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Conqueror #1

Genghis: Birth of an Empire

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He was born Temujin, the son of a khan, raised in a clan of hunters migrating across the rugged steppe. Temujin's young life was shaped by a series of brutal acts: the betrayal of his father by a neighboring tribe and the abandonment of his entire family, cruelly left to die on the harsh plain. But Temujin endured--and from that moment on, he was driven by a singular fury: to survive in the face of death, to kill before being killed, and to conquer enemies who could come without warning from beyond the horizon.

Through a series of courageous raids against the Tartars, Temujin's legend grew. And so did the challenges he faced--from the machinations of a Chinese ambassador to the brutal abduction of his young wife, Borte. Blessed with ferocious courage, it was the young warrior's ability to learn, to imagine, and to judge the hearts of others that propelled him to greater and greater power. Until Temujin was chasing a vision: to unite many tribes into one, to make the earth tremble under the hoofbeats of a thousand warhorses, to subject unknown nations and even empires to his will.

528 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published May 1, 2007

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About the author

Conn Iggulden

102 books5,168 followers
Also publishes under author name C.F. Iggulden.

I was born in the normal way in 1971, and vaguely remember half-pennies and sixpences. I have written for as long as I can remember: poetry, short stories and novels. It’s what I always wanted to do and read English at London University with writing in mind. I taught English for seven years and was Head of English at St. Gregory’s RC High School in London by the end of that period. I have enormous respect for those who still labour at the chalk-face. In truth, I can’t find it in me to miss the grind of paperwork and initiatives. I do miss the camaraderie of the smokers’ room, as well as the lessons where their faces lit up as they understood what I was wittering on about.

My mother is Irish and from an early age she told me history as an exciting series of stories – with dates. My great-grandfather was a Seannachie, so I suppose story-telling is in the genes somewhere. My father flew in Bomber Command in WWII, then taught maths and science. Perhaps crucially, he also loved poetry and cracking good tales. Though it seems a dated idea now, I began teaching when boys were told only girls were good at English, despite the great names that must spring to mind after that statement. My father loved working with wood and equations, but he also recited ‘Vitai Lampada’ with a gleam in his eye and that matters, frankly.

I’ve always loved historical fiction as a genre and cut my teeth on Hornblower and Tai-Pan, Flashman, Sharpe and Jack Aubrey. I still remember the sheer joy of reading my first Patrick O’Brian book and discovering there were nineteen more in the series. I love just about anything by David Gemmell, or Peter F. Hamilton or Wilbur Smith. I suppose the one thing that links all those is the love of a good tale.

That’s about it for the moment. If you’d like to get in touch with me leave a comment in the forum or you can tweet me @Conn_Iggulden. I’ll leave it there for the moment. If you’ve read my books, you know an awful lot about the way I think already. There’s no point overdoing it.

Conn Iggulden

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,835 reviews
Profile Image for Petrik.
687 reviews46k followers
September 4, 2022
Unbelievably good; this marked the first time I finished reading Iggulden’s work, and it’s VERY promising that this will become one of my favorite series.

Conn Iggulden isn’t exactly an unfamiliar name to me; despite the fact that he’s most well-known for his historical fiction works, Iggulden’s blurbs have been featured on some of my favorite fantasy books such as The Faithful and the Fallen series by John Gwynne and The Realm of the Elderlings series by Robin Hobb, to name a few. For years I’ve been interested in reading his books, and from what I’ve gathered, his Conqueror series seems to be the most often regarded as his best works by his readers. And so here we are and my god, I seriously didn’t expect it to be this great.

“Mongolia is an unforgiving land. The boy, Temujin, was never cruel, and there is no record of him ever taking pleasure from the destruction of his enemies, but he was capable of utter ruthlessness.”

Genghis: Birth of an Empire, alternatively called Wolf of the Plains, is the first installment in Conn Iggulden’s Conqueror series. This is a historical fiction series about Genghis Khan’s rise to power and if I’m not mistaken, eventually leading to his death and legacy. Genghis Khan, born Temujin, has been dead for almost a thousand years now, and yet his story and legends still live on. As much as I’d love to say that I know about Genghis Khan, I have to admit that my knowledge about him only goes as far as his terrifying ruthlessness and legacy of conquest; I didn’t know about his birth, background, and what led to his legends. Birth of an Empire depicts Temujin’s coming-of-age story; Iggulden expertly shows the contrast between his childhood and his legends. I found Iggulden’s decision to start Temujin’s story from the time he was still twelve years old to be an incredibly clever choice. It was super engrossing, shocking and, interesting to read Temujin’s growth and developments. What I found to be very intriguing was although it’s true that the sign of Temujin’s tendency for ruthlessness appeared since he was a child, it was the harsh events, lessons, and circumstances forced upon him that shaped and forged that trait towards its maximum potential.

“His childhood experiences created the man he would become, who would not bend or allow fear or weakness in any form. He cared nothing for possessions or wealth, only that his enemies fall.”

I truly think that Iggulden’s excelled as his characterizations of Temujin and his family in this book, especially for his brothers and parents; they are all so well-fleshed out characters with a personality that’s distinctive from each other. As I’ve mentioned before, Temujin’s natural instinct lies in his strength, charisma, and ruthlessness; he’s simply a natural-born leader following the footsteps of his father: Yesugei. Then there’s Kashar and Kachiun the loyal one, Temuge the fearful, Bekter the devious, and Hoelun the strong mother who protects them all as best as she could. With such well-realized characters, Iggulden tells a story revolving around the theme of survival of the fittest superbly. Mongolia was an unforgiving land, both in deadly tribal rivalries and nature. Reading Temujin and his family trying their utmost best to survive was compelling; it’s unimaginable for me to put myself in their position. Seriously, they were dealing with extreme starvation in weather that’s extremely cold (-20 up to -40 degree Celcius.) Death walks with them every step of their way, and it nurtured their courage, strength, and camaraderie; they became the death bringer instead of letting the weight of injustice bringing them down. I loved reading about all of these; there’s something immensely inspiring in the physical and mental prowess they unleashed to deal with the harsh realities of their world.

“Courage cannot be left like bones in a bag. It must be brought out and shown the light again and again, growing stronger each time. If you think it will keep for the times you need it, you are wrong. It is like any other part of your strength. If you ignore it, the bag will be empty when you need it most.”

One important thing to note, and surprising to me, is that Iggulden utilized a head-hopping narrative to tell the multi-perspective narration. For those of you who don’t know, I hated this kind of storytelling style; I tend to find head-hopping confusing and distracting. However, Iggulden was tremendously skillful in implementing this narrative; I never felt lost and I was able to easily follow which character’s head I’m in. Not only the flow of the prose never disrupted by the head-hopping narrative, but I also found myself completely engrossed by every POV switch; it was entertaining to see Iggulden juggles the variety of characters perspectives and emotions in scenes that are full of tension and drama. Do remember, this almost never worked for me, the only other books where I found this style working for me was for Dune by Frank Herbert and Paternus by Dyrk Ashton, and if I may be honest, none of them did it as well as Iggulden in this book and hopefully series.

“There was no bond stronger than that between those who have risked their lives in each other’s company.”

Reread excluded, Genghis: Birth of an Empire ended up becoming my first full 5-stars rating in two months. Conqueror is often hailed as Iggulden’s best work, and although I’ve read only the first book, I can certainly understand why this has become a common consensus. Genghis: Birth of an Empire is a stunning piece of historical fiction that tells a gripping story about survival and a legendary figure’s rise to power. This book was about Temujin’s coming-of-age and his struggle in uniting Mongol; it seems like the next installment, Genghis: Lords of the Bow, will start telling Genghis’s spreading conquest as one of the most terrifying rulers of our history, and you bet I will be jumping into it immediately.

“He had a vision of a nation. The incredible martial skills of the Mongol tribes had always been wasted against each other. From nothing, surrounded by enemies, Temujin rose to unite them all. What came next would shake the world.”

