RULER OF THE SKY: The Saga of Genghis Khan by Pamela Sargent

RULER OF THE SKY: The Saga of Genghis Khan

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sargent (science fiction: Shore of Women; Venus of Shadows; espionage: Black Valentine) now turns her hand to the epic of Genghis Khan--as experienced by some of the innumerable women in the Khan's life. Yesugei, a Mongolian tribal chief, abducts Hoelun during her wedding journey, and together they engender Temujin, the military genius who will become Genghis Khan. Several years later, Yesugei dies, leaving Hoelun and her young family unprotected. Defenseless, they're expelled from the tribe, and Temujin is enslaved by yet another Mongolian tribe. Khadagan, a smart girl, helps him escape, however, and--many pages later--Temujin marries wife #1, Bortai, who provides him with the first of his warriors and who is later stolen from him as Hoelun was stolen from her first husband. Chilgar will father Bortai's first son, Jochi, whom Temujin accepts as his own when he steals Bortai back. Then, as a wealthy and successful warlord, Temujin begins a trajectory of marriages almost impossible to synopsize. They don't seem to influence the Khan's actions either in private or in public--as abductions, family and tribal hatreds, drunken orgies, marriages, and raids repeat like phrases on a scratched record, all sounding alike. The internecine rivalries defy comprehension, the battles are dull, and the sex scenes fall limp throughout 700 pages of repetitious, plodding prose.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1993
Page count: 710pp
Publisher: Crown