War, sex and political intrigue. This beautifully researched novel will reveal the truth behind modern bhuddism

A historical novel, based on actual characters & events

The Guardian of the Lion Throne is the result of extensive research into the Buddhist religion at the time of Genghis Khan. It is based on actual events that set the foundations of Buddhism in Tibet as we know it today. This gripping story will not only keep you enthralled until the very last page, it will open your eyes to the bloody history of one of the world's most peaceful religions.


On the fifteenth of June, 1578, a Tibetan lama named Sonam Gyatso met with a Mongolian prince, Altan Khan, and they struck a patron-priest alliance, called a Yon-cho.  But this was no ordinary Yon-cho – it gave the young monk the title of Dalai Lama and bestowed upon him religious and secular authority over all of Tibet and the Tibetan Buddhist religion. 

Intended to be a vehicle to reunite the fractured Mongol tribes into one nation and be the foundation of a new method of succession for the Mongol leadership, the Dalai Lama position and the Yon-cho which underpinned it were rejected by opposing elements within Tibet and Mongolia, resulting in political and religious factions in both nations vying to either destroy or defend the new Dalai Lama tradition.  Only when another Mongolian Khan, Gushri of the Qoshots, subdued the opposing factions and established another Yon-cho with another Dalai Lama, the Fifth, did peace return and the Dalai Lama tradition truly flourish.

But the survival of the Dalai Lama tradition beyond the life of the first incumbent was down to one man, Sonam Chopel. 

Gifted to the Gelug church as a young boy on the death of his peasant farming father, Sonam Chopel dedicated his life to the furtherance of his new family – the Gelug church and its leader, the Dalai Lama. Driven by his all-consuming passion for his church and its leader, Sonam Chopel soon came to the notice of the Dalai Lama and quickly rose to a position of trust, so much so that on his death bed, a dying Sonam Gyatso ordered the young monk be given the position of Lord Protector and be the temporary holder of the Dalai Lama’s Lion Throne until the reincarnate Dalai Lama was identified. 

From his new position of authority Sonam Chopel was later appointed Regent to the Mongol Khans and Prime Minister to the Dalai Lama, positions he kept until his death.  As their closest confidant, he remained at the side of the 4th and 5th Dalai Lamas and steered his church and his country through the turmoil and religious wars that plagued the mountain lands for over fifty years.

Author's comments

Although a work of fiction, this novel is based on real historical events and people and portrays the remarkable life story of Sonam Chopel, the Guardian of the Lion Throne. Throughout this novel the reader will find accurate descriptions of the major historical sites mentioned, along with insights to Tibetan Buddhism’s philosophy, principles, and practices.  In pursuit of that accuracy, I visited those locations in Tibet, Mongolia, and China and the USB flash drive version includes some of my photos of those sites as well as images of the principal Tibetan Buddhism deities.  I hope you, the reader, will find the story as fascinating as I do.