The novels of Conn Iggulden bring the past to thrilling life, from ancient Rome to 13th-century Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Now he delivers the spectacular story of the rise of Genghis Khan’s grandson, a man destined to become one of the most remarkable rulers who ever lived - the legendary Kublai Khan.
©2011 Conn Iggulden (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.
I loved the early books in this series, but I am slightly disappointed with this one.
Iggulden is a superb storyteller, no less here than in the previous Mongol works. He never allows my interest to flag; he creates complex and fascinating characters and is able to engage us emotionally; he writes battlefield descriptions to a fair-thee-well and builds suspense with remarkable skill. Plus, he is writing about some of the most amazing personalities in all of human history.
Unfortunately, while the author made a real effort to stay close to the historical narrative in the first few books and was in the habit of setting the record straight in an informative "Afterword" about instances where he had strayed or invented extensively, this time his story often bears only a passing resemblance to the facts, and he never acknowledges the discrepancies. Interestingly, there were a few times in the narrative where I had a little trouble believing the story or where it got particularly thin. Checking the history subsequently, I found some congruence between these weak points and the major departures from the factual record.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed the book a great deal, and Richard Ferrone does a terrific job with the narration. If you approach the story as fiction with some familiar names, you will probably have a fine time listening.
The Dragon Mother
This was a great story of shifting power within the Mongol nation. It was very interesting to hear this story because it brought up several Khans that I wasn’t aware of. I enjoyed the story of Kublai. I liked the way he conquered without leaving total destruction in his wake. I also enjoyed not actually knowing what the outcome of the war with his brother would be. I was very tempted to go look it up in the history books, but that would be like peeking at the end of the story.
Since I am not a history buff, but I know enough to get by, I knew that Kublai was going to become Khan. How did he get there, well that is something that my limited knowledge didn’t know. Well now I have a better idea. That’s one of the great things that I love about historical fiction. When I was in school, history class dragged on and on and on and on. If only I had a few good historical fiction books back then, I would have been a straight ‘A’ student!
These stories of Genghis Khan and his descendants are really great. I don’t know which parts are historical facts and which are historical fiction, but I will always remember this version. I know there is no way for Conn Iggledun to be privy to all the secret discussions etc., but they are so finely woven into the story that it just seems like they belong there. It is so well written that I find myself just wanting to accept the whole thing as truth even though I know otherwise. LoL
I highly recommend this whole series to anyone that wants to know more about the rise of the Mongol nation. Also there is a lot of interesting facts about their specific breed of horses, their lifestyle while out on campaign and the warfare they used to gain the nation.
The Narration Review
This audiobook was narrated by Richard Ferrone and I have grown so used to hearing his narration that I will not be able to think of this series without him. I don’t know if his pronunciation of the names is the correct pronunciation, but it is the way I will forever pronounce them. He has the perfect voice for this set of historical fiction books and he makes the whole series seem so believable, just like he was there. Awesome.
I really can't rate each book of this series seperately because really all six books make up a single story, and the story is great. All stories ebb and flow and some of the books are a little better than the others, but all in all the six books make up one five star story. Think about it. A bunch of nomadic goat herders decide to conquer the world and nearly succeed. This is one of the greatest stories of history and Iggeldon's fictionalized recounting is masterful.
So far this is the final book of the series, but the story isn't quite over. Will there be a book seven? I for one certainly hope so.
Powerful, insightful, life-changing
Hated for it to end. I will listen to the five book series, start to finish, again sometime during my life.
Hope there is a Book six!
After having read a history of the Mongols on Audible, this story was amazing as it brought to life the characters that were covered in it. I loved how personal the author gets with the main characters. I felt like the book illustrated their humanity more than any non-fictional account could. The battle scenes are filled with detail and by the end of the book I felt like I visualize them happening in front of me. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
The performance was also amazing.
Wonderful end to an amazing series. The battles kept me on the edge of my seat, and I didn't want to stop listening. Highly recommend the entire series. I'll be starting his Julius Ceaser books next.
Long time Audible member (8 years, 500+ books). Avid flyfisherman, hunter, bicycler.
I enjoyed all the books in the Khan series. Great historic perspective. Great storytelling. Makes me glad I live in the present.
its good leaves me wanting more.
kublai, yaoshu, orian kada
great. needs to get the proper name pronunciation but otherwise its excellent.
rise of a kahn
this has to be the 1st of 3 kind of thing i really hope. kublai had a long reign this only begins the tail of his command.
It is difficult to call out just one out of the series. I must say that Conn Iggulden is the first book among many that I will listen to in this genre. Among all the audiobooks I've listened to so far, I would rank it 2nd.
Kublai Khan's story of transformation from a scholar to a warrior. His relationship with his mother, and later on with his wife.
One that stands out is when Möngke became Khan, and he imparted his vision/mission for Kublai on the condition that he change and depart from his Chin ways.
It was difficult to put this down. I wish it was on whispersync.
Ferrone is an outstanding narrator. He grows on you.
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