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Genghis unites Mongol tribes to cross the Gobi Desert and fight the Chin - gleaming cities, soaring walls, and canals. Laying siege to one fortress after another, Genghis cunningly crushes each enemy differently, overcoming moats, barriers, deceptions, and superior firepower—until his army calls the Emperor in Yenking to kneel.


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Genghis unites Mongol tribes to cross the Gobi Desert and fight the Chin - gleaming cities, soaring walls, and canals. Laying siege to one fortress after another, Genghis cunningly crushes each enemy differently, overcoming moats, barriers, deceptions, and superior firepower—until his army calls the Emperor in Yenking to kneel.

30 review for Genghis: Lords of the Bow

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dana Ilie

    This was a gripping page-turner. The author paints a credible picture of Genghis Khan's temperament and psychological tendencies in his decision-making processes and in his dealings with his family, his tribesmen and his enemies. The story is about how Genghis Khan, having united all the various Mongol tribes, led his army to invade the Xi Xia Kingdom (of Tanguts) and then the Chin (Jin) Empire (of Jurchens). It tells how he developed and improved his assault tactics. Historical information about This was a gripping page-turner. The author paints a credible picture of Genghis Khan's temperament and psychological tendencies in his decision-making processes and in his dealings with his family, his tribesmen and his enemies. The story is about how Genghis Khan, having united all the various Mongol tribes, led his army to invade the Xi Xia Kingdom (of Tanguts) and then the Chin (Jin) Empire (of Jurchens). It tells how he developed and improved his assault tactics. Historical information about the various battles is generally accurate and the battle scenes are vividly drawn. An entertaining read overall. If you love plenty of fierce combat scenes, fascinating yet unique characters, and historically accurate descriptions of artifacts and customs, Conn Iggulden’s novels are riveting works that will make you want to read more of this creative and talented author.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Petrik

