As you can see from the image, I have four of the five books in this series. I do hope to catch up with the last one: Conqueror.
It has been several years since I read these stories but sometimes distance strengthens impressions.
Wolf of The Plains is by far the most memorable. When pondering character development or the influence of setting on psyche, this book often comes to mind. Iggulden immerses us into the life of a Mongol boy navigating a brutal cultural and natural environment. We walk alongside him while he establishes himself as the supreme leader of all who encounter him – starting with his own brothers. From a childhood of loss and hardship emerges the man who will conquer the world.
The series’ subplot – Genghis’ relationship with his son Joshi – is a tragedy often played out in the lives of great men. Unsure if Joshi is his own blood, Genghis never completely accepts him. (Genghis’ wife is raped at around the time of Joshi’s conception). Also, Genghis for too long delays rolling authority to his sons – clinging instead to absolute power – resulting in divisions and strife. In this I am reminded of Sharon Kay Penmen’s portrayal of Henry II, his family’s dysfunction and the ensuing fallout so brilliantly dramatized in her Plantagenet series. Both are examples of powerful leaders unable to relinquish control to the next generation.
Highly recommended for historical immersion, world/culture building, action/adventure.
It can find starred Reviews for these books on Amazon and Goodreads:
Wolf of the Plains: here & here.
Lords of the Bow: here & here.
Bones of the Hills: here & here.
Empire of Silver: here & here.