Genghis: Bones of the Hills
Fear and rebellion fill the pages of the third and last novel in this well-known author’s Genghis trilogy. Genghis is now much older and wiser in military matters. Camping outside towns and cities he intends to subdue, he calls for a white flag to be mounted on the first day, a chance for surrender to slavery and submission. The next day the flag’s color will change to red, promising bloodthirsty mayhem for those stupid enough to refuse surrender. On the third and final day, the posted flag will be changed to black, obviously denoting death to every living being within the rebellious place. So it goes through northern China, Korea, all the way to the Arab lands of Shah Ala-ud-din Mohammed in central Asia. There Genghis meets his match in the military defense of the Shah, who commands thousands of daunting Arab warriors preceded by huge, armed elephants.
Genghis’ family, throughout this entire story, however, becomes even more divided. The enmity of his sons, Jochi and Chagatai, turns to attack and even betrayal in the heat of a major battle, stunning the reader with what such behavior means for the Mongols’ survival. Why? Read on, for Genghis is not as invulnerable as he appears to his friend and foe. The murder of Genghis’ sister elicits deep mourning and a fierce, mind-numbing revenge. The retirement of a close general symbolizes the end of the old ways, with Genghis forced to contemplate that some of his nomad people will choose to live permanently in the places they conquer.
Bones of the Hills is an epic tale full of bloodlust, battles, arguments, misunderstandings, celebrations, and finally the acceptance of age following Genghis’ acquisition of the majority of Asia. An amazing saga in three novels of a formidable, strange, enigmatic, and fascinating historical figure.
Early Medieval (to 1337)
Bones of the Hills
416 (US), 560 (UK)