Genghis: Birth of an Empire by Conn Iggulden

Genghis: Birth of an EmpireThis is the first book of a trilogy and all I can say is, bring the rest of it! (Please see last month’s review of “Bones of the Hills” by Lisa Yarde for a review of a book later in the series.)

“Birth of an Empire” starts with the birth of Temujin, the first Genghis of the Mongolian people. We then rejoin the very young Temujin when his father is murdered and the tribe abandons Temujin and his family.

Expected to die on the steppes, the boy Temujin saves his family from starvation and the cold of winter and eventually, they discover a small portion of safety among the wandering herdsman of Mongolia. Had Temujin’s tribe and its new leader assumed his death, history might have had a different outcome, but the tribe’s new Khan fears vengeance for the family’s abandonment. He hunts Temujin’s family, captures Temujin and tries to kill him.

This launches Temujin into a life-long battle, first for survival and eventually for revenge against his father’s murderers and unification for his people.

Birth of a Empire has a little bit of a slow start, but the setting and time frame is epic, so the slow build is appropriate. Mr. Iggulden’s use of historical facts has been questioned by others, but personally, I’m not bothered if he changed things here and there to suit his story. It’s fiction. If I wanted historical facts, I’d go researching. I will say, the characterizations and settings’ realism are unrelenting. If you like your historical fiction with a bit of blood and a lot of emotional zest, don’t be intimidated. It’s only the Mongolian Horde, after all.




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6 Responses to “Genghis: Birth of an Empire by Conn Iggulden”

  1. Janet Johnson says:

    Intimidated by blood? Me? Never. I find the debate on accuracy in historical *fiction* very interesting. I fall you your side of the spectrum. 🙂

  2. Victoria Dixon says:

    You know, maybe that's a blog post I should do someday. It's an interesting topic.

    Iggulden's coverage of the culture is really good and I loved it, but there was one scene I found difficult. How he treats the men who capture and torment his wife is realistic and authentic to the culture. That doesn't mean it wasn't hard to keep going. Not because of writing in any way, but because of what they're doing. Ewww. LOL

  3. Rachna Chhabria says:

    Thanks for the review, Victoria. Sounds interesting.

  4. Victoria Dixon says:

    Thanks, Rachna!

  5. FredTownWard says:

    I'm a big fan of Conn Iggulden's Dangerous Book for Boys Series:

    , but I haven't read his Ghenghis trilogy yet.

    Another one on the TBR list.

  6. monica8 says:


    Can somebody please tell me the diference beween birth f an empire and wolf of the plains?

    many thanks

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