In the Empire of Genghis Khan
Eight centuries ago, the Mongols burst forth from Central Asia in a series of spectacular conquests that took them from the Danube to the Yellow Sea. Their empire was seen as the final triumph of the nomadic ‘barbarians’. But in time the Mongols sank back into the obscurity from which they had emerged. Remote and outlandish, Outer Mongolia became a lost domain of tents and horsemen, little changed since the days of Genghis Khan.
In this remarkable book, Stanley Stewart sets off in the wake of an obscure thirteenth century friar across the old Empire, from Istanbul to the distant homeland of the Mongol hordes. The heart of his odyssey is a thousand-mile ride, travelling by horse among nomads for whom travel is a way of life, through a trackless land governed by winds and patterns of migration. On a journey full of bizarre characters and unexpected encounters, he crosses the desert and mountains of Central Asia, battles through the High Altay and the fringes of the Gobi to the windswept grasslands of the steppes and the birthplace of Genghis Khan.
Vivid and compelling, In the Empire of Genghis Khan is a thrilling tale of adventure, a comic masterpiece, and an evocative portrait of a medieval land marooned in the modern world.
‘One of the best travel books of the year.’ ‘Stewart at his best… his prose has a poetic resonance’
The Sunday Times The Observer
‘Eloquent… a sharp eye for the incongruous and a wry sense of humour’ ‘Excellent…. elegantly written.’
Independent on Sunday The Daily Telegraph
‘The phone was ringing, deadlines were coming and going, but none of it mattered. I was lost in a book, this book, definitely the funniest travel book I’ve read in years… you are going to love it… that’s a guarantee.’
National Geographic Adventure
‘A Stanley Stewart travel story about a walk to the nearest corner would be a page turner. And that is because, unlike too many other travel writers, he takes his reader on the most important trip of all: the journey of a good sentence.’
The Washington Post
‘Engaging, intelligent, astute… a sensitive, observant traveller, a gifted writer and an entertaining, colourful, and moving book.’
The Literary Review‘
Fascinating and vivid… with lovely understated humour.. A classic travel story, beautifully written… one the best books of the year’ Wanderlust