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Warrior: Path of Destiny by Tim Ellis
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Warrior: Path of Destiny

by Tim Ellis

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This book has some serious problems (which I'll get into later), but I give it four stars for a nonetheless involving story and, most of all, for making Temujin and other characters into more plausible human beings than most of the books who deal with him. When the family is cast out after his father's death, his younger brothers, true to the nature of small children, are so excited by Temujin's explanation of how they will need to help provide food, (they are important!) that they forget the danger of starvation and start laying ambitious plans. Temujin here has real charisma, he isn't described with and doesn't speak archaic language, he isn't constantly stone-faced and stoic. He loves his family, jokes with his men before battle to put heart into them, and is affable, gracious and generous to his followers, as leaders were expected to be. I don't mean that the author downplays his willingness to commit vicious violence. The scene where he boils some of his enemies alive is the most horrifying depiction of that true event that I have ever read.

The possibly not so good: in almost any historical fiction, the author ends up shading history. Ellis keeps alive a deceased character for dramatic purposes, and as he admits, plays with the time lines. I'm willing to overlook this, the reader will have to decide individually how much tolerance they have for the machinations.

This does lead to one serious problem: no fooling with the timelines allows Temujin to be 16-years-old when he is engaged, and 13-years-old four years later when he is married. Temuin's stepmother seems oddly unloving to her son Begter, although if he is the type that a mother finds hard to love, that explains a lot. I don't believe the naked marriage auctions and beauty parades; marriages united families, and upper-class families would not be willing to accept offers from peasants for a homely daughter. This issue of dowries is completely overlooked. I also don't think that adult herders would need paternity explained to them. But these are little distractions from an otherwise gripping book.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. ( )
  juglicerr | Jun 13, 2015 |
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Mongolian Steppe (1176 - 1183): Warrior: Path of Destiny, the first book in the Warrior series, tells the story of Temujin's childhood and enslavement. It interweaves the brutality of history, revenge, love, friendship and betrayal in telling the story of Temujin – the boy who would become the greatest warrior of all: Genghis Khan.

After Temujin completes warrior training at nine years old his father dies, and together with his family, he is left to die on the Mongolian steppe by the tribe. He vows to survive and seek vengeance against those who left him.

Many years are spent forging allies, and warriors flock to him in search of plunder, but when he is captured and enslaved by an old enemy, his warriors desert him.

Throughout, he learns valuable lessons, and when he escapes his captors he must re-build again. He obtains the friendship of Toghril - the Chief of the Kereit - and together they begin to plunder the steppe. Temujin, however, has a greater purpose in mind, and begins to make plans to create a Mongolian nation. [retrieved from Amazon.com, 6/13/2015]
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