Full blooded, sword-slashing, sexy- yet dignified- a biographical novel about Tamerlane, the fourteenth century ruler of Samarkand and near conqueror of Europe and Asia. Bearing the fruits of careful research, the narrative is written as Tamerlane's own words- encompassing his life from the time he received his first promotions from the outlaw Kurgan the Kingmaker, until his death at the door of China in 1405. As an intense and important man's own account of his experiences, it proves well. Besides the series of battles and political manoeuvers that took him to India, Russia and to the borders of Europe, there is a forceful interpretation of the struggle between his emotions and his intellect- as he felt compelled by the destiny of the Way of Allah to enslave peoples, as he loved the sword yet knew he could forget everything in the arms of Aljai, his first, only beloved wife-the one woman he ever respected. In his introduction, Mr. O'Neal says he has written in awe of Tamerlane. Though uncondoning, through this bias, the conqueror appears as a man who lived to the hilt- who did what he thought necessary for Allah's Way (thus Tamerlane's hesitancy to enter Europe is explained- he felt that the Pope had already subjugated westerners satisfactorily) rather than the instigator of merciless onslaughts. In color, stature and feeling for a culture and an era- a good candidate for the Suleiman the Magnificent market.