The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued his Empire
by Jack Weatherford
Broadway Paperbacks, New York, 2010
[Challenge # 9: A book about a person you know little about.]
Winding up my book challenges for 2017. Am looking forward to next years’ reading. Who knows where it will lead me?
On to the Challenge. I hadn’t read any Asian history before this book (or anything about Genghis Khan, really) so I came in totally blind, and it took me a while to get into because I had no reference points. But I was glad I did, because, what an inspiration! It read like an outline for some fantasy series yet to be written.
The author had written a previous history of Genghis Khan and I am guessing this book was to serve as a companion to that one rather than an afterthought. Though the author focuses on the roles of women in this one — wives, daughters, daughters-in-law, mothers — among the ruling Mongolians, I felt it gave me a good, basic grasp of Mongolian history, which was something I might not have tackled in a more conventional text. At the end of it, I was eager to read more.
The only thing I can fault the book for was that the maps were inadequate for a newcomer to Asian history like myself. I would have preferred a macro view, that called out into smaller views as the chapters progressed.