|Print List Price:||$16.00|
Save $12.00 (75%)
Against Walls (Amgalant Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 572 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
Matchbook Price: $0.00
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
- Similar books to Against Walls (Amgalant Book 1)
Try Kindle Countdown Deals
Explore limited-time discounted eBooks. Learn more.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This book came to me free from Amazon. I have read two other books about Genghis Khan, so he is one of my favorite historical characters. The present book was by turns easy and hard to read. The misuse of personal pronouns, punctuation errors and sentence fragmentation made the book difficult for me to read. I read the book in ebook format. Some errors may have been due to the formatting or the edition I had. These are the negatives about the book which garnered a three star rating.
The positives far outweighed the negatives. It was a read that I looked forward to each day. It sounds trite to say that Genghis Khan was a truly great man; but, oh my, he was that and more. The author described him as such through her words. She wrote correctly about the things he did and things he accomplished. The author wrote her well researched truth about Genghis Khan making her book a very good read. Thank you, dear author. I look foward to reading your next book in the series.
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? Questions are at the heart of this version of the Mongol enterprise, when the future of much of the world could hinge on a shaman's reading of the cracks in a sheep's scapula. The rise of Genghis Khan might have been prophesied, but in this novel it was a supremely complicated thing to those who lived the beginnings of the largest empire known to man in tents.
As for the novel's actual prose, there's an aspect that at first was hard for me to get a handle on.... Hammond is totally (gleefully!) anachronistic, both in authorial commentary and in the speech and thought of her characters, so that the 13th century is displayed through contemporary, sometimes slangy, language. Ta! If you are bothered by anachronism, you will be bothered. As for me, once I adjusted, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, for Hammond's writing is rich, nuanced, humorous. Also, since there is no record of how her protagonists actually spoke, by simply abdicating from the attempt to "translate" their tribal language(s), she avoids the clunky linguistic contrivances of novelists that attempt to fake ancient and foreign, never written speech....
And I loved the strength and wisdom of the women in this novel, which surprised me, given a society in which they could be one of the spoils of battle.
In sum, Amgalant is a rare and different, wonderful read, although not always easy. Hats off to Hammond for her long, loving and continuing discipline. I look forward to reading the next volume.
One of the many delights I encountered in this novel was that it's written from the point of view of the Mongols. We speak of the Great Wall of China as if it were a single smartly executed defensive structure built by the civilized Chinese to keep out their "barbarian" neighbors to the north. Maps of the "Great Wall" reveal that it's actually a number of mostly parallel east-to-west walls. The Mongols and their allies viewed these walls as offensive movements by the Chinese to bring more and more "barbarian" territory into China.
Thus: "these ghastly dead gigantic insects that crept across the steppe. . . . These ugly mean-spirited possessions of our mother earth, these worms, these anti-liberty flags and wind-blown banners to imprisonment, these thistles in the grass, these lines of poison. A nomad can do poetry, on walls. The Wall is what we hate. Civilization is what has done us wrong."
Another joy for me is Hammond's unique style, which isn't meant for quick reading but for reading and contemplation. Here are some tidbits:
"`Too stupid for battle. Is that a sort of oxymoron?' His uncle the khan fixed an eye on him. `An oxymoron's the other thing.'"
"At the worst news in the Mongols' history, she wept for joy." (She'd also learned that the man she loved had survived a disastrous war fought against both the Tartars and Chinese.)
"Survivors, for their punishment, have the worst sight."
"Even a suspect action can have a nice consequence."
"There's a funny trick with knowledge of the future: you're not meant to act and twist things up. You're almost meant to know and then forget -- go on as if you didn't know."
"The world's early kings were sacred kings and had to be. Religious awe: tried-and-true to subjugate minds and overthrow the insistent, rowdy equality of tribes. In general, religion is found hand-in-glove with despots."
And I'm so glad to see these "uncivilized" Mongol "barbarians" portrayed as people whose humanity and intelligence equal, when they don't exceed, our own.
The son of a chieftain and his brothers abduct the bride of a member of another clan. They're pleased when the groom makes no futile attempt to fight them off. They didn't want to harm or kill him. The bride, who'd invited her abduction by staring approvingly at her abductor, wastes no time deciding she'd rather have him for a husband than the man she'd been promised to.
The new couple's first child, born on the worst day of that disastrous war, is Genghis Khan.
This is the kind of historical fiction I love. I greatly enjoyed the time I spent with Hammond's Mongols.