You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions
Profile Image for Pakinam Mahmoud.
812 reviews3,481 followers
August 11, 2023
"نحن الشعب الفضي،المغول ..وعندما يسألون قل لهم إنه لا يوجد قبائل ..قل لهم إنني جنكيز،سيعرفونني بهذا الإسم..قل لهم أيضاً إنني سأمضي قدماً.."

إذا كنت تبحث عن تشويق وإثارة ومتعة فعليك أن تقرأ هذا الكتاب...
إذا كنت تحب الأدب التاريخي وتريد أن تعرف عن شخصية لم تتكرر فعليك أن تقرأ هذا الكتاب...
إذا كنت تستطيع أن تحبس أنفاسك أثناء قراءة ٣٧٤ صفحة و تنفصل عن كل ما يدور حولك ،يبقي من غير ما تفكر إبدأ فوراً في هذا الكتاب...:)

ذئب السهول ...الجزء الأول من خماسية تتناول السيرة الذاتية لتيموجين بورجيجن الشهير بجنكيز خان..
يبدأ هذا الجزء بولادة تيموجين وبياخدنا الكاتب للتعرف علي حياته عندما كان الإبن الثاني لخان قبيلة الذئاب إلي أن تم قتل والده علي يد التتار و هو في الثانية عشر من عمره و تُرك في العراء مع أمه وأخواته ليحاولوا أن يعيشوا في ظروف قاسية جداً...

بلا قبيلة ولا طعام ولا إسلحة ولا حتي خيمة تقيهم من درجات حرارة أقل من عشرين درجة تحت الصفر ...إستطاعوا أن يتغلبوا علي كل الصعاب وذلك لوجود أم قوية وعزيمة غير عادية عند تيموجين ...

"كان يعرف حقيقة واحدة بسيطة.. يوماً ما سيصبح خاناً.."

بإسلوب سرد ممتع و بترجمة ممتازة إستطاع الكاتب أن يجعلنا نعيش هذه الفترة الزمنية ونتعرف علي هذه الشخصية الإستثنائية الذي بدأ حياته في العراء إلي أن إستطاع أن يضم كل القبائل المتفرقة في مجموعات قتالية تحت رايته...

"كان يحلم بتشكيل قبيلة كبيرة من كل قبائل الأرض.."

الكتاب حقيقي أكثر من رائع ..مش بس حيعرفك علي جنكيز خان ولكن أيضاً بيلقي الضوء علي عادات وتقاليد المغول و معظم المعلومات اللي في الكتاب حقيقية كما وضح الكاتب في نهاية الرواية...

الصراحة عمري ما كنت أتخيل إني حقول الجملة الجاية دي..
أنا معجبة بيك جداً يا جنكيز ..حقيقي مبهورة:)
ينصح بها جداً ولازم و حتماً و ضروري... وإلي لقاء قريب في الجزء الثاني😍
Profile Image for Dana Ilie.
404 reviews352 followers
February 20, 2019
The author writes in third person with the center of the narrative being the main character. The narrative's focus shifts to other characters' perspectives from time to time if their separate activities are significant in advancing the plot. The language is simple English with some actual Mongolian words used for commonplace objects to provide the necessary historical effect.

I loved this book! It is an extremely gripping narrative while providing the reader with an accurate picture of the historical events of the time, thereby promoting learning while reading. It is very well researched.

Wolf of the Plains is the first of the Conqueror series, devoted to the boyhood and youth of the future Genghis (or Temujin as he is known throughout this book). By the age of eleven Genghis’s father had been murdered and he was an outlaw on the Mongolian steppe. The gang of teenagers who gathered around him soon became expert killers, and the rest is history – or will be in the succeeding volumes.

The story is vivid, fast and brutal, with a high body count. I do not know how much firsthand experience the author has of the Mongolian steppe, but it rings true. Now that Genghis has united the Mongols, we look forward to the conquest of the world.
Profile Image for Markus.
476 reviews1,561 followers
October 6, 2015
"He holds blood in his right hand," she whispered. "He will walk with death all his life."

Spread out across the steppes, the Mongols are a divided people. Infighting and enmity have turned them into a scattered collection of tribes barely scraping by. Until there comes a man destined to lead them all to boundless glory and conquest. The second son of Yesugei, chieftain of the Wolves. A boy called Temujin, who would later pass into legend as the greatest conqueror in all history.

Leave it to Conn Iggulden to tell the tale of a legendary historical figure in the most captivating and spectacular fashion…

The story of the barbarian warlord who would later be known as Genghis Khan is a deeply fascinating one. It’s the tale of a man who went from being a chieftain’s son in a minor tribe to ruling the greatest empire the world had ever seen at the time. The first part of that tale is retold by Conn Iggulden in this book, and it’s an amazing journey to be brought along on.

I was actually a bit worried early on as the book wasn’t particularly impressive until almost halfway through. The early parts were quite slow and contained little to no suspense at all. However, once the plot actually got going, there was no turning back.

There were times when I thought this book was the best I’d read this year for sure. Unfortunately it failed to reach that level in the end, but it got pretty close. Iggulden is often accused of completely ignoring historical accuracy, and often that’s even true, but what does it matter when you can tell stories like this? In just about every single aspect of writing, he’s second only to Bernard Cornwell himself in this particular genre.

As the opening book of a series, this was really good. It sets the stage for what is to come, with an interesting setting and set of characters. For some reason it seemed a little bit too simple, in that the storyline, the number of important characters and the area in which the story takes place are all really limited; but then again, this is only the first book, and it serves its purpose as an introduction and a taste of what is to come. So far, I must say that the series is not quite as good as Iggulden’s Emperor series, but it definitely has the potential for it.

The best part about the whole thing was that I was dragged by the heels out of my terrible reading funk. It didn’t even take the whole book to do it, just this particular quote, which might just be the best historical fiction line I’ve encountered…

“I am the land, and the bones of the hills," he said fiercely, "I am the winter. When I am dead, I will come for you all in the coldest nights.”

Profile Image for Tim.
2,180 reviews211 followers
March 15, 2021
Wow! After a slow start this historical fictional account of the early times of Genghis Khan is filled with both fascination and parts of horror. Nonetheless, I recommend it if you’re not faint of heart. 10 of 10 stars!

I listened to this again because I needed to follow a prior 5-star (Ruthless Gentleman), with another excellent story.
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
3,005 reviews10.6k followers
August 6, 2011
Temujin, the son of Yesugei, khan of the Wolves, goes to a neighboring tribe to find a wife. While he's away, his father is murdered by a gang of Tartars. Worse still, his father's friend usurps the role of khan and leaves Temujin and his family to die on the steppe. Can Temujin and his family survive long enough to get revenge on the Tartars and regain control of the Wolves?

The story of Temujin and his rise to uniting the tribes against the Tartars is a powerful one. Temujin goes through a lot of hell from the age of twelve onward, from being abandoned on the steppe during winter, to being imprisoned in a pit and being urinated on, to having his wife kidnapped and raped by Tartars. Once he started uniting the tribes, even I felt like riding with the young khan. While he's not always likeable, he's definitely a charismatic character.

The action scenes were by far the highlight of the book. People get peppered with arrows or hacked to death by swords on a fairly regular basis. While Iggulden plays fast and loose with history, it's still a great story. And since I'm already aware I'm reading fiction, I don't really care about historical accuracy. Iggulden's writing makes for an engaging read. You will not easily be able to put this down.
Profile Image for Justo Martiañez.
403 reviews135 followers
May 11, 2021
3.5/5 Estrellas

Comienzos del siglo XIII, demos un repaso a como se encuentra el Mundo en torno a las estepas de Asia central en el hemisferio Norte:
-En China existen 3 dinastías reinando simultáneamente: Los Jin al norte, los Song del sur y los Xia al oeste. Pese a esta división, no estamos ante una época de debilidad en China, ya que en esta época aparecen importantes avances tecnológicos como la pólvora, la imprenta con tipos de madera, el papel moneda.....
-En el ámbito musulmán, el imperio Seljucida que había suplantado a los abasidas, hace tiempo que ha colapsado en multitud de estados, muchos gobernados por dinastías de origen turco u otros poderes locales: Imperio ayyubi (de Egipto a Siria) o los Jorezmitas en el solar iranio y su ámbito de influencia, los propios seljucidas que subsisten en Anatolia.
-En Europa del Este, el Rus de Kiev, hace tiempo que ha visto pasar sus mejores momentos, y está disgregado en varios principados más o menos independientes, a la espera que el Principado de Moscú se haga con la hegemonía en los próximos siglos.
-En la India, el sultanato de Delhi, dinastía de origen turco y religión musulmana, dominan una gran parte del subcontinente indio, tras derrocar hacia el 1215 al Sultanato gúrida, que ocupaba el territorio desde el Jorasán en Irán, hasta el norte de la India, con su base de poder principal en Ghor (Afganistán) y Lahore (india). A su desintegración sus territorios se repartieron entre Jorezmitas y el Sultanato de Delhi.

