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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By David on 06-13-14
Some of the blush is off the rose
I loved the early books in this series, but I am slightly disappointed with this one.
Iggulden is a superb storyteller, no less here than in the previous Mongol works. He never allows my interest to flag; he creates complex and fascinating characters and is able to engage us emotionally; he writes battlefield descriptions to a fair-thee-well and builds suspense with remarkable skill. Plus, he is writing about some of the most amazing personalities in all of human history.
Unfortunately, while the author made a real effort to stay close to the historical narrative in the first few books and was in the habit of setting the record straight in an informative "Afterword" about instances where he had strayed or invented extensively, this time his story often bears only a passing resemblance to the facts, and he never acknowledges the discrepancies. Interestingly, there were a few times in the narrative where I had a little trouble believing the story or where it got particularly thin. Checking the history subsequently, I found some congruence between these weak points and the major departures from the factual record.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed the book a great deal, and Richard Ferrone does a terrific job with the narration. If you approach the story as fiction with some familiar names, you will probably have a fine time listening.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
By Squeak on 06-25-12
Great Finish to the Khan Historical Fiction Series
This was a great story of shifting power within the Mongol nation. It was very interesting to hear this story because it brought up several Khans that I wasn’t aware of. I enjoyed the story of Kublai. I liked the way he conquered without leaving total destruction in his wake. I also enjoyed not actually knowing what the outcome of the war with his brother would be. I was very tempted to go look it up in the history books, but that would be like peeking at the end of the story.
Since I am not a history buff, but I know enough to get by, I knew that Kublai was going to become Khan. How did he get there, well that is something that my limited knowledge didn’t know. Well now I have a better idea. That’s one of the great things that I love about historical fiction. When I was in school, history class dragged on and on and on and on. If only I had a few good historical fiction books back then, I would have been a straight ‘A’ student!
These stories of Genghis Khan and his descendants are really great. I don’t know which parts are historical facts and which are historical fiction, but I will always remember this version. I know there is no way for Conn Iggledun to be privy to all the secret discussions etc., but they are so finely woven into the story that it just seems like they belong there. It is so well written that I find myself just wanting to accept the whole thing as truth even though I know otherwise. LoL
I highly recommend this whole series to anyone that wants to know more about the rise of the Mongol nation. Also there is a lot of interesting facts about their specific breed of horses, their lifestyle while out on campaign and the warfare they used to gain the nation.
The Narration Review
This audiobook was narrated by Richard Ferrone and I have grown so used to hearing his narration that I will not be able to think of this series without him. I don’t know if his pronunciation of the names is the correct pronunciation, but it is the way I will forever pronounce them. He has the perfect voice for this set of historical fiction books and he makes the whole series seem so believable, just like he was there. Awesome.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful