5 star rating
The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan
By Stephanie Thornton
ISBN# 9780451417800
Author Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt


In the late twelfth century, across the sweeping Mongolian grasslands, brilliant, charismatic Temujin ascends to power, declaring himself the Great, or Genghis, Khan. But it is the women who stand beside him who ensure his triumph…. 

After her mother foretells an ominous future for her, gifted Borte becomes an outsider within her clan. When she seeks comfort in the arms of aristocratic traveler Jamuka, she discovers he is the blood brother of Temujin, the man who agreed to marry her and then abandoned her long before they could wed.

Temujin will return and make Borte his queen, yet it will take many women to safeguard his fragile new kingdom. Their daughter, the fierce Alaqai, will ride and shoot an arrow as well as any man. Fatima, an elegant Persian captive, will transform her desire for revenge into an unbreakable loyalty. And Sorkhokhtani, a demure widow, will position her sons to inherit the empire when it begins to fracture from within.

In a world lit by fire and ruled by the sword, the tiger queens of Genghis Khan come to depend on one another as they fight and love, scheme and sacrifice, all for the good of their family…and the greatness of the People of the Felt Walls.


I really was not sure what to expect when readingThe Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan. I do know I did not expect to be enthralled and pulled into this epic saga of the little known women in the life of Genghis Khan (birth name Temujin). While much is known of Genghis Khan and is rise to be the leader of one of the largest empires, very little is known of the women in his life. He did embrace script and that paved the way for his history to be written. There is only minimum mention of his daughters (and not always by name), very few facts known about his only empress Borte or any of the other women in his life. Borte’s first person narrative begins the story.

Borte was born late to her seer mother. She shares the same insight and it has been said she will come between two brothers. Borte is a very strong woman, even when she is a teenager. She survives kidnapping and the savages that come to those in that terrible situation. With her strong survival instincts and vision she is able to push her young husband to become the Genghis Khan. Her strength and fierce love of family are portrayed in descriptive, intelligent writing. Her character is strong enough that it jumps off the page and drives the reader further into the World of Genghis Khan.

This novel is divided into 4 sections, each narrated by an amazing woman that (in the words of Stephanie Thornton) were true forces of nature behind the Mongol Empire. After the first section relating Borte’s life, the reader is introduced to their fierce daughter Alaqai. She is as good a warrior as any soldier in the Mongol force. She is married off to help enlarge her father’s holdings. Her story is tragic, yet she is able to rise above it and persevere.

The two other ladies we learn about are Fatima who is an elegant Persian that is kidnapped as her Muslim town is destroyed. The fourth Tiger we meet is Sorkhokhtani, who is a widow that plays a large part in the continuing life of the Mongol Empire. Her sons will inherit the empire after the death of Ghengis Khan. These four ladies are drawn together in different ways, yet they end up depending on each other and work to push their family to power. The reader will meet many others of the empire that only enhance the total impact of author Stephanie Thornton’s novel.

Since there is so little written in history about the ladies in the life of the great (and fearsome) Genghis Khan, The Tiger Queens fills in gaps with amazing fluidity and engaging tales of heroics and family. I was prepared to be bored since a lot of epic novels like this can run on and on. I was not! It was entertaining and never let go. One section blended seamlessly into another. Extremely well written and full of action, descriptive narrative and powerful images. I would recommend The Tiger Queens to any fan of historical novels and anyone interested in a great read that will not allow any surrender of its quarry-the reader.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*