En las inmensas estepas que se extienden al norte de China, habitan una serie de tribus de vida nómada, agrupadas en dos etnias principales: mongoles y tártaros. Estas tribus llevan siglos enfrentadas entre si, peleando, sometiendo y siendo sometidas a continuos ataques y razzias por parte de sus vecinos, lo cual, junto con las duras condiciones de vida de la estepa, ha impedido durante siglos la consolidación de estos pueblos como naciones más o menos organizadas, así como su crecimiento demográfico y el desarrollo de su potencial militar. Quizá estas luchas fratricidas hayan estado financiadas y favorecidas durante siglos por los gobernantes chinos, siempre obsesionados por la protección de su frontera norte frente a las invasiones de estos pueblos.

Es en este contexto donde surge la figura de Temujin, jefe (Khan) de una de estas pequeñas tribus, el cual, tras superar unas durísimas pruebas de supervivencia en su infancia y juventud, es capaz de unificar en poco tiempo gracias a su valentía, su habilidad y, porque no, a un poco de suerte muchas de estas tribus, empezando a gestarse un poder nunca visto en la estepa. Un poder que sus estados vecinos, ni siquiera son capaces de imaginar y que, en la primera mitad del siglo XIII se cernirá de forma mortal sobre todos ellos en forma de hordas mongolas.

No estamos ante una obra maestra, pero cumple sobradamente. No es fácil desarrollar los primeros momentos de la vida, la evolución personal y política de uno de los personajes más importantes de la Historia. Tampoco el contexto social y la forma de vida de la sociedad mongola de la época, aunque ayuda que en muchos aspectos es una cultura que ha permanecido inamovible desde los años de Gengis. Se nota el conocimiento del autor, que convivió durante un tiempo con los mongoles para empaparse de sus costumbres.

Aunque parezca extraño, se conoce bastante de los primeros años de la vida de Temujin, quizá con datos un poco tendenciosos, ya que la crónica de su vida que él mismo mandó escribir y que se perdió en formato escrito, se conservó en la tradición oral china.

Teniendo en cuenta los antecedentes de la tetralogía de la guerra de las dos rosas de este mismo autor, y lo mucho que van mejorando los libros desde el primero de, digamos, puesta en escena, yo no me los voy a perder.
Profile Image for أحمد فؤاد.
Author 7 books694 followers
May 19, 2021
في جميع الأديان و المعتقدات، ورغم اختلاف الأعراف والمبادئ بين بني آدم، إلا أنه من الصعب ألا يشعر المرء بالإعجاب بشجاعة خصمه ومهارته، واحترام قراره الدفاع عن قضيته أو الموت دون ذلك. حتى وإن اختلفنا معه في أساليبه أو مبادئه.

والتاريخ ملئ بأمثلة عن مثل هؤلاء. ورغم أنني كنت أعرف من خلال فترة دراستي أو من خلال قراءاتي البسيطة أو من خلال بعض الأفلام الوثائقية السطحية عن مدى بشاعة وخسة المغول وقائدهم جنكيز خان وهولاكو،إلا أنني كنت أسمع عن تفوقهم في مجالات التكتيكات والخطط الحربية، وابتكاراتهم في مجال بث الرهبة في قلوب أعدائهم بأسلوب إعلامي يبث الرهبة في النفوس دون موجات إذاعية أو أقمار صناعية.

لم أسأل نفسي يوماً كيف كان جنكيز خان بالنسبة لقومه، كل ما كنت أعرفه عنه وعن قومه أنهم مجرد رعاع يعيثون في الأرض فساداً. وكنت أشعر برغبة داخلي في الإطلاع على تاريخ هذا الشعب في هذا الزمن، خاصة بعد أن عرفت عرضاً أن إمبراطورية المغول هي أكبر إمبراطورية على وجه الأرض وعلى مر الأزمان، حتى أنها في أعظم أيام توسعها كانت أكبر مما وصلت إليه الإمبراطورية الرومانية.

رواية ذئب السهول هي الجزء الأول من ملحمة تاريخ المغول على يد جنكيز خان "والذي وصفه الكاتب باسم الفاتح- من وجهة نظر المغول" وقد تُرجم فقط أربعة أجزاء من السلسلة حتى الآن. الكاتب كون إيغلدن يقول أنه لم يصل إلينا من الأحداث التي رافقت شباب جنكيز خان إلا النذر اليسير من وثائق تلك الحقبة، وحتى أن أشهرها التاريخ السري للمغول قد ضاع كله تقريباً. اعتمد الكاتب على رواية يتم تداولها شفهياً بالصينية والتي ترجمها إلى الإنجليزية آرثر ويلي، وهي المعلومات التي اعتمد عليها أكثر المؤرخين لاحقاً.

من ابن خان ثم إلى نكرة مُحاط بالأعداء، ينهض تيموجن(اسم جنكيز خان) ليوحد جميع قبائل المغول في ظاهرة لم تحدث من قبل في تلك البقعة من الأرض لتبتلع في يوم من الأيام الصين.

الرواية ممتعة جداً جداً، و مليئة بالحماس الشديد، كما أنها تُفسر سر صلابة المغول بشكل عام و جنكيز خان بشكل خاص، وسبب تعطشه لتدمير الأعداء، مع الأخذ بالاعتبار - وهي نقطة شديدة الأهمية - قسوة الحياة وسط أجواء مناخية قاسية جداً و أعراف اجتماعية متفسخة تملأ حياة القبائل المرتحلة دائماً، وهذه كانت قواعد ذلك العالم القاسي في تلك البقعة في هذا الزمن.

الرواية مشوقة تمسك بتلابيب القارئ فلا تدعه يفلت منها حتى ينتهي من قراءتها، مليئة بالأحداث الشيقة و المغامرات والانقلابات والخيانة والغدر و الشجاعة والخوف و الجزع. ترى تقلّب الرجال بين والشرف بين والدناءة، سواء علا شأنه أو قلّ.

المعلومات المذكورة بالرواية أغلبها حقيقية - من المصدر المذكور أعلاه - وهو نفس المذكور في موسوعة ويكيبيديا وبعض المراجع التاريخية التي بحثت عنها. وهناك بعض الأحداث غير الحقيقية أشار إليها الكاتب في آخر الكتاب وهي لا تغير كثيراً من الأحداث، كتغيير بعض الأسماء مثلاً. مع العلم بأن الحوارات بالطبع مُتخيَّلة بالكامل.

انتهت الرواية- على بداية طريق توحيد قبائل المغول على يد تيموجن، والشوق يملأني للبدء في الجزء الثاني.

الترجمة ممتازة وممتعة ،ولعل ذلك هو ما أضاف متعة إلى قراءة هذا العمل.

بالطبع أنصح بقراءة الرواية ،و أعطيها العلامة الكاملة

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Profile Image for Peter.
472 reviews2,557 followers
April 19, 2019
Wolf of the Plains is a fictional adaptation of one of the World's greatest leaders. A leader that built one of the greatest empires ever seen, if not the greatest. In this first book of the Conqueror series, we see Temujin from his childhood, cast out of his father's Wolf tribe, to uniting a warrior race that would conquer many lands and be named the first Great Khan of the Plains.

