03 October 2010

Empire of Silver

by Conn Iggulden

Harper Collins. Australia, Historical Fiction, Paperback, rrp $32.99

Reviewed by Sandy Fussell

Empire of Silver is the fourth book in the historical Conqueror series which tells the story of the Great Khan, Genghis, and his descendants.

The Mongol Empire has been at peace for two years and Ogedai, Genghis’ youngest son, has forsaken the tribes’ nomadic ways to build a great white city on the plains. Internal and external threats arise to shatter the peace. Ogedai’s elder brother Chagatai believes he should be the Great Khan and does not agree with the changes his brother has made. While the brilliant and loyal General Tsubodai cuts thr
ough Russia, crushing the Templar Knights and devastating the Hungarian kingdom, the Song dynasty, ancient Chinese enemy of the Mongols, grows stronger.

Ogedai survives every challenge except the frailty of a weak heart. Suddenly everything is in jeopardy – his son, city, his general and his expansion plans. As Iggulden comments in his Historical Note appendix:

“There are not many moments in history when the death of a single man changed the entire world. Ogedai’s death was such a moment. If he had lived, there would have been no Elizabethan age, no British Empire, no Renaissance, perhaps no Industrial revolution. In such circumstances, this book could very well have been written in Mongolian or Chinese.”

History lovers will relish Iggulden’s comments on how he dealt with the empty corners of historical record by carefully blending fact and its logical fictional derivative.

This is an epic series, a sweeping saga of triumph and tragedy. I waited impatiently for Empire of Silver and now am waiting equally impatiently for the fifth instalment.



  1. I really enjoyed the original trilogy, so was glad to hear that there was another coming out. I have this one out from the library but I haven't read it yet. Glad to hear it is good.

  2. Definitely put it on the top of the 'to-read' pile! I absolutely love this series and this last book is my favourite so far.