A few years ago, British novelist Conn Iggulden — unable to find adventure lit for his young son, Cameron — co-wrote The Dangerous Book for Boys, a collection of heroic stories and instruction on such manly pursuits as building go-karts and skinning rabbits. Out of nowhere, the book topped best-seller lists in both the U.S. and the U.K. (and spawned knockoffs like The Daring Book for Girls).
Iggulden, 37, kept his day job: historical fiction. He’s written four novels about Julius Caesar and returns now with Genghis: Lords of the Bow, the second in a four-book series about Mongolian conqueror Genghis Khan. ”Khan went from being left to die at age 13, in incredibly hostile terrain, to his grandson being an emperor of China,” marvels Iggulden. Interestingly, he argues Genghis isn’t suitable for boys under 14. ”Some of these books are pretty brutal,” he explains. ”And I’m not necessarily sure I want to say to boys, ‘Go out and form an empire!”’