Yesugei, the khan of the Wolf tribe, his wife, Hoelun, his sons Temujin, Bekter, Khasar, Kachiun and Temuge, and his daughter Borte, live a warring and perfidious existence against other tribes on the Mongolian steppes. Yesugei dies after an attack and leaves the leadership open to Eeluk (his bondsman) with his sons not being old enough to take control. Eeluk exiles Hoelun and her children to live an abandoned harsh life with no dwelling, no food, no animals, no horses and no weapons. Surely as winter descends it is only a matter of time before they all perish.

And so begins the engrossing story of how Temujin transitions himself into Genghis Khan's and assumes leadership of a disparate people. It was amazing how aware Temujin was of his surroundings and people and how he used strategy, tactics, politics, force and cunning to firstly survive and then unite the Mongol tribes. The greatest battle in his early life was against the Tartars, which his father’s clan, the Wolves, come to participate. After the victory, Temujin and Eeluk fight to resolve old vendettas, leaving Temujin victorious and leader of many of the tribes on the plains.

The book is a wonderful example of historical fiction where we get to know so much about the times of the foundation and growth of the Mongol empire and the birth of Genghis Khan. The narration creates a vivid and compelling insight into the characters that are inspirational, loyal and battle-hard, with a storyline that is breath-taking. The harshness of the environment and how they survived is exceptionally well portrayed.
"We are the Silver people, the Mongols. When they ask tell them there are no tribes. Tell them I am khan of the sea of grass, and they will know me by my name, as Genghis."
Many people's will come to know him and the fact that his story is still held as one of the greatest leadership and military examples in history is a testament to his achievements. What is probably more impressive is that he had a very clever strategy of building and maintaining an empire that would survive - and for long enough it did.

I loved this book and with Conn Iggulden's imaginary I felt it come to life. I would highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Negativni.
148 reviews65 followers
February 23, 2017
Uživao sam čitajući Igguldenov serijal Imperator o usponu i padu Julija Cezara, a i zaželio sam se malo akcijskih povijesnih romana, pa sam krenuo čitati ovaj serijal.

Džingis-kan je postao sinonim za pljačku i uništenje. U jednom interviju se Iggulden našalio da nije bio dobar čak ni prema svojim psima.

O samom djetinjstvu Temuđina, koji se kasnije prozvao Džingis-kan malo se zna, pa je pisac imao dosta prostora za razvijanje zanimljive priče o odrastanju u surovim uvjetima. Uspio je od njega stvoriti zanimljivog i kompleksnog lika do kojeg ti bude stalo i za kojeg navijaš. Povremeno prebacuje point of view na druge likove, a već nakon par rečenica su ti jasne njegove motivacije i priču doživiš iz drugog kuta.

Pisac je nekoliko puta bio u Mongoliji, a neko vrijeme je i živio nomadskim životom s Mongolima, koji se i nije puno promijenio od vremena Džingis-kana, pa su i ti detalji vjerno opisani u romanu.

Uglavnom, početak serijala pun akcije, avanture i par neočekivanih preokreta, nisam mislio da će mi biti tako zanimljiv.

Profile Image for Edward.
377 reviews1,008 followers
February 28, 2022
This was great fun and written in true Iggulden fashion. Good characters with lots of iconic moments - can't wait to continue to tales of Genghis Khan.
Profile Image for Vagner Stefanello.
119 reviews77 followers
July 9, 2016
Review in Portuguese from Desbravando Livros:

Esse livro estava há anos na minha cabeça e sempre tive vontade de desbravá-lo, mas infelizmente o tempo ia passando e a hora dele nunca chegava, até que comecei a assistir ao seriado Marco Polo e finalmente me veio a inspiração para ler a tão recomendada obra de Conn Iggulden. Só me restou pegar o e-book original e começar a desbravar. O Lobo das Planícies é o primeiro livro da série O Conquistador, composta por 4 outros, e nos apresenta o início da vida de Temujin, filho do chefe da tribo dos Lobos, vivendo em terras mongóis.

Tudo começa a dar errado quando o pai de Temujin morre após ser atacado por alguns Tártaros, o que desencadeia uma série de tragédias na vida dele. O novo khan dos Lobos abandona a família de Temujin no meio de um inverno rigoroso e sem comida, deixando-os lá para morrer. Vale destacar aqui a fibra moral e a força de vontade da mãe do protagonista, pois eu não imagino a dificuldade de se criar CINCO filhos em um local praticamente sem comida e com a ameaça de ser morto por qualquer grupo de guerreiros que aparecesse.

“There was no justice in the world, but he had known that ever since the death of his father. The spirits took no part in the lives of men once they had been born. A man either endured what the world sent his way, or was crushed.”

A escrita do autor é simples e direta, sem muitos rodeios e, mesmo que os primeiros 57% do livro são dedicados a Temujin dos 11 aos 14 anos, isso não tornou-se monótono em momento algum, tanto é que eu sempre terminava um capítulo e ansiava por mais, queria descobrir o que acontecia com a família do protagonista e o que eles fizeram para sobreviver, as provações que tiveram que passar para aguentar um ambiente tão hostil e perigoso.

O tempo passa e eles sobrevivem, sempre com a ameaça de aparecer algum Tártaro pelo caminho ou a tribo dos Lobos voltar para ver se o inverno fez o serviço completo. O ódio de Temujin e seus irmãos pelo atual khan dos Lobos é tão, mas tão intenso, que a vida deles resume-se a vingança, pela alma de seu pai, pela chance de poderem viver novamente.

Lembro também da parte inicial do livro, quando Temujin e seus irmãos saem na busca por um filhote de águia no topo de uma montanha para dar de presente ao pai e acabam encontrando dois deles, como se isso fosse uma vontade dos deuses. Nessa parte já podemos perceber a forte relação que os irmãos terão ao longo da história, seja para o bem ou para o mal, como o leitor acabará descobrindo alguns capítulos depois.

Esse livro é só o começo da história de uma nação, de um homem que manteve os fantasmas do seu passado bem vivos na sua cabeça para que ele se tornasse um líder cruel e sem medo de expandir os seus territórios, matando qualquer um que aparecesse no seu caminho e tentasse atrapalhar o seu sonho: juntar todas as tribos mongóis em uma só, torná-los somente um povo.

“You will revenge my father's death and we will be one tribe across the face of the plains, one people. As it should always have been. LET THE TARTARS FEAR US THEN! LET THE CHIN FEAR US!”

Conn Iggulden focou intensamente na parte psicológica do personagem principal e seus familiares nesse livro, trazendo à tona toda as adversidades passadas por Temujin na sua infância e como isso realmente moldou o seu caráter para que ele se tornasse como é conhecido hoje: o maior conquistador da História, o implacável e impiedoso Genghis Khan, reverenciado até hoje como um dos maiores estrategistas que o mundo teve a honra de conhecer.

“We are the silver people, the Mongols. When they ask, tell them there are no tribes. Tell them I am khan of the sea of grass, and they will know me by that name, as Genghis. Yes, tell them that. Tell them that I am Genghis and I WILL RIDE.”

Tchê, eu preciso mesmo dizer que eu gostei demais desse livro? A história de Temujin é LINDA, se é que existe uma palavra melhor para descrevê-la, e só desbravando-a será possível entender como viveu Genghis Khan e sua família. São vários momentos de tensão durante a narrativa que fica difícil não torcer por Temujin e vibrar quando os seus golpes encontram o coração do inimigo, quando ele sofre por estar quase morrendo, quando ele está na linha de frente em uma batalha, quando ele está só respirando, enfim! haha

Leitura recomendadíssima, principalmente para quem gosta de livros no estilo de Bernard Cornwell. As batalhas são bem descritas, os conflitos do personagem com as pessoas próximas são bem intensos e vocês irão se surpreender com a qualidade da escrita de Iggulden, juntando uma narrativa simples com fatos históricos (alguns foram mudados, já que essa é uma obra de ficção). Pretendo ler o segundo ainda em 2015, Temujin certamente merece mais atenção!
Profile Image for Lizzy.
305 reviews166 followers
February 9, 2017
I've always been curious about almost anything that happened in the past. As far away as high school and college I thoroughly enjoyed history. And in the recent years, I rediscovered this love of mine. When I saw these historical novels about Genghis Khan I could not resist.

