Genghis Khan is one of the greatest conquerors, the world has ever seen. His vast empire extended all the way from the Pacific Ocean to Central Europe, which at the time was inclusive of China, the Gulf and Russia. This book takes you back to the very beginnings of the story - of how Khan began his journey as a simple nomad and a young outcast, and then went on to become a powerful ruler. He has gone further than most other greats in the pages of history, such as Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Napoleon, and even earned the respect of some as having laid down the foundation stone for the Renaissance movement. He was also a ruthless murderer, to some quarters but no matter how you look at him, he represented Mongolians everywhere - Khan's success meant their success.
The Mongolians have largely been tribes people, who took care of livestock, and were especially skilled in horseback warfare. The population was united under the leadership of Genghis Khan, and the author of Genghis Khan: the Man Who Conquered the World, Frank McLynn, delves into a lot of detail about what was to become of his followers, who followed him without any income bursary and largely earned their living through pillaging lands they had made a part of the kingdom. These people were extraordinarily different from the rest of us - they proclaimed they needed five horses to live properly, and most of their life was spent moving across difficult terrains.
As a child, Khan believed that using force was necessary to conquer because he never considered the Chinese to have been truly powerful - if they were, why did they not use force to rule?, were the kind of inquisitive thoughts that often came to his mind. He grew up with that ideology, shirking peaceful habitation for conquering. Khan would murder his opponents, after disarming them, his armies would loot freely, ravage some of the greatest cities in the world - all to live his self-belief that he was destined for many great things.
In the book you learn that his own perception of divinity, came near the end of his life, when a priest taught him to avoid drinking, hunting and sex. He was not religiously intolerant, but a political maverick, with brutal tactics. He transformed warring communities into a stable society, who worked together for the good of the kingdom. Punishment for disloyalty was instant death, much like betrayal, and he had encountered plenty of feuds in his lifetime, despite seperating all of his loyal army followers into factions that collectively pledged their loyalty to Khan - they were all to answer to the ruler. The book is an astounding portrait of all this and how Khan manages to be a ruler of such a difficult state, and then making further use of his savage military tactics, conquers even more great lands.
This review was written by Fashion Girl