    A compelling, brutal, informational, and terrifying depiction of Genghis’ conquest of Yenking. “Some words can be a cruel weight on a man, unless he learns to ignore them.” Genghis: Lords of the Bow is the sequel to Genghis: Birth of an Empire; it’s the second book in the Conqueror series by Conn Iggulden. The story takes place approximately eight years after the end of the first book. Temujin, now called Genghis Khan, is 26 years old and the entirety of the book is about Genghis and A compelling, brutal, informational, and terrifying depiction of Genghis’ conquest of Yenking. “Some words can be a cruel weight on a man, unless he learns to ignore them.” Genghis: Lords of the Bow is the sequel to Genghis: Birth of an Empire; it’s the second book in the Conqueror series by Conn Iggulden. The story takes place approximately eight years after the end of the first book. Temujin, now called Genghis Khan, is 26 years old and the entirety of the book is about Genghis and the Mongol’s invasion of Yenking (Beijing today.) Genghis: Lords of the Bow was almost as good as the first book; the large-scale action scenes—more on this later—was definitely better. I felt like a lot of what makes Conqueror so enjoyable to read was because of Iggulden’s writing style that still follows the same engaging head-hopping narrative that he utilized in the first book, and I personally believe that many authors who use the same storytelling style could learn a thing or two from Iggulden here. As I’ve mentioned in my review of the first book, I never felt lost with the narration; Iggulden makes head-hopping narrative—which I usually despise—very easy to follow and instead of confusing the readers, his writing style made every scene full of emotions due to the constant exchange of dialogues accompanied by the speaker’s thoughts and feelings. I found all of these to be an incredibly positive point in my read. “If you are asking if my family will take what they want, of course they will. The strong rule, Chen Yi. Those who are not strong dream of it.” The unfortunate things about Genghis: Lords of the Bow for me was the noticeable slowdowns in the middle section of the book. Unlike the first book where the majority of the perspective takes place from Genghis’ POV, this installment seems to prioritize witnessing scenes from Genghis’ brothers and the enemies’ perspectives; some were good, even great, but one in particular—Temuge—was boring. The middle part of the book centered on Khasar’s and Temuge’s infiltration into Baotou and I found the pacing during this part to be sluggish to get through. It is, however, important to read this section because it’s looking very likely that this would eventually become one of the foundations of Genghis’ vision of the future. Plus, Genghis’ relationship with his brothers and how his brothers view him will always be one of the highlights of the series for me. “While his brother dreamed of war and plunder, Temuge saw cities in his imagination and all the beauty and the power that came with them.” Action-wise, Genghis: Lords of the Bow proved to be a much more action-packed installment compared to its predecessor. The first book was about Temujin’s coming-of-age and his unification of Mongolia, this is about his invasion of Yenking. The main spotlight of the book was definitely the battle of Badger’s Mouth, which was insanely breathtaking. The second half of this book was just brilliant; full of actions, drama, and gripping turn of events. Iggulden reminded us why Genghis’ invasion stamped in history terrifyingly by recreating scenes of carnage for us to read. It was incredibly intriguing to witness the tactics and strength the Mongol unleashed in order to conquer cities that are much larger and advanced than theirs. I’m not there, but from what I’ve heard, The Mongols were demonic with their cavalry and bow proficiency; seeing them build a literal path of corpses in their bloody conquest was frightening. The incident of “falling petals” was an event I didn’t know and the word “harrowing” is an understatement to describe the event. I mean, up to sixty thousand young girls in white garments threw themselves from the wall of Yenking so they don’t have to see their city fall; shit doesn’t get much bleaker than that. “Like an island in a raging sea, the Mongol horsemen moved across the face of the Chin army and no one could bring them down.” Not only it’s engaging, but I also loved the informational nature of this historical fiction series. I know I still have three books left to read in the series but so far Iggulden has been, as far as I know, very accurate in the historical accuracy. Yes, he did change some details to make the flow of the story better, but it was never up to the point where it made me went “what the hell!?” Just like the first book, I also found many inspirational passages about leadership and strength that are eloquently written and applicable to humanity’s character-building these days. This long passage below is one of many examples: “From this day, you are no longer children. If you have to fight, even if it is a friend, put him down as fast and hard as you possibly can. Kill if you have to, or spare him—but beware putting any man in your debt. Of all things, that causes resentment. Any warrior who raises his fist to you must know he is gambling with his life and that he will lose. If you cannot win at first, take revenge if it is the last thing you do. You are traveling with men who respect only strength greater than theirs, men harder than themselves. Above everything else, they respect success. Remember it.” Although there was a slight pacing issue in the halfway section, Genghis: Lords of the Bow is certainly another awesome book in the Conqueror series; it’s brutal, convincingly written, and it has a second half that’s super difficult to put down. I know I don’t read much historical fiction series, not as much as I wanted to anyway, but even though I’m only two books into the series so far, I will recommend this series to every historical fiction fans or readers who want to learn more about Genghis Khan and his legends. “Genghis was far from invincible and was wounded many times in his battles. Yet luck was always with him and he survived again and again – perhaps deserving the belief his men had in him, that he was blessed and destined to conquer.” You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping) You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    Oh really? Well, if the above adage is an accurate sentiment, than I think it's equitable to concede that Genghis Khan, ruler of the mightily manly Mongols, vanquisher and subjugator of a quarter of the known world, was...to state it bluntly...the...MAN... Your enemies don't come more dripping with macho-awesomeness than that!!  This second installment of Iggulden’s Conqueror trilogy begins several years following the events of Genghis: Birth of an Empire. In the first book, we followed Ge Oh really? Well, if the above adage is an accurate sentiment, than I think it's equitable to concede that Genghis Khan, ruler of the mightily manly Mongols, vanquisher and subjugator of a quarter of the known world, was...to state it bluntly...the...MAN... Your enemies don't come more dripping with macho-awesomeness than that!!  This second installment of Iggulden’s Conqueror trilogy begins several years following the events of Genghis: Birth of an Empire. In the first book, we followed Genghis from his formative, early years through the moment when he begins uniting the various Mongol tribes under his rule of manliness. As I stated previously in my review of that first installment, Iggulden does a superior job of making this complex, enigmatic figure come to life.  This second installment maintains the high standards of the first. Inspire of that, I didn't quite enjoy this as much as  Genghis: Birth of an Empire, but I think that was more a result of my fussy, unreasonable expectations than any patent failure of quality in the text itself.  I shall explain.  As I mentioned above, the first book ended with Genghis having begun to unite the various warring tribes into a unified nation. Based on how the first novel ended, I was all revved up and geared in excitement for this book to commence the description of the giant, "out to the woodshed" ass-kicking that Genghis unleashed on the world. I was all expecting the firm smack down of some  enemy ass followed by a segue into Genghis pillaging some enemy villages (after kicking some more enemy ass). From there, the narrative was to transition into Genghis stomping some cities into the ground (immediately following another stellar game of stomp the enemy’s naughty bits). After that, we would move into Genghis pummeling more enemies into submission...followed by brief pauses, after plundering a few wealthy towns, to get really, really, really, really drunk and debauched at an impromptu “Genghis is Awesome" celebration.   ....then it would be right back to killing and maiming the enemy, expanding the Mongol empire (after capping some more enemies) and finally, after all the asses have been kicked, to climax with a brief segment of taking names, the traditional post-ass-kicking activity.  Unfortunately, Iggulden decided to take a more measured and less nut stomping pace to the narrative, which caused me some initial moments of melancholy. However, Iggulden's breezy style and well-crafted plot quickly drew me in and I found myself hooked again by the unveiling of this incredible historical figure's momentous life. Before starting this series, I knew next to nothing about Genghis, which shocks and appalls me given his impact on the world. I have found him prior to be a fascinating figure and one that on many levels I admire greatly.  Now hold up John and Jenny "Jump-the-Gun", don’t go getting me wrong and thinking I condone all of Genghis's actions. He  was certainly ruthless to his enemies and, at times, conducted wholesale slaughter of those he conquered. It's also true that he was clearly the aggressor and that his campaign was offensive rather than defensive.  HOWEVER, in analyzing his actions from the perspective of his own beliefs and motivations, I came to at least understand (even if I did not fully condone) Genghis Khan’s actions.  From Genghis’s perspective, the neighboring empires, including the Kingdom of the Xi Xia and the Chin or Chinese Empire, had been responsible for keeping the various Mongol tribes fighting and killing each other for centuries. The Chin had also conducted numerous raids and similar acts of belligerence  against the Mongols. Thus, when Genghis united the tribes, part of his motivation was to be able to create a force strong enough to destroy these two enemies in order to secure safety and freedom for his own people.  Not exactly a monstrous goal.  Now, I admit, that may not be a perfect justification for starting an aggressive war or even as good as say...I don’t know...claiming that  the Xi Xia and the Chin were harboring WMDs. However, I still think that Genghis Khan’s desire to create freedom and safety for his people shows his later actions in a different light even if you don’t agree with his decision to invade Iraq Xi Xia.   In addition, the book describes how Genghis usually offered his enemies the option of surrendering before he attacked.  Of course, if this offer was refused, he would be ruthless to those who refused upon his eventual victory. However, even that was for the purpose of encouraging future enemies to willingly surrender. A cold, calculating decision, yes. But not necessarily bloodthirsty.  Genghis is also portrayed as being extremely loyal to those who follow him and inspiring tremendous loyalty in return. He lavishly rewarded those who fought with him and took care of the families of those who died in battle. He cared about his people deeply, and they in turn cared deeply for him. I think this above all else is something I greatly admired about the man as I think inspiring love and loyalty is always worthy of recognition.  In summary, while Genghis Khan’s reputation as a bloodthirsty conqueror is not without a basis in fact, I think that Iggulden has shown him to have been a much more layered, multi-faceted historical figure. He had many noble qualities and was a superb leader of men, maybe among the best ever. He was also loved by his people and had understandable motives behind the actions that he took.  Though certainly not perfect, I certainly think Gene Roddenberry should have received a bottom-smacking for placing such a great leader in this motley group:   in sum, this book was well written, well paced and superbly detailed. I'm looking forward to reading the final volume in the trilogy about this larger than life historical figure. In closing, here are a few famous quotes ascribed to Genghis (Conan fans will recognize the first one):   3.5 to 4.0 stars. Highly Recommended.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mizuki

