3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2009
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.
13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2008
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.