After uniting the Mongol tribes Genghis: Birth of an Empire, Genghis later on targets and conquers the Chin Genghis: Lords of the Bow. I fully enjoyed the two books. Despite the difficulty of telling fiction from fact, it was still worthwhile. However, this is not a history book, and there's plenty of room for creativity.

The book certainly has plenty of endless battles and plenty and discusses war strategies. The most famous and gruesome battle, described in detail by Iggulden, is the one fought at the Badger Mouth. To combat the Mongol advance, the Chin had assembled approximately half a million soldiers (versus the Mongol's 100 thousand) and stationed them at Badger Mouth. However, the Chin appeared to have been overly confident in their numbers and mainly in their defensive position: Genghis eventually circumvented their defenses by sending part of his men over the peaks surrounding the pass, something the Chin thought impossible, allowing him to encircle the much larger army. As a result, he slaughtered thousands and the enemy’s soldiers and practically destroyed its army.

Advancing, the Mongols came to besiege the Chin capital of Yenking (modern day Beijing). There Genghis faced the hard fact of an army (with memories of their own inner resentments) that he had to keep not only fed with spirits but with battles and triumphs. After a siege of years, the city finally surrendered. Regardless, it shows a ruthless man that must have been brilliant and astute to have conquered so much, considering he came from a nomadic and small tribe and his crudeness.

I enjoyed reading Iggulden’s version of life in the China of that time, how the Mongol and Chinese mixed and related to each to each other. Moreover, reading this book started me into a new interest in reading military fiction that extends into today.

I loved both volumes, although I have yet to read the third. I recommend Iggulden's Genghis Khan story to fans of non-romantic historical and military fiction.
Profile Image for Sooma Ahmad.
119 reviews40 followers
October 9, 2018
ممتعه جدا جدا جدا ..
بدايات جنكيز خان وكيف بداء طفل صغير ابن خان الذئاب ثم اصبح طريد مشرد يسعى فقط لعيش يومه مع امه واخواته .. ليساعده اب السماء ليصبح خان المغول ..
الجزء الاول من اربعة اجزاء تتكلم عن سيرة موحد المغول تحت قائد واحد الخان الاعظم .
Profile Image for Tim The Enchanter.
355 reviews181 followers
March 13, 2015
My #10 Read of 2014

Perfectly Executed Historical Fiction - 5 Stars

Action, Drama, Romance, History and Suspense, Birth of an Empire has it all. This volume robbed me of several full nights of sleep and I need to press on to see how the story would resolve. The story unfolds quickly while at the same time the author maintains his eye for detail. Birth of an Empire is my favorite type of HF. If you enjoy HF that places a premium on action and military (or in this case raiders) and war, then you will enjoy this novel.

Plot summary

The story tells of the early years of Temujin, or Genghis Khan as most people would know him. We begin in the Pre-Teen years of Genghis and we learn how his relationship with his father and his brother, molded him into the man he would become. The novel covers much the sparsely documented childhood experience from his family's banishment, to his imprisonment and on toward his ultimate quest for victory.

The Good

They Did What?

The Author did a wonderful job of infusing the story with the practices, beliefs, prejudices and realities of the of the Mongol people during this period of history. From the warriors ability to live on mares milk and blood for extended periods, their social structure, their weapons and their customs, you are transported to the Mongolian plains and your home becomes a Mongolian ger while you enjoy the story. The Author not only consulted the ancient texts regarding Genghis Khan, but he spent time amongst the Mongolian people before writing the books. His effort and dedication was obvious.

Genghis is my Friend

Like any other genre, HF has its own pitfalls to avoid. One such pitfall is focus on the period of time to the detriment of the characters. In this story, the author present a well balanced story. As stated above, the reader is firmly grounded in the place and time while at same time, the characters are bold, vibrant and multi-dimensional. The reader is presented with a vivid picture of not only Genghis but his four brothers, his parents (especially his father), his wife and his major enemies. This results in a well rounded story that allow for full immersion.

The Bad

Take it Easy, I'm so Tired

As is most 5 stars review, I have little criticism for the book. Firstly, the story robbed me of many hours of sleep. On more than one night, when my bedside clock was reading 1 am, I forced myself to shut the kindle and close my eyes. Outside of this, the only minor complaint is the description of the battle and fights. The pace of the book is quick and little space is wasted. Unfortunately, this results in some rather quick descriptions of battle and important events. In this case, it did not affect my rating as the battles were a minor part of the book.

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, this is a perfect specimen of HF. I enjoyed it and it is easily the best book I have read this year and I anticipate it will make my top 10 at the end of the year. Overall, the story is compelling. While the average reader will have some idea of the sheer force that Genghis Kahn ultimately became, that knowledge is far more amazing when you consider his humble beginnings. A must read.

Audiobook Notes

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

There is a small amount of sex in the book. There are several instances where sex between the characters is implied. Beyond consensual sex, there were several instances of rape. Most of the instances were comments that rape had occurred or would occur but there was one scene in which there was an attempted rape. While it was not graphic, there was some mild description of previous instances. One of the characters states his wish to use the service of a prostitute on several occasions. Overall, the sexual content served as context for the time and was not graphic.

Language - 2

The language in the book was the traditional adult language. The derogatory terms were specific to the time. While the characters would often refer to others with these terms, they would not be considered swearing by todays standards.

Violence - 4

The story was told in a violent time. Fight and battles between tribes was constant. From the early stages there are multiple murders that are moderately graphic. A character is subjected to abuse and forms of torture. This is moderately graphic. As Genghis ages, the violence increases. There is a particularly graphic scene in which part of person heart is eaten. Violence is a persistent theme in the story. While it is plentiful, the moderate graphic nature of the majority leads to a 4 rating. You may wish to skip this novel if you are sensitive to violence and death.
Profile Image for فهد الفهد.
Author 1 book4,833 followers
June 19, 2011
ذئب السهول

هذا هو الجزء الأول من السيرة الملحمية لجنكيز خان، والتي يحمل جزئها الثاني عنوان ( سادة البراري) - صدر حتى الآن أربعة أجزاء، وهناك جزئين في الطريق، لتكون بذلك سداسية عن الإمبراطورية المغولية -.

تتناول الرواية المرحلة التكوينية لـ ( تيموجن بورجيجن) – وهو اسم غليظ كما نرى، يناسب شعوبا ً قاسية كالمغول -، الذي سيصبح فيما بعد ( جنكيز خان) – أي ( إمبراطور العالم) -، وهذه المرحلة التكوينية ليست سهلة أبدا ً، رغم ��نه ولد لزعيم قبيلة قوية لقبها الكاتب – الذي كان أمينا ً، ما عدا بعض التغييرات البسيطة في الأحداث والأسماء لضرورات فنية – بالذئاب، ولكن هذا الزعيم يقتل من قبل التتار انتقاما ً لإحدى معاركه ضدهم، وهذا ما يجعل تابعه يستولي على الزعامة، ويلقي بأطفال خانه إلى السهول المتجمدة، ولكن كان مقدرا ً لهؤلاء الصغار أن يحكموا بحر الأعشاب كما يسمونه، فلذا استطاعوا أن يعيشوا، واستطاع ( تيموجن) أن يوحد كل هذه القبائل تحت رايته، لتنتهي الرواية هنا، ولكن الحكاية لم تنتهي كما نعرف، بل كانت تبدأ في تلك اللحظة في السهول المتجمدة التي سينحدر منها أولئك المقاتلين المتوحشين لينشروا الرعب والدم في العالم كله.