    My review for the first book: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... My review for the third book: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Thanks to the editor of the Chinese translated version of this book and all those footnotes in the text, here we can get some Mogul Empire History 101: (1) Genghis Khan had tons of wives, not just two wives. (2) the Chi Empire (in other translation: the Jin Empire) and the Xi Xia Empire/Tangut Empire did not share the same ancestor. (3) there is a 'Buddhist mo My review for the first book: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... My review for the third book: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Thanks to the editor of the Chinese translated version of this book and all those footnotes in the text, here we can get some Mogul Empire History 101: (1) Genghis Khan had tons of wives, not just two wives. (2) the Chi Empire (in other translation: the Jin Empire) and the Xi Xia Empire/Tangut Empire did not share the same ancestor. (3) there is a 'Buddhist monk' Yao Shu in the novel, but historically Yao Shu is a Taoist. (4) historically the Xi Xia Emperor at Genghis Khan's time is called Li Anquan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor...), the 'Xi Xia Emperor' in this novel is totally made up. Actual review here: In this book, we follow Genghis Khan, his brothers and his warrior buddies on a quest to conquer more land across Asia! Since this series was written on the view point of Genghis and the Mongol Empire, therefore the Chi Empire and their royal family are more or less being painted as the 'bad guys' (the author reasons that the Chi Emperor was responsible for the death of Genghis' father), still fortunately the author didn't rely too much on such justification. I mean.........perhaps the Chi Emperor had done some dark things, but it really isn't like Genghis and his buddies are any more merciful or righteous. In this book Genghis is still the main character, and his family dramas (mostly the tension he had with his chief wife Börte and his oldest son Jochi) also foreshadows the undercurrents within the ruling family, which lead to the many major events and plot twists in the sequel. Beside Genghis, I like how his brothers are having more roles to play instead of being the mere followers of Genghis in the previous book. For example, I like Qasar and Temüge's quest to the Chi Empire and how the brothers meet up with new, unfamiliar friends/foes, deal with the new surrounding and new challenges. Not to mention, Lords of the Bow also ends with yet another heart-stopping epic battle (once again I'm impressed!) Genghis' general Subutai (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subutai) also has more role to play in this book, and the general will take on an important role in the sequel. Reading Mr. Iggulden's novels really help me to experience the charms of historical novels (I'm not a huge fan of this genre, mind you), my knowledge on Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire is mostly from what I'd read in my highschool textbooks, but Mr. Iggulden and his story successfully manage to breath life into all those impassive historical details. I really appreciate what the author had done with his works. PS: but please bear in mind that many of the historical details in this series aren't exactly accurate. An ass-kicking book review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Leader Genghis Khan continues to sweep all before him showing a vision for an empire that will stand long after he has gone. The strategy of the Mongol army is fascinating when and how to outsmart their enemy is as much the achievement as the battle itself. The discipline of military planning and execution, the weapons and machines for battle, and the network of scouts and the infrastructure around the armies is absolutely amazing for its time. What a wonderful insight brought to life in an exc Leader Genghis Khan continues to sweep all before him showing a vision for an empire that will stand long after he has gone. The strategy of the Mongol army is fascinating when and how to outsmart their enemy is as much the achievement as the battle itself. The discipline of military planning and execution, the weapons and machines for battle, and the network of scouts and the infrastructure around the armies is absolutely amazing for its time. What a wonderful insight brought to life in an exceptional novel. The Mongols meet the age-old enemy, the Chin, and the battles are fierce and bloody and often on a knife-edge as to their outcomes. With the victory, everyone starts to realise that to fight Genghis’ armies they will face an intelligent, brutal and merciless foe. Fight and you will be slaughtered, surrender and you will be integrated into the Mongol empire. The choice for many becomes obvious. The pace of the narrative is relentless and rich with detail and a fascinating perspective on the power-plays and motivations of those that surround Genghis. It is jaw dropping to appreciate all the elements the Mongol armies brought to bear in conquering cities and regions, that were so much more advanced and innovative than anything that came before. While the detail is fictional, Conn Iggulden writes with such authority that I want it to be fact. I want to feel this book taught me who the real person was. I would highly recommend this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Zitong Ren

    Lords of the Bow is the second book in Conn Iggulden’s Conqueror series, where it continues from the first book, Wolf of the Plains and it tells the tale of Genghis Khan, where upon the end of this book, Yenking, or Beijing as it is known today, surrenders to the Mongols. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and, as the history buff that I am, wish that more historical fiction was written in earlier time frames. What do I mean by this, well, nowadays, I find that a great portion of historical fiction Lords of the Bow is the second book in Conn Iggulden’s Conqueror series, where it continues from the first book, Wolf of the Plains and it tells the tale of Genghis Khan, where upon the end of this book, Yenking, or Beijing as it is known today, surrenders to the Mongols. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and, as the history buff that I am, wish that more historical fiction was written in earlier time frames. What do I mean by this, well, nowadays, I find that a great portion of historical fiction is centred around the last century alone, such as the Great War, WW2 and also the Cold War, with many books set in the time frame of that, say, trench warfare or the Holocaust. I have nothing against these books and I have found books like The Book Thief to have been wonderful books and really shows what these people have suffered in recent times. However, I would love for more historical fiction to be written in a setting that is pre 20th century, like this book for instance, for his series set after the death of Caesar. I would love fiction say, set in Napoleonic Europe or Han China as there is so much history for to be discovered and made into fiction. If anyone has any recommendations, feel free to let me know. Something I do like about this book, though it undoubtedly may draw away some readers is that it is meant to be as realistic as possible, despite how gruesome, bloody or dangerous it may seem. This was a time where women where treated incredibly unfairly(and in many countries, still are) and when life was incredibly harsh. This book is full of death and selling off women got others and slavery is also common, so it is may not be suited to younger readers or people who do not like reading this sort of stuff. I did not particularly like this stuff and certainly do not support it and found myself grimacing often when I was reading it, yet it was oddly immersive and makes it fell more like you are actually there with the characters in their current situation. As it is the story of the great Khan, it is filled with military tactics, detailed battle scenes and gore, which may, again, draw readers away, but history is not something that is lighthearted and this book shows it at how much the Mongols seemed to have loved killing and slaughtering innocent people. It is certainly not a good thing, yet the battle scenes and sieges make the book so much more epic in every sense and since Iggulden writes action pretty well, it does not hurt the book in any way. The book is not overly fast paced and in fact drags a bit in the middle despite the action scenes as there are areas where everyone is just sitting around waiting for people to surrender, like the end, where the Mongols sit outside Yenking for literal years. Yes, there are bits that do get a bit boring, but there are also parts of the story that is just so riveting that it, in a sense, makes up for it. All of the different characters are all very interesting and the dialogue has obviously been made up as nobody would of known exactly of what they would have said in that time. They are all very written and fully realised characters that all fit suitably well into the historical setting. I did really enjoy this book and would recommend for fans of both fantasy and historical fiction alike. 8/10

