Temujin comes into the world on the day the Mongols suffer a catastrophic defeat in battle. He isn't the hero type, but he has expectations to live up to, and he has a cause: freedom for his way of life, unity against China, where a nomad is an animal.
‘Through great fear have I lived; Through great grace I have my life.’ – from Temujin’s thanksgiving to his Sacred Mountain, which he believes has intervened to save him from an enemy. In The Secret History of the Mongols, committed to paper on the death of the figure we know as Genghis Khan, his own words, his own memories can be found. Those of his youth, that was hand-to-mouth and tooth-and-nail – when by his own lights he was least of a hero, but had to learn fast – are particularly vivid.
Amgalant One follows The Secret History step by step, incident to incident, as an unlikely lad grows into his kingly name, Tchingis.
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/