Mother of the Blue Wolf

A Mongolian Epic (Fractured Empire Book 3)

Fiction - Historical - Personage
391 Pages
Reviewed on 03/12/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

Mother of the Blue Wolf by Starr Z. Davies is the third book in the historical fiction Fractured Empire series, preceded by book one, Daughter of the Yellow Dragon, and book two, Lords of the Black Banner. As with the other two installments, the fictionalized but historically real late 15th-early 16th-century powerhouse, Mandukhai Khatun, an aristocrat turned Queen Regent is brought to life in the generations following the rule of Genghis Khan. The machinations of politicking, succession, war, and loyalty swirl around Mandukhai and her tenuous placement, and choices are forced when her heart and her understanding of what it takes for a man to be the Khan of Khans, ruler of the Mongols, are conflicted. When the words of Genghis Khan himself are revealed to her, both her own destiny and that of a seven-year-old boy are intractably united to restore the unity and glory of a Fractured Empire. “Dozens followed her, then hundreds, then thousands.”

I haven't read the first two books in the series but, make no mistake, I will absolutely be going back to do that now. Starr Z. Davies is masterful in crafting the story Mother of the Blue Wolf and the levels and layers of development in the primary leads, Mandukhai and Unebolod, but the same treatment is also given to ancillary characters, with a particular sparkle in my eye to Huoshai and Esige. There is a capture-the-bride scene that is particularly well done and those who understand history will see the clever nod to Börte, wife of Genghis Khan, her kidnapping by another tribe, and the rescue that catapulted Khan into leadership. The custom re-enacted is spectacular. The writing is sublime and the dialogue feels organic. There is nothing to fault in this book and, frankly, I'm shocked I haven't come across the series sooner. Thankfully those smart enough to snatch it up will not have to wait long for book four, Empress of the Jade Realm, which arrives in the summer of 2022. Very highly recommended.