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Wolf of the Plains by Conn Iggulden

April 24, 2008

sweet coverLast year I enjoyed reading through Conn Iggulden’s quartet of books about the life of Julius Caesar. This year, Ghengis Khan gets the Iggulden treatment.

Tracing the life of the Mongol tribes in the early thirteenth century, Iggulden brings a vivid picture of tribal life in a harsh land. Surrounded by enemies or potential enemies, each tribe must fight to hold on to what they have, and raid other tribes to prove their worth. Tribal life is harsh, but far worse is that of the tribeless wanderers, in twos and threes dotted around the landscape, they must be constantly wary. There is no tribal justice for these outsiders.

Young Temujin of the Wolves finds himself and his family cast out of their tribe, with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Fighting to survive, Temujin has still greater plans.

As with the Caesar books, Wolf of the Plains contains notes from the author about the real historical story, his research. These notes include details of the areas where he changed things, either compressing events of bringing them forward by a few years, or characters whose names have been changed or simply left out of the story for one reason or another. The notes themselves are fascinating and are a testament to Iggulden’s research which complements his storytelling abilities.

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