Friday, June 17, 2011

George Conroy reviews Temujin's Bow

Temujin’s Bow

By James H. Albert

(Review by George I. Conroy, Editor, Memphis Jewish Journal)

Temujin’s Bow is a well-crafted yarn that’s not easy to pigeon-hole. It’s historical fiction but beyond that it’s in a genre all its own. The names of the characters we encounter as we turn the pages are not like those we’re used to reading…No Smiths or Joneses to be sure, but rather Asian names and those of tribes and dynasties.

The tale begins with the birth and upbringing of Temujin, to whom we are introduced as a small boy at a time when his father has just been murdered. As one would expect his death has a profound effect on the child A few years later motivated by the theft of the family’s food and their survival, Temujin is forced to kill his brother. This is his first violent act among countless others en route to becoming a thirteenth century Mongol
leader. City after city soon resulted in nation after nation falling subject to this conqueror.

The spoils of his wars were immense and accumulating. Temujin knew that if he distributed the wealth his army was accumulating among his warriors that it would eventually make them soft, and weaken their resolve to fight. Instead the Mongol treasure would be hidden. The gold, silver, diamonds, jewels, silks, and furs had taken weeks to transport to a secret place, but he was determined not to allow riches and luxury to
destroy his empire.

When Temujin died, his body was laid to rest in a tomb near where our readers first encountered him, the place where the child-warrior had buried his first hunting bow. His vast treasure was entombed with him. Temujin the boy had become Genghis Khan, the ruler of an empire. Thus the Khan’s life ends and our story begins.

The book’s pages are populated with historical characters and fictional personalities arising from real events reinterpreted by the clever author, who creates this epic narrative by presenting important and plausible alternative motives for the historical events of the era.

Some of the historical characters encountered in the story include:

Colonel Seishiro Itagaki was military attaché assigned to the Japanese embassy in China.

General Baron Shigeru Honjo was Chief Aide-de-Camp to the Emperor of Japan who was arrested as a suspected war criminal in 1945 and later committed suicide.

General Yoshitsugu Tatekawa was Japan’s ambassador to the Soviet Union who played a crucial role in negotiating the neutrality pact with Mongolia.

Joseph Stalin was the supreme ruler of the Soviet Union. He led his country alongside America and England through World War II in their fight against Germany, Italy and Japan. As ruler of Russia, Stalin was the leader of world communism for almost thirty years.

Georgy Zhukov was commander the First Soviet Mongolian Army Group, tasked in 1938 with stopping Japanese aggression along the Mongolian-Manchurian border.

Zhou Enlai was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China.

Adolph Hitler was the Austrian-born leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party.

The quest brings us from the past into the present where we are introduced to Kate Barrows, a fictional but beautiful English paleontologist whose research into ancient dinosaur fossils leads her to the discovery of Temujin’s childhood bow.

Enter Andrew “Drew” Moss a handsome former Navy SEAL and self made billionaire who agreed to finance Barrows’ project on the condition that he be kept informed about her progress. Drew soon learns the significance of the childhood bow and how far people and governments would go to get to the treasure. Aware of the bow’s discovery, both Russia and China prepare to go to war over the Khan’s treasure. America can not sit idly by while the world’s balance of power is shifted.

Complicating the situation is the aged and powerful Mongol shaman, Achir Boo. Gifted in the arts of healing and magic he is determined to protect his people and the tomb from invaders.

All of this comes to a dramatic and shocking conclusion at Kate Barrow’s project’s site on the bank of the Onon River in Mongolia. You will enjoy this entertaining and uniquely original e book.

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