largely supported by the known history and will provide a wonderful adjunct to those interested in this period.

`We ride because we have the strength to rule.'

I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
good sequel to birth of an empire March 25 2008
By David W. Straight - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a good and solid sequel to the author's Birth of an Empire, which recounted the life of Temujin up to the merging of the tribes. In Lords of the Bow, the tribes are united (some with more enthusiasm than others) under Temujin, and the first steps towards an empire are taken. The Xi Xia to the south and the Chin to the east are conquered.

There are good descriptions of the culture shock that greets the Mongols when they come upon the stone-walled cities of the Chinese, the permanent houses, the writing, the caltrops which can wreak havoc upon horsemen, and writing. You get a good feel for the problems with communication over distance, Temujin's reluctance to leave any living enemies behind him when he advances, and the Mongol style of warfare.

Birth of an Empire had Temujin as the dominant central figure: you saw the forces that shaped him. In Lords of the Bows, Temujin is still, of course, the dominant figure, but the novel spends more time with his brothers than with Temujin himself. In a way this is good: you get to see more details of life. But in another way, it may not be so good: there is something to be said perhaps for seeing things through Temujin's eyes, and seeing them through his ears, so to speak. Unlike Birth of an Empire, Temujin is no longer in a position to travel on his own--he is always surrounded by tens of thousands of people, and so he must learn, must experience most things through the eyes of others. It's the difference between a general and a scout: the general is usually well behind the front lines and must depend on others. I presume that we will, before long, be seeing the next installment in this well-done series: the move westwards. Until that time, if you want a fictional account of the campaigns in the west, try Cecelia Holland's superb novel Until the Sun Falls.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
"To drive Your Enemy Before You..." April 14 2008
By Gary Griffiths - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"And hear the lamentation of the women."

Poor China - seems they can't get a break these days. Like it's not bad enough with the "Free Tibet" crowd and the Olympic Torch fiasco, here we've got Conn Iggulden piling on, sending Genghis Khan and his fearsome horde crashing through the "Chins" walled cities and wrecking the kind of havoc made popular in John Kerry's now infamous "Jenghis" Khan testimony to Congress in post-Vietnam America.

And like it's predecessor, "Genghis: Birth of an Empire", "Genghis: Lords of the Bow", is a raucous, swashbuckling mayhem fest that is at the same time intelligent and illuminating - a rare peak under the covers of a man as ruthless as he was a great - make that extraordinary - field general and tactician. A man who through sheer determination and the magnetism of his personality united tribes of the northern plains that had been warring among themselves for centuries, succeeding in bringing their foes of far superior resources literally to their knees. As with "Empire" before it, "Lords of the Bow" puts a human face on Genghis - but just barely this time. For unlike the man-child we were introduced to in the first volume, we see the transformation from the child turned out on the steppes to die to a conqueror larger than life, the vanquisher who tramples his enemies not out of cruelty, but simply of cold efficiency. Iggulden resists the temptation of putting a politically correct kind face on the Genghis of nightmares, penning a masterful portrait of a leader with military brilliance of Alexander, forged with the diabolical cleverness of Machiavelli.

"Lord of the Bows" reads a lot like an Eastern version of the venerable Bernard Cornwell, and in fact, the similarities between the tactics and success of the English long bow and the short, composite bows of Genghis' pony-mounted denizens are uncanny. Battle scenes are gripping and realistic. The author's depiction of the battle of Badger's Pass is a rare literary treat, as fascinating in the strategy and tactics as it is entertaining and suspenseful. But to allay any fears that this is simply a book military maneuvers, take heart: the story is spiced with politics, treachery, deceit, and chicanery - a stunning profile of justice and accountability honed and hardened by Mongolia's unrelenting climate and terrain.

Yet more fascinating than the conquests and the carnage is the "why" - is rape and pillage really the end, does conquest and submission trump occupation and even unimaginable riches, painting a curious dilemma as Genghis and his tribes leave a broken Chin empire behind and return to their beloved seas of grass and snow?

In short, another remarkable and enjoyable effort from Conn Iggulden has me anxiously waiting for the final chapter in the saga of the inimitable Genghis Khan. Well done!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Action-packed, skim-the-surface novel does not demand immediate reread June 27 2008
By Scott Schiefelbein - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I really, really want to adore Conn Iggulden's "Genghis" series. Iggulden is a talented, prolific writer, but as with his take on Julius Caesar, his "Genghis" series seems to be skimming along the surface of the legend of one of history's astounding characters.

The first novel saw the rise of Genghis from absolute despair to early triumphs. Iggulden's tale was evocative of the time and place of the Mongols' rugged, harsh homeland, and he captures the rigors of life on the plains and in the mountains incredibly well. And yet there were strange gaps in the story - such as virtually no discussion of the ponies that play such a huge part of the Mongols' story. It was an odd omission.

There's another similar omission with "Lords of the Bow" - there's virtually no discussion of archery! The Mongols may have been the greatest archers the world has ever seen, and Iggulden indeed shows the Mongols using the weapon to great effectiveness against the hated Chin armies. But again there's virtually no discussion of how a Mongol becomes such an amazing archer. When contrasted to Bernard Cornwell's treatment of a similar topic in his Grail Quest series ("The Archer's Tale," etc.), this omission is jarring. To be fair, Iggulden doesn't try to give the reader an honorary PhD and must sacrifice some worthy material for pacing, but largely ignoring the cultural side of horses and archery just ain't right.

For all that, Iggulden has written a fun, violent story - Genghis is marching against the Chin. Iggulden revels in scenes where scouts struggle over lethal mountain passes to circumvent Chin walls and in the slaughter of thousands in mighty battles. He has created some fun supporting characters to boot, not least a cunning shaman (is there any other kind?) who uses duplicity to get close to Genghis.

Read this for a lark - it'll do just fine.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The brilliant second installment of the Conqueror series Feb. 29 2008
By Lance Mitchell - Published on
Having united the tribes into the unified nation of Mongols, Genghis Khan and his brothers lead their great army into the land of the Chin. They encounter a new type of warfare, besieging great cities with high, strong walls and massive defensive weapons.

Keeping the tribes united is a difficult task and relies upon the brains of the great khan combined with his, sometimes shocking, ruthlessness. It works.

There are many sub-adventures, and there are new surprises for the reader around every corner. The only constant is the cunning plotting of the shaman, Kokchu, who is feared by all, even Genghis.

Once again, Conn Iggulden sweeps the reader along with his wonderful descriptive story-telling. The only disappointment for me is that, having finished this book, I am going to have to wait for the third and final instalment.