الرواية رائعة جدا ً، ولكاتبها قدرة ممتازة في إعادة رسم لجغرافية منغوليا، ولعادات شعبها، ولأوضاعهم السياسية في تلك الحقبة.
Profile Image for Islam Salem.
71 reviews61 followers
August 3, 2016
يظل الأدب التاريخي هو في رأي الشخصي أجمل أنواع الأدب الروائي و خاصة إذا كانت رواية قوية و عظيمة تحبس الأنفاس مثل رواية "ذئب السهول" و التي تعتبر الجزء الأول من السيرة الذاتية الملحمية للقائد و الفاتح المغولي الأعظم تيموچين و الشهير ما بيننا بچنكيز خان .

تدور أحداث هذه الرواية عن ما تعرض له تيموچين في طفولته من قسوة و ظلم أدت إلى تحمله مسئولية أسرته و هو في ال ١٢ من عمره بعد أن غدر بيه إيلوك مساعد والده المقتول غدراً برعاية قبيلته و الذي تركه هو و أمه و أخوته في الخلاء البارد ليواجه المجهول . أدت هذه الظروف إلى تكوين قائد عظيم قاسي القلب لا يرحم من يفكر في خيانته حتى لو كان أخوه و ذكي عرف أن توحيد القبائل هو السبيل الوحيد لهزيمة التتار العدو اللدود لقبائل المغول.

رواية أكثر من رائعة مليئة بالحقائق التاريخية عن عادات و تقاليد القبائل المغولية ، هي بالفعل من أفضل ما قرأت في ٢٠١٦.
Profile Image for Lance Greenfield.
Author 132 books237 followers
March 18, 2016
(In UK, this book is entitled "Wolf of the Plains")
A more harsh childhood is hard to imagine!

Although this book gallops along at Conn Iggulden's usual pace, I was continually tempted to leap ahead to find out what happened next. That makes it much more of a chapter-turner than merely a page-turner, and the narrative left me quite breathless at times!

Temujin is the son of the khan of one of the many Mongol tribes who are in continual, violent conflict. Without spoiling the story for you, his circumstances force him to grow up very quickly rather than lose his life. As the story unfolds, Temujin faces death many times and learns from his terrifying experiences. His list of those on whom he determines to wreak revenge grows as you read. Eventually, he becomes the respected, feared and uncompromising leader of the great horde which dominated two continents during that age.

Had his childhood been easy, he would probably have settled down with a couple of wives and a few goats. Historic record shows otherwise, but that record hardly brings Ghengis Khan's tale to life in the way that Iggulden has managed in this book.

I would recommend this book to anybody, and would challenge them to resist being swept along by such a brilliantly told story. I just can't wait to get my hands on the next episode, "Lords of the Bow," in January 2008.
Profile Image for Conor.
148 reviews314 followers
December 1, 2014
2.5 Stars

This was a decent work of historical fiction with a brilliantly realised setting that was ultimately let down by some pacing and characterisation issues.

I should probably say at this point that I'm a massive history nerd and I've read a lot about Genghis Khan. Some of my complaints about this book (and probably part of the reason I'm rating it lower than most of my friends) are down to the way that some events and characters were presented by Iggulden in contrast with my previous understanding of what happened. I can't say whose interpretation is better... although if the measurement is sales of historical fiction books probably Iggulden.

Genghis Khan's rise to power is one of the most incredible stories ever told. It's a story of betrayal, hardship, violence, ambition and revenge. While a lot of these aspects were carried over into this book, I was still a bit disappointed with the pace of the story, especially early on. For the first half of this book Temujin suffers betrayal and scorn at every turn. Despite often vowing revenge he doesn't achieve anything before running into the next conflict. All of these conflicts building up, with no resolution in sight, made it really difficult foe me to enjoy these parts of the book.

For me the strongest element of this book was the setting. Iggulden does an incredible job of bringing the harshness and brutality of the Mongolian plains to life. The vivid description of the landscape made the accounts of Genghis' family struggling to survive on the barren plains an especially gripping and intense section. The determination of Mongolian warriors is also explored as we see these men fire bows (with a draw weight of 200 pounds, all held on a couple of fingers) from horseback and survive days of strenuous riding and fighting on milk and blood from their mares. Mongol society as a whole is also written with a great eye for detail. Throughout the book 'Gers', 'deals' and other important features of the Mongolian lifestyle were drilled into my brain.

Throughout this story there are a number of interesting characters but I was disappointed by their lack of depth and complexity. Genghis' brothers play major roles, both as part of the story and as part of the Khan's ambitions. The brothers were some of my favourite characters and their relationships with each other were especially well-written. Hoelun, Genghis' formidable mother, was a character I was really psyched to read about. For the most part I really enjoyed her parts but (Spoilers*) I was frustrated by the drama between her and Gengis after he killed Bekter. Her blindness to Bekters selfishness and brutality and the fact that she seemingly didn't mind that he was feeding himself while allowing the rest of the family to starve was completely at odds with her usual pragmatism. Historical fact incoming: Bekter wasn't even her son. He was actually her husband's son from a previous marriage so it wouldn't really make sense for her to be upset that her son had removed a rival to himself and threat to the family.

I was also disappointed by the Genghis-Borte romance as I've always considered their relationship to be an incredible narrative. The story of how the most ruthlessly effective conqueror to ever live went to war for the first time to save the woman he loved was really moving. I was disappointed with the lack of depth and passion in their relationship in this book. Okay that was a pretty wussy point so to balance it out: That scene where Genghis and his brothers killed those herders was awesome. Killing and looting = man stuff.

While the descriptions of fighting were suitably gritty and brutal I was disappointed at the lack of exploration of Genghis' military strategy. At one point Genghis' forces win a battle despite being outnumbered (possibly badly outnumbered) by simply charging straight at the enemy. Later on Genghis takes control of 3 of the most powerful tribes in Mongolia by murdering a Khan and fighting a couple of duels. I was hoping to get an insight into the long years of constant war and alliance making that turned Temujin into 'Genghis Khan' but instead a well-timed invasion from the evil Tartars forces everyone to agree to join up with Genghis.

Overall this was a decent piece of historical fiction with a lot of good qualities. I might check out the continuation of this story sometime to see if I can better get into the continuation of the story of Genghis Khan.

Profile Image for Tahani Shihab.
592 reviews870 followers
May 15, 2020
ملحمة أدبية جميلة ورائعة عن ولادة ونشأت القائد جنكيز خان.

“كانت هولن قد أجبرت نفسها على النهوض لترى ما استدعى انتباه ياسوجي في مولودها الجديد. وعندما شاهدت الكتلة الداكنة، ناحت قائلة: “يحمل دمًا في يده اليمنى، سيمشي مع الموت طوال حياته”.

“لقد ولد مع الموت في يده اليمني يا هولن. هذا مناسب له. إنه ابن الخان والموت مرافقه. سيكون محاربًا عظيمًا”.

في نهاية الرواية يروي لنا الكاتب عن بعض التغييرات البسيطة التي أدخلها على الرواية، منها تغيير الأسماء، وبعض الأحداث، حيث يقول الكاتب كون إيغلدن، أنه لم يصل إلينا من الأحداث التي رافقت شباب جنكيز خان إلا النذر اليسير من وثائق تلك الحقبة، وحتى أن أشهرها، التاريخ السري للمغول قد ضاع كله تقريبًا. لكن الكاتب اعتمد على رواية يتم تداولها شفهيًا بالصينية، والتي استقى منها معظم ما نعرفه عن جنكيز خان. وكانت النسخة التي ترجمها إلى الإنجليزية آرثر ويلي، هي المصدر الرئيسي للرواية.
Profile Image for Alice Poon.
Author 5 books279 followers
August 11, 2016

I started reading this novel with a strange curiosity about the early life of Genghis Khan, having already read three non-fiction titles about his life-time conquests and those of his offspring. I ended up being deeply touched by the skilful crafting of a poignant coming-of-age tale portraying the young and fearless tribal leader. His unbeatable will to survive as a precocious male child of an ostracized and fatherless family in the harshest of environments is destined to make him a formidable tribal head and chart the winning course of his inimitable adult life. Still a young teen, he had to face the sudden loss of a father, heartless betrayals, constant cold and hunger, homelessness, deadly traps and all kinds of brutal life threats. It is hard not to believe that there is some truth in fiction in this case, as it can probably be surmised that what happens to a person in his/her early formative years is most likely to give shape to his/her character.

