Empire of Silver [Conn Iggulden]

It’s been a while, but I was back in the gers of the mongols.  Khasar, Kachiun, Temuge, Tolui, Ogedai, Kublai and General Tsubodai, all here, except one.

Genghis is dead, and his legend casts a long and imposing shadow over his fledgling Mongol nation.  His chosen heir, Ogedai battles with his health as well as his brother as he builds his people’s first true city, Karakorum.

Book four of Iggulden’s Conqueror series is as slick as the first three.  There are few who do such epic historical narratives as Iggulden and it’s a genre that I think can offer a lot as well as bringing history to vivid life for people who may not have any interest in the actual events or people.  His Emperor series did this for Rome and all it’s intrigues, but the Conqueror series offers more for me.  While I love Roman history I know less about Genghis and his nation, and this keeps me engaged as the novel gallops along at pace, barely pausing as the Mongol tumans head west to expand the empire.  Iggulden cleverly changes historical fact if he thinks it fits the narrative better but always highlights these during his author’s notes.

By the end of Empire of Silver the Mongols have pushed so far west their scouts were gazing upon Italy.  They had swept through Russia and Hungary, destroying all before them.  In the end it is not the Europeans that stops them, but events closer to home.  After years expanding the border, General Tsubodai is ordered to return the tumans to Karakorum

I assumed Empire of Silver would be the last book in a series of four, but before I started reading it I saw Conqueror in the bookshop and I remembered that Kublai had been running around as a small child at the end of Bones of the Hills, so it seems I will happily be riding along with the Khans for a while yet.


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