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alice Poon

    This was a gripping page-turner. The author paints a credible picture of Genghis Khan's temperament and psychological tendencies in his decision-making processes and in his dealings with his family, his tribesmen and his enemies. The story is about how Genghis Khan, having united all the various Mongol tribes, led his army to invade the Xi Xia Kingdom (of Tanguts) and then the Chin (Jin) Empire (of Jurchens). It tells how he developed and improved his assault tactics. Historical information about This was a gripping page-turner. The author paints a credible picture of Genghis Khan's temperament and psychological tendencies in his decision-making processes and in his dealings with his family, his tribesmen and his enemies. The story is about how Genghis Khan, having united all the various Mongol tribes, led his army to invade the Xi Xia Kingdom (of Tanguts) and then the Chin (Jin) Empire (of Jurchens). It tells how he developed and improved his assault tactics. Historical information about the various battles is generally accurate and the battle scenes are vividly drawn. An entertaining read overall except that there are some glaring historical inaccuracies.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    Genghis Khan continues uniting the Mongol tribes and takes them across the Gobi Desert into the lands of the Chin. The Khan's forces sack village after village, until setting their sights on Yenking. Can even the vast horde break an impregnable fortress-city? Lords of the Bow picks up a couple years after Birth of an Empire left off. While the story wasn't as gripping as Birth of an Empire, it was still good. The most interesting aspects were the ways Genghis inspired confidence in his men. It wo Genghis Khan continues uniting the Mongol tribes and takes them across the Gobi Desert into the lands of the Chin. The Khan's forces sack village after village, until setting their sights on Yenking. Can even the vast horde break an impregnable fortress-city? Lords of the Bow picks up a couple years after Birth of an Empire left off. While the story wasn't as gripping as Birth of an Empire, it was still good. The most interesting aspects were the ways Genghis inspired confidence in his men. It wouldn't take much for me to leave cube land and ride with the Khan. Genghis's relationship with his family was well done, particularly with Jochi, whose parentage is in doubt. The way he interacts with his brothers humanizes him a bit and makes him more than a cold military leader. He's even funny at times, afraid of his two wives becoming closer. The budding hatred between Joshi and Chagatai sets up elements in the next book. Iggulden makes the siege of Yenking and the battle of Badger Mouth pass sweaty-palmed page turners. I'm hoping the third and final book has its share of epic battles. A lot of people complain that Iggulden plays fast and loose with the facts. I scoff at that notion. The differences are where the fiction part of historical fiction comes into play. If you want history, read a history book. If you read Birth of an Empire, you won't want to pass this one up.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Scott Hitchcock

    Another great volume in this saga. The idea of the Mongols rising up and bringing a city the size of Yanking (later Peking and Beijing) is pretty amazing. The author does a great job bringing the characters to life in a believable fashion.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mark Harrison

    Excellent second part of the Mongol story. Genghis now takes the united tribes to fight against the Chin. Quite brilliant battle sequences, subtle espionage in the Chin cities, politics, betrayal, love, death, decapitation, mayhem, chaos and more decapitation. Moves at great pace and, whilst there have been some historical liberties, it is a great read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Zapata

    This is the second of five in the author's series about Genghis Khan. This is also my second reading, the first was many years ago, pre-GR. The remaining books in the series will all be new to me. Here Genghis solidifies his power among his countrymen, and looks to the Chin dynasty for his next battles. We follow the horde into battle after battle, at the same time watching the growing power of the suspicious shaman Kokchu, who came to Genghis after seeing his own tribal khan's men slaughtered fo This is the second of five in the author's series about Genghis Khan. This is also my second reading, the first was many years ago, pre-GR. The remaining books in the series will all be new to me. Here Genghis solidifies his power among his countrymen, and looks to the Chin dynasty for his next battles. We follow the horde into battle after battle, at the same time watching the growing power of the suspicious shaman Kokchu, who came to Genghis after seeing his own tribal khan's men slaughtered for their leader's refusal to acknowledge Genghis as his leader. One of the Khan's rules was never to leave enemies behind him. Ruthless and cruel? You bet. But also practical and realistic. He was trying to lead men who had never thought beyond their own clans, their own kinsmen. He was trying to build a nation. It is one thing to lead a country that has a couple of hundred years of history behind it (and as we can see all too clearly each day, it is still not a job for fools) but it is something else entirely to create that nation and the IDEA of it in the hearts and minds of a people as rugged and independent as the Mongols were. This book did not quite capture me the way the first of the series did. We are a little apart from Genghis in these pages, where in the first one we lived through everything with him. Here there is more distance, and while Genghis is of course the main force of the book, the scope of our attention has to widen in order to see the whole story. That is the only reason I did not give this the five stars I gave the first book. It was indeed gripping and intense, but a bit of spirit was missing for me. At the end, the author once again gives some notes in which he explains his sources and talks a bit about the various people now involved in the saga. We get the ominous hint that the story of that creepy shaman is not over yet. I don't know what he is up to, but I can imagine. I am off now to book three, Bones Of The Hills, to find out if my suspicions are true, and to see what Genghis Khan himself will do next.