The novel is sprinkled with occasional gory scenes and graphic details, but also does not lack sentimental episodes. Overall, it is a gripping read.

The author explains in a note that his chief source of historical details largely comes from Arthur Waley’s translation of a Chinese version of “The Secret History of the Mongols”, the original Mongolian text of which was written in the 13th century, after the death of Genghis Khan.

Late last year I read The History And The Life Of Chinggis Khan: The Secret History Of The Mongols, which is the Mongolian scholar Urgunge Onon’s translation of the original 13th century text, and early this year I read Jack Weatherford’s two non-fiction titles: Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World and The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire. These three books together gave me a pretty good picture of the times and lives of Genghis Khan and his successors.

Profile Image for Yousra .
694 reviews1,256 followers
February 10, 2017

أتردد كثيرا في انتقاء الكلمات مع الكتب التي تعجبني، فما بال الجميع بالكتب التي تخطف أنفاس .... أشعر أن كلمات مثل رواية رائعة أو رواية استثنائية - وهي كلمات استخدمتها لوصف روايات أخرى من قبل - ستكون مبتذلة بشكل أكبر مما يمكن أن أرتضيه لهذه الرواية التي اقتنيتها بسبب قراءات قمت بها وايقظت في الشغف لمعرفة المزيد ... ولن اتوقف عندها بل سأقرأ من أكثر من مصدر

يعود شغفي للمعرفة عن التتار لأيام كنت أقرأ فيها رواية فرسان وكهنة لـ د. منذر القباني .... لاحظت كلامه عن تماسك التتار وتعاملهم فيما بينهم بشكل فيه قدر من الإنسانية بعكس ما توقعت نظرا لهمجيتهم مع الأعداء... أتذكر جملة من الرواية المشار إليها تفيد بأن الناس هم من يكتبون التاريخ وعليه فيجب القراءة والتعمق في القراءة قبل الإفتاء بما لا يفيد بل وما ينقل صورا زائفة

تجدد الشغف بعد قراءة رواية رسول القيصر لـ جول فيرن، وفيها كان الكلام عن حقبة أخرى من الزمن ضمت جيوش التتار فيها بعض المسلمين والطقوس الغير إسلامية في التعامل مع المصحف أثناء قتالهم حيث كان القادة المسلمين في جيوش التتار يستخدمون المصحف في تحديد جزاء العدو عند فتحه على صفحة ما عشوائيا ... مشهد لم يكتب إلا في بضع كلمات عابرة علق في ذهني وأيقظ شغفي بالمعرفة

ثم كان ما كان من قراءة مراجعات الصديقة العزيزة لونا من ليبيا لأجزاء الرواية وأنا أثق بذائقتها كثيرا فما كان مني إلا أن اقتنيت الرواية وأنا لا أعلم شيئا عما يمكن أن أعرفه عن هذا الرجل الذي طالما تم تقديم أعمالا درامية أظهرته وحشا كاسرا

ربما هو كذلك ... ��و ذلك الوحش الكاسر ... لكنه نتاج بيئته، نتاج الكثير والكثير من الأحداث والمصاعب التي من شأنها كسر الرجال .... ولعل الفضل يرجع لـ هولن أمه .... فقد تعرضت عائلته لخيانة أحد المقربين لوالده خان الذئاب ومن قبله من سعوا لقتله ... تم نبذ الأسرة في العراء وتم تجريدها من العز واللقب المشرف ودفء العيش في القبيلة والأمان ... كانت الطعنة شديدة وكانت عزيمة الأم والكبار من أبنائها أشد منها

الحق يقال أنني انبهرت بالتفاصيل، تلك التفاصيل التي نقلها كون إيغلدن لنا من بعد معايشة للشعب المنغولي والإقامة معهم لفترة والتي إستمع خلالها لتاريخهم المحكي مع استعانته ببعض الأبحاث والمراجع الأخرى

أبهرتني التفاصيل المتعلقة بصناعة الأسلحة والصبر الشديد على اكتمال صنعتها .... التفاصيل المتعلقة باحترام الخصم والشرف في النزال للأشراف منهم - إن جاز الوصف .... تفاصيل تكشف عن معنى الرجولة، وعن قوة المرأة وعن احترام الرجل لزوجته وحبه لها وإن كان خانا قاسيا على أعدائه واحترام الأم وكيف أن الرجل لا يكون خانا لأمه .... عن تشجيع القائد لأتباعه ومنحم المكافآت على شجاعتهم وتميزهم ... وأخيرا، عن الوفاء بالعهود

قام إيغلدن بتغيير الأسماء لصعوبة الأسماء الأصلية وطولها وقام بتغيير القليل من الأحداث الغير مؤثرة مع توضيحه لها في تعقيبه في آخر الكتاب .... قام بكتابة رواية تشعر معها وكأنك تراها بالعين وتعايش أحداثها بكل حواسك ... تعاطفت بسببه مع تيموجين أو جنكيز خان ومن بقي من اشقائه على قيد الحياة وتعاطفت مع الأم القوية العظيمة هولن ... نعم أنعتها بالعظيمة لأنها تحملت مالا يحتمله بشر من ذل من بعد عزة والأهم فقدانها لمن تحب وأعز الناس لها... تعاطفت مع الصبر والمثابرة والنجاحات المستحقة .... ونسيت مع روعة الكتابة أنني أعرف الأحداث الأساسية كما نقلتها الأعمال الدرامية المختلفة

أتلهف للحصول على باقي أجزاء السيرة الملحمية وأتمنى ألا تفقد الرواية امتيازاتها مع تعدد اجزائها

وقد انتهى هذا الجزء بهذه العبارة المثيرة والتي تلخص سيرة جنكيز خان
كانت المهارات القتالية الرائعة للقبائل المغولية تضيع في قتالها ضد بعضها بعضا. ومن كونه نكرة، محاطا بالأعداء، نهض تيموجن ليوحدهم جميعا
وما جاء لاحقا هزَّ العالم

Profile Image for Tori Tecken.
Author 1 book230 followers
February 11, 2023

This was my first read by Conn Iggulden, and everything I'd heard about his incredible historical fiction was absolutely true.

Iggulden brings us into the world of Tehmujin, the young boy who will later become the mighty warlord Genghis Khan. We view his harsh, rigid world through the lens of a boy who believes his father is invincible, and has to face the dark reality that life can change in an instant.

I could not put this book down. Iggulden paints a breathtaking setting and weaves character, culture, and prose together to create a masterpiece of historical fiction that brings the early years of one of history's fiercest leaders to life.

I came into the book knowing very little about Genghis Khan and his origins, and left it knowing that I'd just read one of my favorite historical fictions of all time. I immediately wanted to know more about the Mongolian culture and history, and ultimately, I think that's one of the best compliments I can give to any book in this genre.
Profile Image for Mizuki.
3,000 reviews1,207 followers
September 23, 2021
The first volume of Conn Iggulden's historical novel series: Conqueror series tells an remarkable and formidable tale of Genghis Khan's origin and the birth of the Mongol Empire.

Note: for some unknown reason the Taiwanese translation duds the book's title as Conqueror: Wolf of the Plain/征服者︰瀚海蒼狼 instead of Genghis: Birth of an Empire.

As the second son of Yesügei (leader of the Borjigin clan), the young Temüjin lived a comfortable life, but his father was later assassinated and the clan chose a new leader then Temüjin and his family was abandoned on the harsh plain for death. Being forced to survive with only the clothes on their backs and their wits, the family went up against impossible odds and committed the unthinkable for survival. Aside from the despair need to survive, the burning desire for revenge was the driving force that kept the young Temüjin and his brothers going.

