Sunday, March 4, 2018

Review: Kublai Khan: Khan of Mongol, Emperor of China by in60Learning

Title: Kublai Khan: Khan of Mongol, Emperor of China
Author: in60Learning
Publication: February 3rd 2018
Genre: Nonfiction, History
Purchase Link: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

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As the grandson of the one and only Genghis Khan, Kublai Khan had big shoes to fill. The Mongol Empire already spanned several countries and territories, but this didn’t satisfy Kublai. During his reign, he conquered Southern China, Korea, and several other parts of Southeast Asia, effectively doubling his empire. By the time of his death, people all over Asia and Europe knew his name. This e-book tells the life story of this infamous emperor of both Mongol and China who ruled from the legendary summer palace Xanadu.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan 
A stately pleasure-dome decree: 
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran 
Through caverns measureless to man 
Down to a sunless sea. 
So twice five miles of fertile ground 
With walls and towers were girdled round; 
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, 
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree; 
And here were forests ancient as the hills, 
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery. 
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1797

I've had a big interest for a while now in the Khans of Mongol whose empire lasted for almost 400 years. Genghis Khan is one of my favorite figures in history so I was really excited to read this book about his grandson, Kublai Khan who was also a great leader and ruled in the 13th century. I'm very happy to say it was a great read and maybe even my second favorite in60Learning book. 

I almost don't know where to start with this review. I actually took a lot of notes because it was all very fascinating. This book might be short but I feel like a learned so much more about Kublai Khan. It's a great book for those who don't have a lot of time but want to read about him. Once I started reading I couldn't stop until the final page.

I enjoyed all the chapters and it was super interesting to learn that the Mongul empire included: Mongolia, China, Korea, Azerbaijan, Armenia, The Russian Steppes, Khwarezmia (Islamic), Persia, Syria, Georgia, Turkestan, Hungary, Burma, Java and Vietnam. I knew the Mongul empire stretched far and wide but I was really surprised by this.

5 interesting facts I learned:

  • Polygamy was a practice accepted by the Monguls
  • When Kublai Khan died on February 18, 1294, it was the beginning of the end for the Mongul Empire.
  • Kublai Khan wrote some poetry, but most of it is lost to history.
  • Kublai Khan suffered from gout, which appears to have been a hereditary condition among Genghis Khan's children and grandchildren.
  • In the Mongul empire it was customary for the emperor to select his own successor. 

Some pictures related to Kublai Khan:

Painting of Kublai Khan on a hunting expedition, by Chinese court artist Liu Guandao, c. 1280.
{photo is public domain}

Kublai gives financial support to the Polo family.
{photo is public domain}

Longevity Hill in Beijing, where Kublai Khan wrote his poem.
{photo is public domain}

Chabi, Khatun of Kublai and Empress of the Mongol Empire
{photo is public domain}

Check out my other in60Learning reviews:


  1. Poetry huh? I would not have picked that! You do learn the most interesting things from this series!

    1. Just too bad most of the poetry he wrote is lost to history.

  2. I've been meaning to read books about Genghis Khan for quite a while now, and I see you're already charming me with his grandson! Hehe, I'll get to him as well, but it's so good to know you're having such a fantastic time with in60Learning :)

    1. I need more books about Genghis Khan in my life! No matter if it's nonfiction or fiction.

  3. Interesting! I did not know much about Kublai Khan except for Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem which I studied at uni, I probably should have read more about him!

    1. There were many quotes in this book to choose from by I chose Coleridge's poem because I love his work. ^_^

  4. You always find the most interesting topics!

  5. I love how much these books have captured your interest lately! I would be curious about this one because I am so intrigued by the country of China and Chinese history. I wish I had had a chance to study it when I took history in IB.

  6. My sister recently travelled to China and I have been intrigued by its history ever since she started sharing with me her pictures and sightseeing stories. This sounds like a worthwhile and interesting book! :)


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