I thought Conn Iggulden was done with this series in the previous book, which ended with the death of Genghis Khan, but this book takes up where the last left off - with the brothers, sons and grandsons of Genghis Khan rivalling for supremacy in the nation Genghis created.
This book, like all the others, is rich in historical detail, and the author has an incredible gift for transporting the reader into the period, capturing the mood and feel perfectly. Never is the action held up for unecessary detail, and yet the writing is so well done that I really felt like I was watching the events unfold.
I know too little about this historical period to comment on the accuracy of the descriptions and detail given, but I know from the Emperor series that the author spends a good deal of time time on careful research for his novels, so I am guessing it is a faithful one. Then again, I was aware that he occasionally played with the history a little in the Emperor series to make a better story, so I wouldn't trust this book for a history dissertation (although maybe that is unfair of me - a better student of the period may like to comment). Regardless of that though, this is a cracking good story. The adventure comes fast and furious, and the battle scenes flow so well, I have no idea how he manages it!
Any initial slowness of the story (and there is not much) is down to the fact that this is a historical narrative. Conn Iggulden could have perhaps created an even more delicious initial tension - but he is constrained by the need to tell the story as it actually happened (more or less), so he can't go assasinating characters who never died and such like.
Ultimately though this is a book that the author did not need to write. He could have stopped writing with the death of Genghis Khan and no-one would have felt the series incomplete. Nevertheless I, for one, am very glad he did carry on writing. Another first class historical adventure by a master of the art of storytelling.