  12. 4 out of 5

    David Sven

    This books starts off with Genghis completing his subjugation of the Mongol tribes under his banner before marching on his hated enemies, the Chin, and we end at the walls of Yanjing (Beijing) There are a lot of large set piece battles this book, but most notable was the battle of Badger Mouth where the Mongols bypassed the choke point by climbing what the Chin thought were impassable peaks - especially in winter. I think I liked Genghis coming of age story in the first book better because we got This books starts off with Genghis completing his subjugation of the Mongol tribes under his banner before marching on his hated enemies, the Chin, and we end at the walls of Yanjing (Beijing) There are a lot of large set piece battles this book, but most notable was the battle of Badger Mouth where the Mongols bypassed the choke point by climbing what the Chin thought were impassable peaks - especially in winter. I think I liked Genghis coming of age story in the first book better because we got a real close up view of the man himself and his personal prowess. This book we step back a bit from the legend to encompass his army, his war tactics, and his success and failures on the battlefield. They are still very interesting but I can't help comparing Iggulden's battle descriptions with Bernard Cornwell. Cornwell's battles just seem that more in depth. Then again, Iggulden is using broader strokes to propel the reader swiftly across events covering years rather than days or weeks. One of the interesting things I found was how the Mongols didn't really seem to have a plan for what to do when they had finished conquering their enemies - other than to go back home. And it seems their cohesion relied heavily on war, but with no grand vision of what to build in peace time. Another fascinating read from Iggulden 4 stars

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ken Hammond (kenzaz)

    Lords of the Bow, Conn Iggulden has breathed life into history books, the stratagems and tactics weapons effectiveness the political intrigues and the spy networks, the failures of battle plans and of course the victories, there's a slew of characters from fairly honorable indepth types to cannon fodder with scant mentions. The Mongols regarded a straight fight unhonourable but victories won by deception and cunning plans as the only worthy type of battle. They weren't fools and regarded large l Lords of the Bow, Conn Iggulden has breathed life into history books, the stratagems and tactics weapons effectiveness the political intrigues and the spy networks, the failures of battle plans and of course the victories, there's a slew of characters from fairly honorable indepth types to cannon fodder with scant mentions. The Mongols regarded a straight fight unhonourable but victories won by deception and cunning plans as the only worthy type of battle. They weren't fools and regarded large losses of their own men as poor leadership and not using tricks even if they won the fight as stupid and wasteful. A fully trained Mongol warrior was not easily replaced a lifetime of training with the bow and being born to ride a horse as an extension of their own body was guarded and looked after, their system of equally dividing war spoils meant leaders were slightly richer than those they led. They were masters of long distances attacks thinking nothing of 1000 km in 9 days and extreme distance travelling of 225 km in a single day, opposing armies of the time were out manoeuvred at every step and didn't stand a chance. They were masters of terror tactics if a city resisted everyone was massacred if a city surrendered without a fight, they may have kept living, but paid a tribute of either valuables and or fresh raw recruits the Mongols incorporated into their army. A formula that worked and until that time they ended up with the worlds largest continuous land empire ever been.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tim The Enchanter

    An Entertaining and Bloody 4 Stars If you don't know any of the history (and likely some mythology) surrounding the infamous Genghis Khan, I suggest you pick up these books and start reading now. While I was aware of the story of his childhood and his early years, I knew very little of his exploits as a war chieftain. While I was aware that he was successful in bringing together disparate Mongolian tribes I was unaware of the sheer ferociousness and determination of these warriors. This volume An Entertaining and Bloody 4 Stars If you don't know any of the history (and likely some mythology) surrounding the infamous Genghis Khan, I suggest you pick up these books and start reading now. While I was aware of the story of his childhood and his early years, I knew very little of his exploits as a war chieftain. While I was aware that he was successful in bringing together disparate Mongolian tribes I was unaware of the sheer ferociousness and determination of these warriors. This volume tells of the earliest years of his conquests. Genghis Khan had no formal education. He was not trained in leadings massive armies of warriors and was trained in tactics used by small raiding parties. Lords of the Bow paint a picture of a man who possessed natural genius for warfare, an innate ability to lead and the intelligence to seek out knowledge necessary to defeat the enemy Plot summary In this second volume, we follow Genghis on his early campaigns to fight the Chin (Chinese) dynasty. A band of 60,000 mongol warriors, newly formed in a community that violated the ancient tribal of governance of the Mongol people, set themselves against and ancient and advanced civilization. The plot weaves epic battles with a staggering number of combatants with Genghis` quest to obtain and use his enemies knowledge to defeat them. The Good Are you Ready to Rumble! The battles described in the volume, especially the final battle, can be described in one word, EPIC. In these early years, Genghis was able to use his force of 60,000 warriors and the Chinese belief that the Mongol Tribes were weak and disorganized, to its full advantage. In early battles, he used the vast size of his army to overwhelm any city in his path. The final battle in this volume takes place between Genghis` army and the army of Yenking (now modern day Beijing) and the surrounding cities. The author paints a vivid picture of the nearly insurmountable task of the taking the city. Not only was the city wall nearly impenetrable, the entrance to the city plane was through a narrow passage and between a mountain range. The efforts that Genghis army took to besiege the city and fight the army was extraordinary. If nothing else, read the book for the account of this battle alone. Its all in the Detail The author has a wonderful eye for detail. This is not a story of crazed and bloodthirsty Mongols bent on world domination. This is the story of a man. We are afforded a look into the life Genghis Khan but are also in the surrounding cultures and customs. For example, there is a scene where Genghis and his warriors enter an opulent home in a Chinese city. The Mongol warriors have spent their entire life in open plains and living in gers. The author points out that the would have likely felt uncomfortable and unsettled with high ceilings, large rooms and slaves. It is these small details that round out this novel. The Bad What about Bob (and Borte) There is a large cast of characters that are important in the story of Genghis Khan. His wife, Borte, was an important figure in the first book and she was the reason he made many of his early decisions. While the relationship with his brothers continues to be explored, the relationship with his own children and wife is not. For someone that was so affected by his relationship with his own father, I am interested in Genghis the Father and husband. Hopefully this will be explored in later volumes. Final Thoughts While I enjoyed the book, it lacked the overall excitement of the first book. While the siege on Yenking was epic, large portions of the book were left to scheming, planning and searching out people to teach them that which they did not know. Overall, this volume paints a picture of a far sighted man who was prepared to go to some amazing lengths to reach his goal. I am excited to read the rest of the story of Genghis Khan. Content Advisories It is difficult to find commentary on the sex/violence/language content of book if you are interested. I make an effort to give you the information so you can make an informed decision before reading. *Disclaimer* I do not take note or count the occurrences of adult language as I read. I am simply giving approximations. Scale 1 - Lowest 5 - Highest Sex - 2.5 Part of the warrior culture in these books and at this time allowed the victors to take their liberties with the women of vanquished enemies. There is discussion of rape on multiple occasions but there are no graphic incidents. There is a minor sex scene in which sex is implied. There are several other discussions related to sex but overall they are not graphic. Language - 2 There is very little use of what the average reader would consider traditional adult language. There is certainly name calling and phases that would be considered insulting in the context of the culture. Violence - 4 Violence is a major theme in the book. I reduced the rating for the second volume and it was not pervasive as in the first. This volume included far more planning a scheming and less fighting. They violence is not as graphic as in the first novels. There are scenes in which a character is abusive to a woman that are mildly graphic. There is a scene of mass suicide. Cross Posted to TheLiteraryLawyer.ca

