Genghis: Lords of the Bow by Conn Iggulden

Rating: 6 out of 10
Summary: He came from over the horizon, a single Mongol warrior surrounded by his brothers, sons, and fellow tribesmen. With each battle his legend grew and the ranks of his horsemen swelled, as did his ambition. For centuries, primitive tribes had warred with one another. Now, under Genghis Khan, they have united as one nation, setting their sights on a common enemy: the great, slumbering walled empire of the Chin.

A man who lived for battle and blood, Genghis leads his warriors across the Gobi Desert and into a realm his people had never seen before—with gleaming cities, soaring walls, and canals. Laying siege to one fortress after another, Genghis called upon his cunning and imagination to crush each enemy in a different way, to overcome moats, barriers, deceptions, and superior firepower—until his army faced the ultimate test of all.

In the city of Yenking—modern-day Beijing—the Chin will make their final stand, setting a trap for the Mongol raiders, confident behind their towering walls. But Genghis will strike with breathtaking audacity, never ceasing until the Emperor himself is forced to kneel.

My Thoughts: Second novel in the Genghis series by Conn Iggulden. Here is my review on the first novel. I have to say the second definitely wasn’t as good as the first. It was slower, kind of lumbering–it even lost my attention near the end. Even with this, the good parts were really good–Iggulden’s battle scenes appear in my head like movies.

The biggest problem I had with this novel was that the climax seemed to have happened and wrapped up about 3/4ths of the way through the book. That last quarter really dragged. I got bored. I wanted to read other things.

I was a little disappointed by the lack of character development and relationship development. That was really well done in the first novel, and we could see so well how Genghis grew and changed, how he was influenced by his mother, his brothers, and his wife. Especially in the second novel, his family really fell out of the picture. I’ve read some research about how his first wife, Borte, was one of his strongest political advisors (I may be incorrect) and in this novel, she basically wasn’t around for majority of what happened. A lot of my favorite characters from the first book just kind of disappeared.

The action was great, and it moved along well enough until, again, up to the weirdly placed climax.

I don’t know if Iggulden is going to write a third in the series, but I hope he does.