In the steppes of High Asia, the year 1188…
‘Jamuqa rode his trophy mare, off-white, black-pointed, on a Tartar seat, high arches of ornamental silver fore and aft. He wore a winterfur of snow leopard, near white with black whorls. The effect was kingly and fantastic: he might be Irle Khan himself, the king of ghosts, in his eerie splendour.’
Aged twenty, Temujin has been named Tchingis, khan over the Mongols. But only a third of his people accept a kingship based on dreams and omens. His own sworn brother Jamuqa challenges his title, and comes in the guise of a mock king against him.
The steppe has been without a great khan for three hundred years – fragmented in the face of giant China. Are dreams and omens enough to unify its peoples? What makes a true king?
Imaginary Kings is the second 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.
'Perhaps most important in understanding another people is understanding their culture. This is where Hammond takes Imaginary Kings above and beyond most histories and beyond any history of the Mongols I have encountered. History tends to tell the "what". Culture tells the how and why.'