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tosh

    Gotta say, I was disappointed in the author’s depiction of Genghis Khan in this second installment. Such a powerful historical figure should have jumped off the pages, and yet what little time is spent in his point of view is pretty dull. The first book did an excellent job of creating an interesting, if none too accurate, picture of his early life, and the struggles that grew him into the man he eventually would become. Somewhere along the way though the author missed an opportunity to give thi Gotta say, I was disappointed in the author’s depiction of Genghis Khan in this second installment. Such a powerful historical figure should have jumped off the pages, and yet what little time is spent in his point of view is pretty dull. The first book did an excellent job of creating an interesting, if none too accurate, picture of his early life, and the struggles that grew him into the man he eventually would become. Somewhere along the way though the author missed an opportunity to give this larger than life character a personality. He also rushed over his merging of the tribes, which I feel was important enough to deserve more page time. Overall this was an decent read, but I much preferred the biographies. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World Genghis Khan: His Conquests, His Empire, His Legacy

  16. 5 out of 5

    Paul A.

    Genghis Lords of the Bow is a fast, entertaining read. Writing a book like this must be tough. Balancing Genghis the barbarian and Genghis the family man is difficult. Iggulden does a good job of putting a human face on Genghis and the Mongols, although I think he may have gone a bit too far. These were ruthless men who devastated entire populations and cultures. They killed tens of millions in China alone, and his progeny did just as much damage when they rode their ponies west. I did not read Genghis Lords of the Bow is a fast, entertaining read. Writing a book like this must be tough. Balancing Genghis the barbarian and Genghis the family man is difficult. Iggulden does a good job of putting a human face on Genghis and the Mongols, although I think he may have gone a bit too far. These were ruthless men who devastated entire populations and cultures. They killed tens of millions in China alone, and his progeny did just as much damage when they rode their ponies west. I did not read the first book in this series, and maybe I should have. I would have liked more information on the lives of the Mongols and Genghis’ other accomplishments. When he wasn’t slaughtering people he did some interesting things. He forbade the selling and kidnapping of women, adopted a writing system, allowed freedom of religion and more. If he wasn’t hellbent on conquering the world, he might have been an enlightened leader. It’s possible Iggulden covers some of Genghis’ nonmilitary achievements in the other books. I’ll check out the rest of the series and find out. All in all, this is a successful book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    This was better than the first one! Im actually surprised by how much I enjoyed it considering the first one didn't blow me away. Khan is shown as turning into the dominating alpha male he must have been, I usually don't like that kind of character but his psychology was interesting to watch unfold. I liked that we saw him through the eyes of other characters. The battle scenes were well written but I wasn't very attached to the characters so it loses a star for that. This was better than the first one! Im actually surprised by how much I enjoyed it considering the first one didn't blow me away. Khan is shown as turning into the dominating alpha male he must have been, I usually don't like that kind of character but his psychology was interesting to watch unfold. I liked that we saw him through the eyes of other characters. The battle scenes were well written but I wasn't very attached to the characters so it loses a star for that.

  18. 5 out of 5

    KB

    I definitely did not enjoy this book as much as the previous one. I really loved the first part of Wolf of the Plains, but I found myself less drawn-in by the second part. Lords of the Bow feels more like a continuation of that second part.I think what I loved so much, initially, about the series was the relationships between the characters. There were no battles, the number of main characters was limited, and you got to see Iggulden's skill of writing this handful of people and how they connect I definitely did not enjoy this book as much as the previous one. I really loved the first part of Wolf of the Plains, but I found myself less drawn-in by the second part. Lords of the Bow feels more like a continuation of that second part.I think what I loved so much, initially, about the series was the relationships between the characters. There were no battles, the number of main characters was limited, and you got to see Iggulden's skill of writing this handful of people and how they connected with each other. In my opinion, this really disappears once you finish the aforementioned first part of the first book.The second book in the series, Lords of the Bow is very much battle and conquest-driven as Genghis and his army take on the Xi Xia and the Jin. There's also a good portion of this book were Temuge, Khasar and Ho Sa travel to Batou to find a mason and it was... less than exciting reading. And when they finally get the guy back to Genghis, all of a sudden it's another part of the book and they have siege engines. There is very little shown in terms of planning and development for these battles.There were still moments here and there that I enjoyed between characters, like Genghis and his brothers or Genghis with his sons (particularly his relationship with Jochi), or the half a second Borte shows up. Subedei also makes his appearance early on in the book, and he was a character I was waiting for.The book wasn't bad, but not as good as the first. And I have to admit that I'm having trouble recalling a lot of it to even write a review. But I'm already part way through the third book, so I'm moving right along.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kiwi Begs2Differ ✎

