In the steppes of High Asia, the year 1166…
‘What is a Mongol? – As free as the geese in the air, as in unison. The flights of the geese promise us we don’t give up independence, to unite.’
The hundred tribes of the Mongols have come together with one aim: to push back against the walls that have crept onto the steppe – farther than China has ever extended its walls before. Walls are repugnant to a nomad. But can people on horses push them down, even with a united effort?
This story begins when nobody has heard of Mongols – not even most Chinese, who think the vast Northern Waste at its weakest and are right. A spectacular history starts obscurely… Against Walls
is the first in a trilogy that gives voice to the Mongols in their explosive encounter with the great world under Tchingis Khan. Both epic and intimate, Amgalant
sees the world through Mongol eyes. It’s different from the world you know.
I'm a woman in my forties and live in Sydney, Australia. Amgalant began when I explored into The Secret History of the Mongols, a 13th century text, and knew I had found my perfect subject. I've always loved ancient/medieval epic and romance, and I've always been drawn to the cultures of tribal peoples, whose history we know too often through hostile or simply alien states - Rome, China. With Amgalant, I want to do justice to The Secret History, its art, its honesty. When they came to write this, their first book, the Mongols had two traditions to hand: oral epic - ubiquitous on the steppe - and stone inscriptions from past 'states on horseback' as the Chinese called them. The one lent poetry, the other concepts of how to tell a history. I argue that both traditions went towards our faulty hero. It isn't glorification. It's art, and it's analysis. Sequence of Amgalant: #1 Of Battles Past #2 When I am King Amgalant One: The Old Ideal is these together #3 Me and Atrocity #4 The Sheep from the Goats Amgalant Two: Tribal Brawls is these together I've published the lot in 2012. Nine years in the make, but I kept them to work on while I learnt, and only now am happy with the first. Amgalant Three, the final, is underway, at this stage titled Wonders and Horrors. My website http://amgalant.com/