This book is not only just an intriguing coming-of-age, survival-themed and 'rags to rich' story, it also gives us a vivid picture of how life on the Mongolian harsh plain was like at that time. I also like how the different tribes' way of life is described with rich details. (the author is known for going to Mongolia for research)

Also I admire how the author also expresses the spirit and morals of the Mongol people of that time: they lived at the mercy of the harsh plain; outside of their horses, livestock, weapons and their own wits these people had nothing to depend on. Kill or be killed, rob or be robbed, winner takes all, was more or less their way of life. And how the author writes about those details is simply..........impressive. Through his writing and the development of Temüjin who grows from a boy who lost everything, to the leader of a small band of bandits, then eventually a young Khan who sets his sight on conquering the entire plain.

There are many shocking twists in Temüjin's tale, for example , and I think you will enjoy them as well.

Last but not least, the final battle at the ending part of the book is also extraordinarily written, the author writes like he is bringing you right to the battle field and letting you experience the wind blowing past you as the riders matched down the hill, as arrows flying through the sky and battle cries were shout across the plain.

PS: please notice that this book is a historical novel, so many details aren't exactly accurate.

My review for the sequel: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Profile Image for Sud666.
1,977 reviews162 followers
June 28, 2022
I've always enjoyed Conn Iggulden's novels. Genghis: Birth of an Empire is one of his best works.

In the early part of the year, around 1160 AD, a Mongol khan of a small tribe, known as the Borjigin (Blue Wolves), fights and kills a Tartar raiding party. One of the Tartars is a very brave warrior and earns the respect of the Mongol Khan (Yesugei), who after killing the warrior, honors him by naming his newborn son after him- Temujin, which means "iron".

Yesugei is eventually betrayed and poisoned by Tartars and his family is driven out of the clan by the new Khan. Temujin and his brothers, as well as their mother, mother struggle to survive out in the wild. Through many hardships and even conflicts within the family (Temujin vs his oldest brother-Bekter), Temujin becomes their leader.

The story follows Temujin's time courting his wife, Borte, and the various conflicts he must overcome in order to create his own tribe of wanderers and outcasts. But this new leader is a man of vision and truly, like his name, hard as iron. Temujin grows his band and slowly consumes the surrounding tribes, either incorporating them or annihilating them and creates a new tribe that will not use clan names but the overarching racial name- Mongol.

Temujin will take up a new name/title- Genghis. Just some historical perspective- in native mongolian there is no "k" sound. Thus "Khan" is actually "Haan", thus Genghis' grand-son Kublai Khan would actually have been "Hoop-lie Haan". Bearing this in mind, Genghis was actually "Chinggis" (meaning "Great Ocean"), or Khan of khans.

An entertaining and superbly written historical fiction. A great read for any fan of the Mongols.

Profile Image for Terence.
1,168 reviews394 followers
April 17, 2012
A weak-kneed three stars for this one, and that’s primarily because Mongol history holds a particular fascination for me. If this were a novel about the early years of the Sun King or the first Incan ruler, I’m not sure I’d continue.

The writing isn’t bad, and sometimes approaches a level that makes readers feel they’re there. Examples of this are an early scene where Temujin climbs a steep hillside to capture two eagle chicks for his father and the scene where he’s tortured by his father’s erstwhile bondsman, Eeluk, who has usurped control of the nomad band the future khan’s father had ruled. A failure is the set up of Temujin’s relationship with Borte, his wife. Rather it’s the lack of one. Iggulden introduces Borte as a 12-year-old tomboy who’s so dirty that Temujin is hard pressed to recognize whether she’s a boy or a girl, and his primary concern is that she’s not too ugly. Yet when she follows him one night and he stumbles upon her, the sound of her voice and a touch of her cheek and it’s love.

Which points up another issue with the book, and that’s that, with the exception of Temujin, none of the other characters – Hoelun (his mother) or his brothers, Bekter, Khasar, Kachiun & Temuge, for example – come alive as individuals.

I will mention one of the better aspects of Iggulden’s writing – since I do want to provide another example of the author’s skills – and that is his depiction of the ethical outlook of nomad life. There’s only one instance where I think he stumbles in this regard (Temujin’s reaction to Borte’s abduction and rape*/!); otherwise, the reader does spend a lot of time in a truly alien way of life.

I’ll continue with the series because the writing is engaging enough and because of the Mongol angle but unless the characters become more interesting or the writing becomes significantly better, I doubt these books will be well remembered a decade from now.

* The abduction is historical though the perpetrators & its length were changed.

! My objection is to the sensitivity with which Temujin deals with her. I’m not saying he wouldn’t (and didn’t) act so “civilized,” but there was no building of a foundation to make it believable.
354 reviews133 followers
November 10, 2015
I believe this is the best book I have read all year. It is the story of how Genghis was shaped and molded as a child into one of the greatest conqurers and ruler of tribes ever.
"The greatest joy a man can know is to conquer his enamies and drive them before him, to ride their horses,to take away their pocessions, to see the faces of those who are dear to them become dewy with tears, to clasp his wives and daughters in his arm,s." Genghis Khan
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11.2k followers
December 6, 2010
3.5 to 4.0 stars. Genghis Khan is a historical figure that has always fascinated me because of how little is known about him despite having once ruled much of the known world. This story does an excellent job of telling a compelling story while staying, for the most part, true to the historical record (the author explains in an afterward certain "creative licenses" taken for narratrive purposes). I really liked the sense of place established by the narrative as well as the extremely harsh conditions under which Genghis lived.

This first volume of what I believe to be a trilogy tells the story of Temujin (birth name of Genghis) from his early years to the beginning of his rise to power. As good as this story was, I am confident that the next book will be even better given that it will deal with Temujin's conquest of much of Asia which should make for fascinating reading.

Strongly recommended for fans of historical fiction. One final note: I listened to the audiobook narrated by Stefan Rudnicki who did his usual AMAZING job with the story.
Profile Image for Debbie Zapata.
1,832 reviews44 followers
October 7, 2020
Oct 5, 11pm ~~ Review tomorrow.

Oct 7, 1pm ~~ Not quite 'tomorrow' but here is my review. lol

This is the second time I have read this first of the author's five volume series about Genghis Khan. I remember reading book two many years pre-GR, and when I realized it was part of a series I found this title at my local library. But I never read any of the others, since they were all published during the years I was living in Mexico.

Recently, thanks to The HU band, I have reignited my interest in Mongolia and have been reading a few non-fiction works about the country. Then I saw a GR friend's rating of one of the books in this series and I realized now was the perfect time to collect and read them myself.

So here we are. Now even though I had read this book before, I only clearly remembered the first couple of chapters, in which Temujin and his brothers climb a cliff to try and capture a young eagle to give to their father. There is of course a great rivalry between the boys. They all want to be the one who actually captures one of the prized birds and earn glory in their father's eyes. Who will be the one to claim that glory?

After that I didn't remember details so it was like reading the book for the first time. Of course we all know how it turns out, since Genghis Khan was such a force of history, but this telling of his early years, from birth to the point he becomes that force, is fascinating and hypnotic, very hard to put down.

At the end, the author provides a few details in which he gives his main sources, and explains that certain events later in the book were time-compressed from a few months to a few days. This explains some of the doubts Genghis could never overcome in actual life about his first born son.

As I read about the way this man brought the various groups together into one nation, I couldn't help but wonder how different the histories of other countries might have been if they had experienced such a person in their early days. Take Mexico, for example. There were and still are dozens of groups of indigenous people throughout the country. The Aztecs were merely the strongest at the time the Spaniards arrived, they were not necessarily the leaders of of a unified people in the way Genghis and his family became in Mongolia. The people in Mexico were never united, they were conquered from within and without before they ever had a sense of Nation. A person cannot help but wonder what might have been, not just in Mexico but in any country that suffered through conquest and domination.

I have already started with the second book, and will be working my way through the series over the next couple of weeks. And I have added The Secret History Of The Mongols to my wish list at my favorite online used bookseller. I think it would be awesome to read this story from its source!

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