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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty & Powerful Historical Fiction
The second book in the Conqueror series is an outstanding contribution to the historical fiction genre. Following on from Wolf of the Plains, Lords of the Bow begins with the Mongol nation having been united under the rule of Temujin, the Genghis Khan. Fighting and conquering rival nomadic factions, the tribes are drawn together under the leadership of one man for the...
Published on 18 Sept. 2009 by MLA

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3.0 out of 5 stars The most annoying aspect of Iggulden's style is his insistence on telling ...
Entertaining enough, but only just enough. The most annoying aspect of Iggulden's style is his insistence on telling us, sentence by sentence, exactly what expression his Mongolian characters are adopting. They grin, stare, shrug and put on 'the cold face' so frequently that I longed for an expressionless Chin soldier to wander along and do them all in. I also felt that...
Published 3 months ago by Jerry Cornelius


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty & Powerful Historical Fiction, 18 Sept. 2009
By 
MLA (Jakarta, Indonesia) - See all my reviews
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The second book in the Conqueror series is an outstanding contribution to the historical fiction genre. Following on from Wolf of the Plains, Lords of the Bow begins with the Mongol nation having been united under the rule of Temujin, the Genghis Khan. Fighting and conquering rival nomadic factions, the tribes are drawn together under the leadership of one man for the first time. This momentous turning point in history is given a superb treatment from Iggulden. Temujin's character, his flaws and his abilities follow on without halt from book 1 and the character development of those around him is of the very highest order.

In particular, it is the relationships that form and ebb throughout the book that knit the whole together. The narrative of battle, conquering, and violence is well known history but Iggulden's characters are believable. Iggulden understands that being ruthless was a fundamental part of the success of Genghis. He is tested as are his brothers by those who have seen their own authority diminished by the rise of Temujin. The differences between the characters are intriguingly drawn for the modern audience - Temuge for instance is derided consistently for his lack of abilities but he is the one who most closely represents the modern day aesthetic and he who is relied on to take care of the pragmatic busines of running a nation.

Temujin's other brothers Khasar and Kachuin form differing characters - Khasar the traditional barbarian, perhaps the model to which we still view the Mongol hordes as a savage and unstoppable brute. Kachuin though is the more subtle picture, his worldview coloured by the events of book 1 and the bond established during that time with Temujin.

It is the relationship with women though that is the most impressive. Not pandering to our current world views, the Mongols are unapologetic for the role of women in their society. Temujin's wife Borte is loyal and strong but Temujin is the great conqueror and in reality there are countless millions who claim descent from Genghis Khan. The second wife Chakahai is unlike Borte - she is feminine, submissive, and beautiful. The role of women in our own society is yet to resolve itself between these two positions.

Iggulden's story also develops the politics of tribal affairs. The shaman Kokchu is the explicit recognition of this. His tale is of power lust, something most probably underplayed elsewhere amongst the characters. He is undoubtedly a villain but the way he treats his own female slave is just a step on the continuum of behaviour away from the main heroic characters. Kokchu questions the reader - where does the line of acceptable and unacceptable fall and what can realistically be done to impose that distinction?

The bulk of Lords of the Bow details the campaign against the Chinese Xi Xia kingdom. Genghis learns to adapt his warriors fighting style to meet opponents hiding behind city walls. The battles are not those of the Steppe, they are sieges and as such have to be conducted very differently. They are also epic in scope, not the personalised fights of Wolf of the Plains. Here nameless hundreds die. This is war. It is painful at times but the underlying morality is that of all existance - the only way to stop violence is to be strong enough to fight it.

Not all of the book is perfect though. I had serious quibbles with the descriptions of the Uighurs. The concept of nationhood is built on ethnicity and I think this an anachronistic interpretation. Uighurs are not Mongols, they are more closely related to the Tartars the Mongols claim to hate. This is glossed over presumably for the sake of the readership as our nations were typically forged through an ethnic national identity.

The side adventure into China featuring Khasar, Temuge, and Ho-Sa did not make a great deal of sense but was good fun. Equally the introduction of Tsubodai as a grinning optimist wasn't quite the set up for one of the greatest generals of all time to have his tale start considering how skillfully drawn out most of the other characters are.