    Iggulden’s Mongol historical saga continued. I’m partly disappointed by this second novel in the trilogy. It does features Genghis Kan and describes the recently unified tribes’ advance south, beyond the Gobi desert and into Chin lands, their epic battles (e.g. at Badger’s Mouth pass), the long siege of Yenking (today Beijing) and the capitulation of the child emperor. However the author spend too much time on other characters, i.e. Genghis’ brothers and sons, than on the fascinating Mongol lead Iggulden’s Mongol historical saga continued. I’m partly disappointed by this second novel in the trilogy. It does features Genghis Kan and describes the recently unified tribes’ advance south, beyond the Gobi desert and into Chin lands, their epic battles (e.g. at Badger’s Mouth pass), the long siege of Yenking (today Beijing) and the capitulation of the child emperor. However the author spend too much time on other characters, i.e. Genghis’ brothers and sons, than on the fascinating Mongol leader. 3.5 stars rounded down

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Conn Iggulden's masterful writing skills make this book a joy to read. The author maintains as much of the historical fidelity as possible and fills in the gaps where needed. If the first book of the series covered Genghis' troubled youth, in Lords of the Bow we see a full grown leader on a warpath. Although the scenes described are often extremely violent they only attempt to give us an idea of life and death in the 13th century and they help build the image of Genghis Khan. Conn Iggulden's masterful writing skills make this book a joy to read. The author maintains as much of the historical fidelity as possible and fills in the gaps where needed. If the first book of the series covered Genghis' troubled youth, in Lords of the Bow we see a full grown leader on a warpath. Although the scenes described are often extremely violent they only attempt to give us an idea of life and death in the 13th century and they help build the image of Genghis Khan.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I enjoyed this book almost as much as the first one in this series. I'm not quite sure what it is about these books that I like so much, but there is something about them that grabs me and pulls me in. I knew shortly after starting it, that I would not be doing page math. Even though this is still fiction, it feels like a glimpse into the way of life for his people. They are always portrayed as the "villain", so getting this perspective is an interesting concept. I can't wait to read the next on I enjoyed this book almost as much as the first one in this series. I'm not quite sure what it is about these books that I like so much, but there is something about them that grabs me and pulls me in. I knew shortly after starting it, that I would not be doing page math. Even though this is still fiction, it feels like a glimpse into the way of life for his people. They are always portrayed as the "villain", so getting this perspective is an interesting concept. I can't wait to read the next one.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy

    See review of Genghis: Birth of an Empire. See review of Genghis: Birth of an Empire.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    This was my second experience with this book. The first time through put a markedly bad taste in my mouth after about a hundred and fifty pages and I gave up. I gave it a second shot recently solely because I remember liking the first book a lot and I spent like fifteen bucks on this shit. Thankfully I really liked it this time! I just had to get past the idea of hanging onto even the slightest shred of 21st century Western ideas like, oh..."killing people that are different from you is a bad th This was my second experience with this book. The first time through put a markedly bad taste in my mouth after about a hundred and fifty pages and I gave up. I gave it a second shot recently solely because I remember liking the first book a lot and I spent like fifteen bucks on this shit. Thankfully I really liked it this time! I just had to get past the idea of hanging onto even the slightest shred of 21st century Western ideas like, oh..."killing people that are different from you is a bad thing." It's just not really relevant to this story of these people, and you gotta get past that. Literally no one in these books is what you'd consider a "good guy". The breach & sacking of entire cities is seen as a necessity, and even a fun and/or challenging one at that. Iggulden doesn't shy away from portraying the realities Genghis Khan's conquering swathe across Eurasia, and yet seems to delight in creating likable characters on the receiving side of the Mongol conquest. It's just difficult to know where I stand in these books, which is weird. On one hand, it's fascinating and occasionally awe-inspiring to hang out around the Mongols and see them in a fictional light. On the other, how can I root for a Mongol leader over a Xi Xia leader when the Xi Xia are the ones defending their homes? Some interesting ethical arguments are presented, but even if I wasn't convinced it's always a thoroughly entertaining story. Anyways...this book opens with Genghis completing his forced unification of the steppe tribes and from then on consists solely of his interactions (read: wars) with the Xi Xia (read: Tangut) and Chin (read: Jin) Empires. The perspective of the book flits through a decently-sized cast of people, most Genghis and the people around him but including aforementioned perspectives of Xi Xia leaders and citizens. This gives the book a roomy quality, which is a very good thing with a story with the epic nature of the insanely widespread Mongol conquests. If it isn't obvious by now, this is a full-fledged war story and most of the book follows the particulars of the Mongol migration/campaigns. Sieges and battles abound, giving the reader the first look in this series at what the Mongols could do when they were fighting other nations. As such, the battle scenes are appropriately long, tense and bloody. Some memorably terrifying shit goes down in this one, most notably Badger Mouth, a battle that saw a vastly outnumbered Mongol army attack a huge, well-trained Jin horde through the fort-laden natural bottleneck of a mountain pass. How does Genghis deal with such an unfavorable situation? Read and find out! There do seem to be a few things that I just don't get from Iggulden's writing. He does make an effort with the characters, but somehow the whole thing seems...I don't know, a bit dispassionate or disconnected. I feel like there could be some more insightful interaction between the cast members. It probably has to do with the military setting and the relatively broad perspective...you just never get enough time with anyone for them to see a forceful personality, aside from Genghis and maybe a couple other characters. Kokchu was interesting, if weird and gross. Genghis' brothers Kachiun and Khasar were basically the same person. Jochi certainly grabbed my sympathy. Also, I would have liked a bit more cultural information about not only the Mongols but the different Chinese nations in the book. Again, perhaps not the best place to expect these things but they would have presented a more well-rounded reading experience on top of the constant riding around feathering motherfuckers and then burning their shit. I'm hardly a Mongol expert but I know there was more to their society and their people than that. I definitely have a positive opinion of this man's writing now. I thought the first of his Rome series was really bad, but after a weird start with this one I'm certainly on board with the Mongol series...due to procrastination I'm halfway through Bones of the Hills and am liking that one too. Anyone interested in Genghis and the other Khans should give this series a shot, especially if you're interested in the actual execution of their conquests and their almost unbeatable military machine. There's a decent amount of domestic intrigue and drama as well, but this really is a bunch of well-written scenes of dudes riding thousands of miles, subsisting on nothing but a mixture of mare's milk and blood, and then shooting literally EVERYONE with double-curved bows. If that sounds interesting to you, check it out--but don't miss the first Genghis book, which is one of the few coming-of-age stories not only tolerated but liked.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Of all the authors I've read, I say Conn Iggulden holds the place as having the best writing style. He has nearly mastered the art of writing because he knows what to write and how to write it. (One can never master language. There's always another angle to set this complex gift of God.) Writing is sometimes like cooking, and he knows just how much of each ingredient he should add. The story is not weighed down with description, yet the writing is not dull. His characters are realistic and the h Of all the authors I've read, I say Conn Iggulden holds the place as having the best writing style. He has nearly mastered the art of writing because he knows what to write and how to write it. (One can never master language. There's always another angle to set this complex gift of God.) Writing is sometimes like cooking, and he knows just how much of each ingredient he should add. The story is not weighed down with description, yet the writing is not dull. His characters are realistic and the history is closely matched. Iggulden is so good at what he does, his books are like a film - with professional actors. It's colorful, and gray in a vivid way (doesn't the 1100s Mongol sound gray to you too?) At times I could have been there on the plains with Genghis and Kachiun and Khasar... He also finds historical events with enough action to give his stories glint and excitement. A bonus to him because it's hard to delve into Sumerian novels with almost no plot. I even heard him say he picks the most interesting events that have happened. Conn Iggulden taught English for seven years and it's evident. The man is extremely underrated!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tariq Mahmood

