I love when I can explore a period in history about which I know little through historical fiction. Stephanie Thornton is one of my favorite authors so when given the opportunity to read her latest, The Tiger Queens I was thrilled. I thank Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for sending me a copy at no charge for my honest review.
About The Tiger Queens:
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction
In the late twelfth century on the sweeping Mongolian grasslands, following a violent feud between blood brothers, the victor Temujin ascends to power, declaring himself Genghis Khan. But behind one powerful man stand many strong women…
After her mother foretells an ominous future for her, darkness looms over Borte’s life. She becomes an outcast among her clan and after seeking comfort in the arms of an aristocratic traveler, she discovers he is the blood brother of Temujin, the man she was betrothed to years ago but who abandoned her long before they could marry. And he will only leave her behind again.
Temujin will make Borte his khatun, his queen, yet it will take many women to safeguard his fragile new empire. Their daughter, a fierce girl named Alaqai, will ride and shoot an arrow as well as any man. Fatima, an elegant Persian captive, seeks revenge against the Mongol barbarians who destroyed her city and murdered her family, but in the end will sacrifice everything to protect the Golden Family. Demure widow to Genghis’ son, Sorkhokhtani positions her sons to inherit the Empire when it begins to fracture from within.
As Genghis Khan sets out to expand his conquests and the steppes run red with blood, Borte and the women of the clan will fight, love, scheme, and sacrifice, all for the good of their family and the greatness of the People of the Felt Walls…
About the Author:
Stephanie Thornton is a writer and history teacher who has been obsessed with infamous women from ancient history since she was twelve. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alaska, where she is at work on her next novel.
“The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora” and “Daughter of the Gods: A Novel of Ancient Egypt” are available from NAL/Penguin. “The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan” will hit the shelves November 4, 2014, followed by “The Conqueror’s Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great” in November 2015.
I am like most people I suspect – I hear the name Ghengis Khan and I think of a vicious conqueror. I did not know any real details about the man, let alone about any of the women in his life. The Tiger Queens presents that tumultuous time through the stories of the women in Ghengis Khan’s world.
The book starts long before Ghengis Khan became the legend. Before that he was Temujin and the novel shows his journey from his very humble beginnings to the leader of the People of the Felt Walls. He did it with the support of his wives, daughters and daughters in law; they sometimes ruled on his behalf as his sons turned out to be pretty worthless.
The book was enthralling. There is really no other word for it. I started it and despite it’s length I read it in two sittings. The second one had me turning pages until 4 in the morning I simply could not stop reading until I discovered what happened to these fascinating women. Ms. Thornton took bits and pieces from the historical record and created living, breathing, unique characters that still come into my thoughts even though I finished this book over a week ago.
The landscape played as big a role in the book as any of the women and it too, was brought to vivid life in the pages of the book. I could picture myself crossing it with the horde on their dependable horses. I could envision the precursor of the yurt in the beaten felt walls of the homes of people. This was one of those magical books that drew me in and had me totally immersed in the story so that I felt I was living it.
It was not easy to read in places – after all it was a brutal time and Ghengis Khan was not a gentle man. Nor were his enemies. Ms. Thornton does not spare her reader but it is done in an appropriate context. Ghengis Khan was a man of war and his enemies were not men of peace so it would be impossible to tell his story without dealing with issues like these. It seems that no man who leaves such an echo in history as a conqueror does it without the ensuing violent reputation.
This was an excellent read. One I will keep to read again. These were amazing women an I think it’s wonderful that their stories are being told.
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