Overall, this difficult second book in a trilogy is outstanding. The narrative is fast paced, thoughtful, and fascinating. The first real conquests of the settled world bring Genghis into international recognition, and the story that started out in Wolf of the Plains as a struggling outcast is carried on here as the young leader finds his way in warfare, in the challenges of leadership, and most of all in the national identity and culture he forges. This is excellent historical fiction.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another big hit by a great author, 6 Jun. 2008
When I read Lord of the Bow, during my holiday, I knew that I should take a rest from reading, put the book down and go out site-seeing, but unfortunately, the mistake of taking this book with me has already been committed! I was unable to put it down. I find it very difficult to find writers who can put melees without sounding like they are doctoring the whole situation so that somehow they come out smart strategists in the end. Conn is a very talented strategist and can put details in a way that makes you not want miss a line because you know it all counts when you get to the numerous great fights. This is a really good book and nothing less of the many other books Conn had authored about war. It also gives us men a very good insight into the politics of man and the effects of power on us.
I just hope that 1, Conn would not be as explicit with sexual encounters and 2, that he would write the next book asap!
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incessant pace and brilliance., 17 Jan. 2008
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This is Conn Iggulden's best book to date. Wolf of the Plains was a magnificent book which can now be seen in context as a very good prologue to this remarkable next chapter in the Genghis Khan story.

With military detail, political intrigue, cultural richness and thrills and spills aplenty you cannot help but read this book in double quick time. The descriptions of battle (particularly breaking through the Great Wall for the first time and the battle at Badgers Mouth) are stunning and utterly compelling. But the story lines of the politics, diplomacy and "human interest" are no less readable in their way. There is so much for everyone in this book.

The sense of scale is awesomely expressed and again, like Wolf of the Plains, you can almost feel the weather and experience the vibrancy of the Monghol horde. There is brutality in the book, but it is integral and important to the realism of the story and the times; not gratuitous.

With rich story lines for the rulers, generals, spies, foot soldiers and assasins throughout this book you build a rich kaleidoscope of image and emotions. You also cannot help but learn historic fact. Granted this is a fictional book, but the technologies, techniques, weaponry, politics and many of the characters were real.

