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Bones of the Hills by Conn Iggulden
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Bones of the Hills (2009)

by Conn Iggulden

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Having lived in Central Asia for 3 years, I was disappointed with Bones of the Hills. While the battle descriptions and drama between Genghis and his sons was well written and compelling, this book was far more fantasy and less historical fiction. Describing the Turkic and Persian people of Central Asia as "Arabs" was not only inaccurate, it was unnecessary. Would the reader really be turned off if the "souks" of Central Asia had been written as "bazaars" as they are known in Turkic and Persian. Labeling all the people and rulers of Central Asia as "Arabs" bothered me every time. It was as if you wrote a book about Scotland, and the author labeled the people living there as Irish or English. Berbers and Bedouins don't live in Central Asia, they live thousands of miles away in North Africa. For me the draw of historical fiction is to educate and entertain at the same time, this novel did little of both. A missed opportunity... ( )
  karatelpek | Sep 15, 2017 |
Genghis Khan and his Mongol horde have conquered the Chin in the East and they now turn their forces West towards the cities of central Asia along the fabled Silk Road. Genghis' sons are growing up but rivalry between them to be named heir is coming to the surface. Whilst the cities of the Arabs are rich, Genghis does not want to give up the nomadic lifestyle yet is finding it harder to control his vast empire. Meanwhile the son of the defeated Shah has gathered a vast army capable of defeating the Mongols.

Again Iggulden has taken the very bare bones of history and woven an exciting tale of politics, hardship and war from them. The battle scenes are brilliantly imagined but this book offers a little more in terms of (imagined) narrative and relationships. There is a real understanding of the lifestyle of the nomadic tribes and, whilst sketchy, a genuine attempt to breathe life into characters known for their successes in war rather than their opinions. This is a strong series of books which thoroughly engages the reader. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |
The third book in the series, this one slows down considerably, and keeps the reader far less engaged than the first two. It's still really good storytelling, I just got the impression that the author had decided to make x number of novels, and each one to cover y period and events, and he just wasn't that excited about this particular time in the history of Genghis.

I took a little break when I finished it, reading something else in-between, so that tells you how much "I couldn't wait" for the story to continue. I have since, however, picked up the fourth in the series. ( )
  bicyclewriter | Jan 8, 2016 |
Iggulden further develops his series to paint Genghis and his followers in a mixed light - with the capability of greatness and destruction at the same time. Where the first two works painted Genghis' exploits as against a heavily armed and repressive enemy, this work instead shows how the Mongol Empire evolved into a destructive and terrifying force in its own right. ( )
  bdtrump | May 9, 2015 |
The third book in the Conqueror series. An older and wiser Genghis Khan has nearly broken the Chin (China) when people to the West in the Persian society of Khorosan refuse to submit. He fights his was through Korea, all the way to the territory of Shah Ala-ud-din Mohammed in central Asia. There Genghis meets his match in the Shah's thousands of warriors and armed elephants.

Genghis is also dealing with the infighting amongst his son's and must make a decision on an heir before his nation is divided into factions. Revenge also burns for the murder of his younger sister until justice is finally served.

A well told conclusion to the series that provides an intriguing insight into the life of this important historical figure. ( )
  DebbieMcCauley | Aug 31, 2013 |
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The mighty Mongol conqueror, Genghis Khan, wreaks a path of destruction along China's Great Wall.

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