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Publisher's Summary

He was born Temujin, son of a khan, raised in a clan of hunters migrating across the steppe. Temujin's young life was shaped by a series of brutal acts: the betrayal of his father by a neighboring tribe, his family left to die on the harsh plain. But Temujin endured, and from then on, he was driven by a fury to survive in the face of death, to kill before being killed, and to conquer enemies from beyond the horizon. Along with his ferocious courage, it was the young warrior's ability to learn, to imagine, and to judge the hearts of others that propelled him to greater power, bending empires to his will.
©2007 Conn Iggulden (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Brilliantly imagined and addictive....Iggulden weaves a spellbinding story of an exotic and 'unforgiving land' and the enigmatic young man - charismatic, a brilliant tactician and capable 'of utter ruthlessness' - who sets out to tame it. This is historical fiction of the first order." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • David
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 01-29-10

Move over Bernard Cornwell

I was not prepared for how much I would love this book. It caught me by surprise which may have added to my delight. The writing is superb, marked by clarity, consistently apt and powerful images, and a fine sense of pacing. Iggulden's command of the setting and detail allow you to relax and settle into this alien world without reservation. The story itself is compelling from beginning to end and has the unsettling ring of truth. This is a writer who can put deep historical research into human terms which allows us to live with characters we might otherwise find incomprehensible. The afterward, which detailed the historical underpinnings for the book, also surprised me since I had assumed the author had taken far more liberties with the factual record than he actually did. A WONDERFUL read though, as with Cornwell, the violence and gore are very much a part of the fabric of the story as they must be in order to convey authentically what it must have been to survive and thrive in such a harsh world.

38 of 38 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • James
  • Driftwood, TX, United States
  • 03-18-12

An enthralling tale

Stefan Rudnicki is one of my favorite narrators. I chose this book for a listen primarily for that reason. He drew me into the story as he always does. No surprise there. The Mongol names and terms especially seem to flow naturally from his tongue. And I always admire how he can alter his mesmerizingly deep voice as required for different characters.

Having recently listened to a number of young adult stories (including Ender's Game, also narrated by Rudnicki), this book seemed almost to be a continuation of the trend. As the title suggests, this book begins like a coming of age story about the boy Temujin and ends with his metamorphosis into Ghengis, khan of several tribes.

Temujin is truly a captivating character. I was quite taken aback by the mountain of obstacles put against him and the ferocious courage, vision and key allies it required merely to survive at all. In fact I was so skeptical I did a little research on my own afterward to settle the truth of it in my mind. Satisfied that the facts were essentially true (in afterward the author also explains what he altered for purposes of the story), in retrospect I then found the story to be an even more captivating depiction of what the life must have been like in the family and tribes of Temujin and not just an enthralling story. It is a portrait of a people who value loyalty, honor and courage but who must also reconcile this with the ambition of the strong and the harsh necessities of an utterly unforgiving world.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


The author does an amazing job of potraying the gritty, brutal world that spawned Genghis. Focusing on the future conqueror's childhood and teen years, the book skillfully explores the events, influences and motivations that made Genghis who he was. Though often gruesome and bloody, the grisly details are not superfluous but part of the larger picture of the Mongol culture. Even for one who has read much about Genghis, this book was still enlightening and informative.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Genghis is an excellent choice!

Absolutley an excellent Audiobook. From start to finish it is captivating.
This Historical Fiction has a story on the same lines as The Glatiator' On top gets betrayed, barely servives and then becomes a legend.
The facts about Temujin and his story stay true. If a second book comes out I will be in line for it.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Incredible Find

I don't write many reviews but this one deserves the high praise other reviews have given. I got this book not expecting much as many historical fiction books are somewhat dry. This story jumps from the page and you can imagine Genghis' world. The narrator is great too. I will be listening to all the other books by this author. You don't want to miss this one.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Riviting and Revealing

I listened to this book every chance I had. A wonderful historical novel. A glimpse into Mongolian life and culture at the turn of 13th century was fascinating. Well written and narrated. Although the deep voice of the narrator was overpowering at first, it became a natural part of the story. I liked it very much.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A Really Good One

Terrific narrator and very engaging story. It's one of those books you sit in your car, listening to, even when you're parked in your garage!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Bonnie
  • Bellmore, NY, United States
  • 11-21-08

Mongol history with a flair

Temujin's young life was shaped by a series of brutal acts:Knowing about how the Mongols lived, helped create this really amazing story. It is brutal as was the life of the Mongol. Read wonderfully and written with a passion for history. I cant wait to read the next installments.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Well researched and historically accurate.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Engaging fictional narrative based on true historical facts.

What did you like best about this story?

Captivating story.

What does Stefan Rudnicki bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Good delivery, no issues with the narrator.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

After listening to the book I googled some parts of the story and was pleasantly surprised to find that this fictional historical novel closely followed actual historical events.

Any additional comments?

Listen to the whole series as this first book, as good as it is, is one of the least interesting of the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story


This is the back story on the famous and infamous Genghis Khan. I thought I was getting the typical historical fiction novel, a little history a little fiction to liven things up. Not so. He is much more of a story teller than Alison Wier, more like McMurty or Galbadon with his character development. There is a richness here that so many story tellers lack today.

Iggulden's tale gives us an in depth picture of what life was like for the boy Tamogen and the impossible and hellish odd's he had to overcome to unite the Mongol tribes and become The Khan of Khan's. We feel the steps of China and fear the Tartars. We get heat from the bodies of the horses. We understand how a yurt works. We learn about tribal laws and functions. It's a quick read and worth every minute.

Rudnicki's raspy voice was a little hard for me at the beginning but overall I thought it was a good fit for the time and place of the story. A rough voice for a brutal time.

My husband "read" the story too and liked as much as I did.

This one is a win win.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful