04 November 2014

Today's Read & Giveaway: The Tiger Queens by Stephanie Thornton

The Tiger Queens by Stephanie ThorntonWhat if the safety of your family and the future of your people depended on you, a woman? If you lived in the early 1200s in Mongolia, it could have happened. From reading the oracles to wielding a bow and arrow in the heat of battle, the women of Genghis Khan's Mongol Empire did it all.

Our names have long been lost to time, scattered like ashes into the wind. No one remembers our ability to read the secrets of the oracle bones or the wars fought in our names. The words we wrote have faded from their parchments; the sacrifices we made are no longer recounted in the glittering courts of those we conquered. The deeds of our husbands, our brothers, and our sons have eclipsed our own as surely as when the moon ate the sun during the first battle of Nishapur.

Yet without us, there would have been no empire for our men to claim, no clan of the Thirteen Hordes left to lead, and no tales of victory to sing to the Eternal Blue Sky.
The Tiger Queens by Stephanie Thornton (Penguin Random House / NAL, 2014, p. 1)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: turn of the 13th century; Mongolia and beyond
  • Circumstances: The rise of Genghis Khan's empire as seen through the eyes of four women. This telling focuses on the women and the part they played in building and maintaining the great Khan's power.
  • Characters: Borte, Genghis Khan's chief wife; Alaqai, their daughter; Sorkhoktani, a widowed mother of four boys she grooms to serve the empire; Fatima, a Persian noblewoman enslaved by the Mongols; Genghis and his brothers; many other families, warriors, and enemies
  • Genre: historical fiction
  • General information: The story covers three generations; each part is told by a different woman, who played a significant and unique role in the Mongol Empire. Thornton is known for her deep research and vivid period details; these were a warring people, and the battles aren't pretty.
  • A personal note: I love this time period and find Genghis and the rise of the Mongol Empire fascinating. Both the Khan and the women in his life were smart, fierce, and power hungry. If you've never thought to read about this era, let The Tiger Queens be your gateway book.
  • Recommendation: Historical fiction lovers are the obvious first readers of Thornton's latest novel, but anyone who likes to read about real-life powerful women and/or who wants to know about the rise of one of the most feared empires in the ancient world will be hooked.
  • Book club alert: the back of the book contains nine thoughtful questions to jump-start your discussion, though I doubt you'd have any trouble finding plenty to talk about.
  • A bigger sneak peek: You can read the entire prologue and chapter one on Stephanie Thornton's website.
The Giveaway

Thanks to NAL and Penguin Random House, I can offer one of my readers with a U.S. mailing address a copy of The Tiger Queens. To enter for a chance to win, just fill out the following form. I'll pick a winner via random number generator on November 12. Once the winner has been confirmed, I'll erase all personal information from computer. Good luck!


nishitak 11/4/14, 5:52 AM  

Not participating in the giveaway but the book sure sounds very interesting!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 11/4/14, 6:15 AM  

I like the writing, just not sure it's my kind of story. Hope you enjoy it.

Karen and Gerard 11/4/14, 6:33 AM  

I entered your giveaway since I like historical fiction and this sounds like it has a lot of action from a time period and place I know very little about.

Greg 11/4/14, 6:36 AM  

I've always been interested in Mongolia for some reason, and the Mongol empire as well, so this looks very interesting. I would love to know more, and this seems like a good choice. Happy Tuesday!

Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms 11/4/14, 7:11 AM  

Very intriguing teaser, Beth, thanks for sharing. I think I'd like this story myself :)
Have a terrific Tuesday.

Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

Kim@Time2Read 11/4/14, 7:13 AM  

I don't think I've ever read anything from this time. Sounds like a good one to start with!
Today I'm featuring Sing In The Morning, Cry At Night by Barbara J. Taylor.

(Diane) bookchickdi 11/4/14, 7:40 AM  

I don't believe I have ever read anything from this time period, but your description intrigues me.

bermudaonion 11/4/14, 7:51 AM  

That doesn't sound like my kind of book but I think my mom would love it, so I've entered her in your great giveaway. I hope that's okay!

Monica's Bookish Life 11/4/14, 9:15 AM  

This is not the kind of book that I usually read, but it sounds interesting!

Laurel-Rain Snow 11/4/14, 10:33 AM  

Another reminder of how the historical moments that spotlight women are often lost in the shuffle.

Sounds like a great read!

Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Sandra Nachlinger 11/4/14, 11:45 AM  

I enjoy historical fiction, so this sounds like a book I'd like. Great Teaser -- and thanks for the giveaway!
My Tuesday post features a Navajo mystery by Tony Hillerman: THE BLESSING WAY.

Literary Feline 11/4/14, 1:53 PM  

I love that intro. It spoke to me right away. I haven't read too much in this time period--and nothing in that area, I don't think.

Unknown 11/4/14, 3:23 PM  

Not my normal genre but it's fun to mix it up now and then. I like the title and the cover art too.
Here's my TT - http://fuonlyknew.com/2014/11/04/teaser-tuesdays-88-real-elves-an-emily-castle-mystery/

Anonymous,  11/4/14, 3:56 PM  

A great cover, sounds interesting!


kayerj 11/4/14, 4:52 PM  

I like the sound of this one. Have a nice week. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

Unknown 11/4/14, 5:24 PM  

Oooh, now this teaser has really pulled me in. I'm fascinated by the history, that these women's deeds, which were once celebrated, were later pushed aside as insignificant. It makes me want to know what they did all the more. Great pick!!

Here are My Teasers.

Lory 11/4/14, 7:13 PM  

I love how historical fiction can give a window into such different times and cultures. These women sound fascinating! Thank you for the giveaway.

Cleopatra Loves Books 11/5/14, 1:15 AM  

This sounds like a great read, I do love historical fiction. http://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/teaser-tuesday-november-4/

Daryl 11/6/14, 3:00 PM  

not my cuppa but nevertheless an interesting premise

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