I loved this book and it was a shame to finish it. A year to wait for the next one? I really hope not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conn, take a Bow, 12 Jun. 2011
By 
If you only read one book all year you'll have to admit that you're not much of a reader. But you'll want to make that book this one.
Conn Iggulden has conquered the world with his works about men who conquered the world. And Lords of the Bow is his second about the mighty Genghis Khan, or Temujin of the Wolves to his mum.
The first in the series told of his struggle to survive having been cast out into the vast frozen wastes of Mongolia by a usurper in his tribe. He finds an inner steel, claims back what's rightfully his then sets out to claim what rightfully isn't.
As Genghis, his scheme is to unite all the warring tribes of his people under one flag, one mighty mobile nation of fearsome killers out to kick some Chinese butt. Their "civilised" neighbours to the south-east have been toying with them for too long, and though they surround themselves with formidable defences, Genghis will stop at nothing to deliver some payback.
As ever with Iggulden, it's the easy eye for detail that keeps you hooked. The builds to major battle scenes are as convincing and thoroughly believable as the awesome blood-spilling itself. Feel the cold, the impatience, the smell of dirt and mutton grease and sweat, the fear and full bladders, the mindless anger and the icy-hearted malice. In this episode, matters are spiced up with the addition of wives, restlessness among former tribal leaders, snotty sons, a dark assassin cult and a dangerously noxious witch doctor.
The inevitable culture clash is stark and you find your mind awash with those times and their possibilities long after you put the book down. Lords of the Bow is a truly spectacular epic lodged so deep in "man" country it goes commando in freezing weather and wipes bacon-fatty fingers on its vest!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bring on the sons!, 6 May 2008
I greatly enjoyed this next chapter of the Genghis story but not as much as Wolf of the Plains.
I think this is partly history's fault, Genghis was so all conquering that this books lacks for a bit of competative tension, also, whereas the first book made you very sympathetic to Genghis cause, following his childhood exile, in this his exploits of mass slaughter, rape and plunder make him a little less easy to share a camp fire with. Iggulden tries to a degree to excuse his actions as him 'removing the foot of the Chin from the neck of his people' however as the book progresses this is hard to buy and I really don't think he should bother, Genghis is what he is, the original meglamaniac.
The intrigue with his sons and ancestors is where the Mongol story really gets interesting and I do hope Mr Iggulden explores this part of history for us rather than stopping with the death of the great Khan himself.
Then I hope he does for the Alexander story what he did for Julius Caesar, as I don't want to think of him as Colin Farrell for the rest of my days.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars converted to admiration, 10 Sept. 2008
This book is "un-putdownable". On a purely historical note it taught me new facts about Genghis Khan, but the whole tenor of the story shows him as a blood-thirsty thug and yet a brilliant tactician and leader. It is this absolute blend of leadership with tyrrany that engenders a (grudging?) admiration for the man.
On another level - it is a brilliant piece of writing and an adventure book to thrill.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting read!, 7 Aug. 2010
By 
F. Griffiths "Felly" (Manchester UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I picked up the first book in this series "Wolf of the Plains" and was hooked on Conn Iggulden from the beginning. Never thought I could be interested in Genghis Kahn - but this author has whetted my appetite. I polished off the first book - and to my joy found the next book on Amazon, "Lords of the Bow". I so enjoyed this that I obtained the 3rd book in the series "Bones of the Hills", and have pre-ordered the final book as well!
"Lords of the Bow" carries on the story of Genghis Khan and his family. It is very exciting and the battle scenes, of which there are MANY, are well written and seem to come alive in my house! Conn Iggulden is a master of words and seems to hold my attention all the way through his books.
Highly recommended for a jolly good historical read - although never getting boring with dates etc. I have learned a lot about him and also his era and the way the Mongols lived. Keep writing Mr Iggulden!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lords of the Bow - Conn Iggulden, 30 Jun. 2008
By 
Ian Graham (Camberley, England) - See all my reviews
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I have now read all of Conn's books and without doubt he is getting better and better. All the stories, especially Lords of the Bow, are well researched with Conn's distictive storytelling giving the reader the Iggulden novel nuances. Whilst greying out the unimportant facts the stories do not require, Conn alludes to them in his historical notes at the end of each book.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Emperor series on the life of Julius Caesar but I have become completely hooked on Conqueror and Ghengis Khan's fantastic ideology. From his struggle with the harsh way of life for the Mongols coupled with the internal turmoil of distrust of his own tribe, Conn's adaptation is a masterpiece of emotion, shock, disbelief and joy in every chapter. I am on tenterhooks waiting for September 2008 for the publication of the 3rd book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow starter and then non stop action, 14 Dec. 2009
By 
MartinRG "martinrg" (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I found the start of this one a bit slow. I think the problem is that there is so much action at the end of book 1 that Conn gives you a chance to take a breather, and for him to develop the story.

But then he grips you, and as the young Genghis starts to expand his lands you are once again transformed in to 13th Century Asia. It is hard to describe the story without giving too much away, but now we have more interaction with the Chin empire, the early development of his sons and the establishment of the Mongols as dominating warriors, learning from the Chin.

This is a spectacular book, it is disappointing that there are only 3 in the series - started No. 3 already.

Can't wait to see what Conn comes up with next (also reading his short story Blackwater).

Totally recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genghis is back and in fine style!, 1 April 2008
By 
B. J. Madeley - See all my reviews
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Lords of the Bow is the second novel in Conn Iggulden's Conqueror series chronicling the life of Mongolian Emperor Genghis Khan. This book sees Genghis finally unite all of the Great Plains tribes and set off to take on the might of the Chinese Empire, as he makes his first forays past the Great Wall. His armies sweep ever onwards through Chinese lands to the massive cities within.

This book is incredibly gripping and easily as good as its predecessor, the pages just keep on turning. It's truly intriguing to see Genghis' methods and tactics of war and I never wanted to put it down at all.

I would advise everyone to read this book and indeed the first in the series as well. Iggulden genuinely is a master story teller and I can't wait for the follow-up to this tale.
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Lords of the Bow (Conqueror, Book 2)
Lords of the Bow (Conqueror, Book 2) by Conn Iggulden (Paperback - 8 July 2010)
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