Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wolf of the Plains - Conn Iggulden

Wolf of the Plains
Conn Iggulden
Harper
Copyright: 2007
978-0007201754

The amazon.com product description:
From the co-author of The Dangerous Book for Boys, comes the first in the widely anticipated Conqueror series featuring Genghis Khan and his descendants. A remarkable story of heroism and adventure, of a boy who had to become a man too soon, of a family and a tribe who had to learn to win to survive. A man without a tribe was at great risk, so the young boy abandoned with his siblings on the harsh Mongolian plains had to struggle to avoid death. He survived both starvation and hostile attacks by learning remarkable leadership skills and gathering a group of outsiders like himself. Hunted and alone, he dreamed of uniting the tribes into one house, one nation. He became a great warrior. He would become father to his people. He would be Genghis Khan.
This is the first book in a very popular series. Every time a new book comes out, I see so many people coming into the store in search of it. So, I thought I'd see what it was about. Needless to say, I ended up buying all three of the books now out.

Wolf of the Plains covers Genghis Khan's childhood on the plains of Mongolia: his life among the tribes and then the years he spent with just his mother and siblings, doing what it took to keep them alive and fed. It makes for a vivid and exciting read to say the least. Given the characters and cultures, it's not overly surprising that the book gets a bit brutal in places, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a very good read.

I've noted this about other historical novels in past reviews, and it's something I like. Conn Iggulden has noted the main sources he used in the creation of this novel (and sequels), as well as some of the changes he chose to make. I find knowing about the sources gives me a better appreciation for a good, well written story.

For all that Wolf of the Plains is the first book in a series, it stands on its own very well, although I'm sure that once you've read it, you will want to go on to the next book and the ones following that.
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