    Fascinating insight into the mindset of the world's greatest conquerer in written history. The tribes are united under the great Khan and have moved to test their mentor against the Chin. It's raw and ruthless steppe skills pitted against the well orchestrated and structured city powers. Tough soldiers against sedate armies could only have one result. Conn has managed to present this phenomenal era of history in a very captivating manner indeed. I really enjoyed the depiction. It does seem that Fascinating insight into the mindset of the world's greatest conquerer in written history. The tribes are united under the great Khan and have moved to test their mentor against the Chin. It's raw and ruthless steppe skills pitted against the well orchestrated and structured city powers. Tough soldiers against sedate armies could only have one result. Conn has managed to present this phenomenal era of history in a very captivating manner indeed. I really enjoyed the depiction. It does seem that the world has always been squarely divided into the the outsider(people of the steppe) and the insider(city dwellers), with the outsider always wanting a piece of the insider's assets.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tanja Berg

    Rating 4* out of 5. This was really good, although it did not quite live up to the first book. Part of the reason for this is that Genghis Khan takes on a bit of super human quality and does not feel as real in this installment. Nonetheless, this is a very solid historical semi-fiction and superbly readable.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rishi Prakash

    I had started the year with the first book of the series which was great so the expectation and excitement for the sequel was accordingly there! Perhaps it raised the bar high and the author couldn't match it a second time... This second book in the series is kind of few steps down. There is still action, excitement and lots of conquering and it still has THE Genghis Khan, after all. We see the Mongols destroying their enemies and then looking at their enemies cities and just being awestruck by i I had started the year with the first book of the series which was great so the expectation and excitement for the sequel was accordingly there! Perhaps it raised the bar high and the author couldn't match it a second time... This second book in the series is kind of few steps down. There is still action, excitement and lots of conquering and it still has THE Genghis Khan, after all. We see the Mongols destroying their enemies and then looking at their enemies cities and just being awestruck by it all. It is kind of funny to read of them acquiring so much wealth in their conquests and yet not having the slightest idea of what to do with all that wealth as they are hunters and have no idea about "social system" of material wealth as they have been living their life as hunter gatherer so far! The author had taken time in the first book to flesh out multiple characters, making them all interesting. They each had significant time in the spotlight to make us know them. In this book, the author has somehow completely changed his approach. We see just 3-4 characters and nothing more. All the other interesting characters are virtually silent. They are still there in the narrative but we do not learn anything more about them. They don't "grow" with time which should have naturally happened as the years are passing by here. You never really see how they feel. It is kind of disconnect as i was looking forward to seeing all of them move forward from where we stopped in the first book and now it is like they don't matter anymore!! It was a huge difference in focus, and for me the main reason why this book as not as good as the first. Still worth continuing the series :)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Herman

    Genghis: Lords of the Bow Book two in the series by Conn Iggulden. I feel educated, learned something about the Moguls warrior plains light horse cavalry like doing a homework assignment for military movement strategy and tactics I'm sure this is taught as a foundation course in some military academy somewhere I do it for fun that's how weird nerdy I am. Brilliant use of forces and understanding of psychological mindset of your opponent details may be altered since the view of time distorts hist Genghis: Lords of the Bow Book two in the series by Conn Iggulden. I feel educated, learned something about the Moguls warrior plains light horse cavalry like doing a homework assignment for military movement strategy and tactics I'm sure this is taught as a foundation course in some military academy somewhere I do it for fun that's how weird nerdy I am. Brilliant use of forces and understanding of psychological mindset of your opponent details may be altered since the view of time distorts history the further back we gaze and this happened a long time ago, still the author does his research and it can be seen in the details of this story. Very believable in it's depiction of the time and I really enjoyed the tactics used by Genghis as he faced the largest army of his day and how he was able to out think and overcome all that stood against him. In this pantheon of Conquerors few can match Genghis and for impact on the world both then and in the future as a result of his endeavors Genghis may stand alone as the Greatest of the Conquerors this series is probably the most accessible of any story your likely to find to understand who he was and what impact he had on our world.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bennett

    DNF I’m typically not a fan of books with heavy battle scenes. The first book, which focused on Genghis’ childhood, was a great mix of story and action. Unfortunately, Lords of the Bow was not for me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Bright

    Fantastic...the narrative on the Battle of Badger's Mouth Pass was insane! Armies just aren't built that way anymore and the level of mental and physical stamina, not to mention absolute loyalty, is something that just doesn't exist in any part of the western world I know. Ready for #3. Fantastic...the narrative on the Battle of Badger's Mouth Pass was insane! Armies just aren't built that way anymore and the level of mental and physical stamina, not to mention absolute loyalty, is something that just doesn't exist in any part of the western world I know. Ready for #3.

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