Publication Date: 11/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: New American Library
Genre: Historical Fiction
(Received for an honest review from New American Library)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Stephanie Thornton on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads
Excerpt from, The Tiger Queens, courtesy of the author's website.
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In the late twelfth century, across the sweeping Mongolian grasslands, brilliant, charismatic Temujin ascends to power, declaring himself the Great, or Genghis, Khan. But it is the women who stand beside him who ensure his triumph....
After her mother foretells an ominous future for her, gifted Borte becomes an outsider within her clan. When she seeks comfort in the arms of aristocratic traveler Jamuka, she discovers he is the blood brother of Temujin, the man who agreed to marry her and then abandoned her long before they could wed.
Temujin will return and make Borte his queen, yet it will take many women to safeguard his fragile new kingdom. Their daughter, the fierce Alaqai, will ride and shoot an arrow as well as any man. Fatima, an elegant Persian captive, will transform her desire for revenge into an unbreakable loyalty. And Sorkhokhtani, a demure widow, will position her sons to inherit the empire when it begins to fracture from within.
In a world lit by fire and ruled by the sword, the tiger queens of Genghis Khan come to depend on one another as they fight and love, scheme and sacrifice, all for the good of their family...and the greatness of the People of the Felt Walls.
Stephanie Thornton is a born storyteller. Historical fiction has never been so believable and compelling as it is with Thornton's latest book, The Tiger Queens. The story of Genghis Khan has been told many times but never quite like this. Told from the point of view of four of the women in Khan's life, this story is rich in detail and full of imaginative characters that literally come to life as the reader turns the pages. Thornton's descriptive passages are nothing short of brilliant. One of the best book I've read this year!
What I liked:
What's not to like about Stephanie Thornton's writing? She proved she was a powerhouse in historical fiction with The Secret History and Daughter of the Gods, but she's really outdone herself with The Tiger Queens. From the beautiful cover to the lyrical style of the writing Thornton immerses the reader in the world of these four amazing women. Warriors, mothers, wives and friends. They were expressive and real. Thornton has so many strengths it's hard to know what to write about first.
Thornton's attention to detail was limitless, the steppes came alive with scent and sound, touch and taste. Her descriptions were very detailed and the reader could not help but feel that they were somehow a part of the landscape of the book. Seeing and hearing everything as it happened instead of flipping the pages hundreds of years after these events could have taken place. Her world building was simply amazing!
When it comes to characters in historical fiction, often the author has quite a bit to work with from the historical tapestry of the times, but not when it comes to Thornton. She doesn't always write about the most popular or key players of the times. Though there are multitudes of information about Genghis Khan himself, there isn't much to find on the women in his life. I loved the way Thornton was able to take what little information there was to be had about these women and turn them into living, breathing characters that jumped off the page. The were so real and compelling. They weren't easy women, these women were warriors. They were a part of a world where violence was expected and they were able to play their part in that world. Very well developed characters that will draw the reader in and hang on for dear life.
The story of the rise of Genghis Khan will never look the same to me again after reading this book. A boy who comes from humble beginnings and rises to practically conquer the Mongol world. I had always thought he was a ruthless leader, a man who dangerous and cutthroat in every way. But I never stopped to think about the fact that he was a man. A husband, a father. He wasn't what I would ever call gentle, but he had moments when his softer side showed through in this book and they were magnificent.
Can you tell, I liked this book? One of my favorites of the year, hands down. If you like historical fiction, you cannot afford to miss this one. It is simply fantastic!
The Tiger Queens is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Stephanie Thornton is the author of The Secret History and Daughter of the Gods. She is also a history teacher who has been obsessed with infamous women from ancient history since she was twelve. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alaska, where she is at work on her next novel.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of The Tiger Queens by Stephanie Thorton.
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