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Amgalant One: The Old Ideal Paperback – November 17, 2012
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From the Author
More About the Author
Always a writer, but it's with Amgalant I settled down. Before that, I spent years over a creative translation of Beowulf, and on unfinished sf/f novels with an inclination to New Weird - often a historical setting with extraterrestrials. Now it's simply Mongols. An encounter with the Alexiad in my teens captured my imagination on behalf of steppe peoples, and afterwards I saw Gibbon's Decline and Fall from a barbarian perspective.
I'm interested in the convergences and intersections of history and imaginative work. I've understood the past through its written arts; and I think it's possible to write decent history as art, too.
Top Customer Reviews
As to the why, it's clear that she is herself enraptured by the time, the place ... and above all the historic characters she fleshes out to live their complex tribal lives. Hammond has researched every aspect of her enterprise, not to harass us with needless historic detail, but to make sure that the experience of the reader will be full and genuine. This is your chance to travel in space and time, and BE THERE, as the Temujin of the text--one day to be known as Genghis Khan--is fashioned into what was prophesied at his birth, when he was born with a blood clot in his fist.
You learn what the Mongols eat (a lot of sheep, it seems) and drink (black milk!). You discover many other things about their tribal culture. But essentially, the novel takes you into the minds of the protagonists as the Secret History plays itself out....
Seeing as Mongols saw each other, and the world (I got a new take on ancient China, and the wall intended to keep barbarians out), is where much of the action takes place. Interior conflicts.... Interior/exterior conflicts.... Interior monologues.... Interior dialogues ... trialogues...? Tribal conferences. Alliances with Tartars? War? What to do?Read more ›
At first glance, this didn't seem like something I'd might normally be looking for. But I came across it on my husband's Kindle, and then I lived thru it, exclusively, for the next whole week.
Because the start of the novel closely tracks the ancient tone of the "Secret History" it took me just a little effort to get rolling. But just as I was wavering, the real story kicked in and from that point on I couldn't put it down. I was thoroughly immersed in Mongol culture and the action sequences simply flew off the pages.
My only issues with the novel were with the author's highly personal writing style. For the most part, her unique voice is entertaining and often very funny. But sometimes a sentence could feel just a little bit too clever for me, as if a puzzle or a riddle had been inserted to test my understanding. These could sometimes stop me in my tracks.
Readers should be aware that though this is a longish book, it's only the beginning of an epic triolgy. The hero is just 21 years old when the first volume ends. Fortunately, you can jump directly into the second book (I already bought it), but we will have to wait a few years for the final volume.
Bottom line, Amgalant One is a riveting start to an epic trilogy that brings one of the most important figures in world history to life. Readers who might fear that this is a book for scholars can feel assured that this was tons of fun and full of imagination and memorable characters.
At first it started a little slower than I expected, but once the main story got started I just couldn't put it down. This is only the 1st part of a triology so I look forward to reading the next two. I've already got Amgalant Two: Tribal Brawls.
The author has a great imagination and the characters of this trilogy will leave you looking forward to the next book. Having such memorable characters is essential to any trilogy or storyline.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An all-time favorite. Highly recommended. You won't find a better interpretation of the Secret History of the Mongols. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Edgar
Three stars does not mean that the book was just 'o.k.' I am disappointed in Amazon for taking such a liberty with my rating.
This book came to me free from Amazon. Read more