This for me was a very eagerly anticipated book, but i was never quite sure what to expect. There was always the lead that this book was to be about Kublai Khan, and to a degree it is, but not in the way i expected, and that's not a bad thing, having read so much its not often i'm surprised by an author.
What surprised me most was the whole encompassing picture that Conn Iggulden has managed to cover in this one book, Yes its a 500+ page title, but the ground covered would take some authors 1000+ pages, yet Conn misses nothing, retains the action, retains the depth of detail and quality of writing. If anything was missing it was the wild pace of Wolf of the Plains, but that slowing of pace matches the story, Wolf of the plains is the Wild abandon of Genghis, where as Conqueror is the maturing of a nation, the education and building of Kublai.
What i think pleased me most was learning about new characters from history, Guyuk, Uriang-Khadai, Arik-Boke and Mongke and their actions that led to the creation of the man Kublai Khan, the man the was needed to carve out a place in history, without the actions of the others he may well have been a scholar or a monk and vanished into obscurity, and who knows what would have happened to that part of the world...or the world as a whole?
What thrills me even more is that at the end of the book, there is still at least a whole book if not a whole series still hidden away for Mr Iggulden to come back to, Like the empire series there is no real end, there is just a point in history reached that means the tale is paused.
Conn I for one will be nagging you to come back to this, while i liked the empire series, I have loved the Genghis series, Wolf of the Plains being my favourite book you have written.
I highly recommend this book and this entire series not just to fans of Historical Fiction, but also to fantasy fans, thriller fans ..anyone..anyone who loves a great read well written and well told by a natural story teller.
The one and only Conn Iggulden takes on the story of the mighty Kublai Khan. An epic tale of a great and heroic mind; his action-packed rule; and how in conquering one-fifth of the world's inhabited land, he changed the course of history forever.
A scholar who conquered an empire larger than those of Alexander or Caesar.
A warrior who would rule a fifth of the world with strength and wisdom.
A man who betrayed a brother to protect a nation.
From a young scholar to one of history's most powerful warriors, Conqueror tells the story of Kublai Khan - an extraordinary man who should be remembered alongside Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great and Napoleon Bonaparte as one of the greatest conquerors the world has ever known.
It should have been a golden age, with an empire to dwarf the lands won by the mighty Genghis Khan. Instead, the vast Mongol nation is slowly losing ground, swallowed whole by their most ancient enemy. A new generation has arisen, yet the long shadow of the Great Khan still hangs over them all ...
Kublai dreams of an empire stretching from sea to sea. But to see it built, this scholar must first learn the art of war. He must take his nation's warriors to the ends of the known world. And when he is weary, when he is wounded, he must face his own brothers in bloody civil war.