Published Jan 2010
Genghis Khan is dead, but his legend and legacy live on. Two long years after the death of their leader, the Great Khan’s armies have gathered in the city of Karakorum to give their oath to his son and heir, Ogedai. The nation will have a new khan at last. But known only to himself, Ogedai’s heart is weak. Karakorum is his tomb and he hardly expected to live long enough to see it completed and become khan. Unable to accept Ogedai’s rule, his brother, Chagatai, attempts a midnight coup that ends in failure and blood. Torn between the challenge to his honour and his need to ensure that there must be one strong enough to rule when his heart gives out, Ogedai gives Chagatai a khanate in the West while gifting the ancestral homelands to his younger brother, Tolui. Ogedai then sets out on his one and only campaign: to finish Genghis’ task of annihilating the Chin empire. Meanwhile, the great general Tsubodai sweeps into the west: through Russia, over the Carpathian Mountains and into Hungary. He splits his forces into three, so that no reinforcements can come from north or south as he drives on west. Poland is sacked in the north, Serbia in the south. At the moment of Tsubodai’s greatest triumph, as his furthest scouts reach the northern mountains of Italy, tragic news from Karakorum reaches them. The khan’s heir, who rides with Tsubodai, must make a decision that will change the course of history forever.