Bones of the Hills (Conqueror, Book 3)

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9780007282036: Bones of the Hills (Conqueror, Book 3)

The powerful and exhilarating third novel in Conn Iggulden’s No. 1 bestselling Conqueror series, following the life and adventures of the mighty Genghis Khan

The fatherless boy, exiled from his tribe, whom readers have been following in 'Wolf of the Plains' and 'Lords of the Bow', has grown into the great king, Genghis Khan. He has united the warring tribes and even taken his armies against the great cities of their oldest enemies. Now he finds trouble rising west of the Mongolian plains. His emissaries are mutilated or killed; his trading gestures rebuffed. So, dividing his armies, using his sons as generals of the various divisions, he sends them out simultaneously in many directions, ranging as far as modern Iran and Iraq.

As well as discovering new territories, exacting tribute from conquered peoples, laying waste the cities which resist, this policy is also a way of diffusing the rivalries between his sons and heirs and working out who should succeed the khan.

This, the third book in the Conqueror series, is once more an epic story. Genghis Khan is an exhilarating and heroic figure. The sense of his ambition and his power, the relationships with his wives, sons and trusted aides, the sweep of his conquests, is all brought together by a masterful storytelling. It is a compelling read. With each book, you are left, even more, longing for the next.

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Bones of the Hills

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One can only hope that the phenomenal success of his co-authored The Dangerous Book for Boys does not take attention away from the prodigious storytelling skills of Conn Iggulden. As Bones of the Hills forcefully reminds us, Iggulden is the real deal when it comes to historical fiction on the grandest scale. And here, all of his characteristic skills are well to the fore.

A boy was abandoned in the wilderness by his tribe -- but he did not die. As those Iggulden admirers who have read Wolf of the Plains and Lords of the Bow will know, this luckless boy has grown into one of the most feared and powerful figures in history, Genghis Khan. He has persuaded the tribes that had been tearing each other to pieces to ignore their differences and unite under his leadership to battle their oldest enemies. Under his ruthless (and ferociously inspired) leadership, a mighty nation has been forged. But this is only the beginning of his struggles: Khan sends out emissaries, but they are tortured and killed. He attempts to open trade routes; his efforts are met with violent rebuff. Soon, the Mongolian army is stretched to the furthest corners of Khan's realm, and destruction looms.

This is epic storytelling on a nigh-operatic scale. Iggulden has long been the master of the broad brush stroke and conjures up the ancient world with great panache. Of course, the success of a book such as Bones of the Hills depends on the vivid characterisation of its larger-than-life central character, and of the many novels which have attempted to capture Genghis Khan, none have mastered the task as successfully as Conn Iggulden.
--Barry Forshaw

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