We learned from World History that Genghis Khan is known as The Scourge of God or The Destroyer of Civilization. He was an emperor known for killing in cold blood just to achieve his desire to conquer the world under his Mongol Empire. So he went down in the history as one of the most feared leaders in all ancient civilizations. In this historical-biographical book, Sam Djang must have intended to distort the said universal fact . According to him, Genghis Khan is the greatest human conqueror in the world history.
The problem with this book, however, is that it seems to be poorly written. Sam Djang may have had a hard time putting the plethora of information about Genghis Khan he gleaned for 8 years into his own masterpiece. In fact, it is his first book he has ever written. In short, he is an amateur writer. For instance, he may have copied out the style of the Bible, for he may have not known how to narrate Genghis Khan’s historical ancestral family tree. Why not? That part could just serve as padding. In addition, there are some repetitive parts which cringed me many times, which he may not have considered thoroughly. He mentioned the same situations in different parts of the chapters, so they sound to be monotonous and you might claim, “What?” Nevertheless, his effort paid off, for it won a special award in 2011 as Best Historical Fiction.Clap! Clap! Clap!
Despite some shortcomings, for me, this historical-biographical novel is informative. It gives me a lot of information about the Mongol Empire- how the Mongol conqueror was well on his way to conquering half of the world. I understood more what the cliché goes : “Barbarians against Barbarians” is all about. Besides, I found it low-brow. I did not have difficulty understanding some words or phrases. ( It might have been his intention.) I even enjoyed some Mongolian words.
What struck me most is his deep brotherly relationship with Jamuka. I could not avert my thought from the suspicion that they may have had something deeper than that said brotherly relationship. Sam Djang is too euphemistic, cautious, and cliffhanging to describe their relationship, or I was just too quixotic to expect something more than this. (laughs)
Repulsed by his brutality and unsure of the credibility of this book, I revered Genghis Khan’s life stories- his philosophies in life, his political strategies, especially his religious viewpoints.
In the end, I may be convinced that Genghis Khan may be the greatest human conqueror in the world history. Also, I may be convinced that Mongol Empire is the biggest Empire in the world history. Not that I know of. I guess I still need a library of historical books. ^__^
Rating: 4/ 5 stars ( I really liked it.)