Conqueror by Conn Iggulden
Conn Iggulden has been heralded as one of the greatest writers of historical fiction alive today, and it is easy to see why. Reading Conqueror, it was often impossible to determine Iggulden’s seamless transition from meticulous expert research into artistic license.
This new novel details the epic story of Kublai Khan who, in conquering over one fifth of the total landmass of the world, irrevocably altered the course of human history. Iggulden, as a historian, seems to have a particular fixation on conquerors and empires, and the way these ancient battles and divides have come to shape the modern world. His previous novels have detailed the rise and fall of Julius Caesar and the Mongol Khans of Central Asia, so Conqueror is a likely move that will not disappoint existing fans.
Conn Iggulden’s obvious passion for history and the idea of the epic conqueror and timeless battle translates into incredibly fast-paced, vividly articulated and artfully structured narrative. Conqueror is not the dry, un-emotive read that many historical novels become. Iggulden has succeeded in combining thorough research with excellent writerly technique, creating what is, in essence, a historical thriller.
Another success of Iggulden’s writing, which is especially apparent in this novel, is his avoidance of creating a story that focuses too heavily on events, dates and geography. In Conqueror, the subject of exploration is the mind of the Kublai Khan from formative years through to a great civil war against his own brothers. As such, this novel appeals to those interested in history from a statistic as well as humanistic perspective. More generally, Iggulden’s incredible depiction of landscapes and battles should draw in readership from fans of thrillers and fantasy alike.