Verdict: If you want a book that approximates the experience of assembling a 100,000-piece, black and white jigsaw puzzle, then AMGALANT ONE: THE OLD IDEAL will fit the bill.
According to the author, this story is about Temujin, commonly known as Genghis Khan in the Western world. If a reader stuck with the book through a misleading prologue and very long, confusing passages to get to midway through the fourth chapter, they would get to Temujin’s birth. And then wish he’d never been born so they didn’t have to keep reading.
The author has clearly done her research, but she has not made it reader-friendly. In an ebook, it’s almost inexcusable that there are no links to the definitions of the over 150 foreign terms and proper names used without enough context to determine their meanings (particularly when they are densely packed in early stages of the book).
Stylistically, the book is a disconcerting mix of pseudo-classical, epic style and jarringly casual conversation by the same character with no discernible reason for the difference. Several styles and voices can be used within one novel to good effect, but it should be clear to the reader there is a reason behind each choice.
Transitions from scene to scene are impenetrable. There are ungrammatical phrases that appear to be meant as stream of conscious or poetical, but are simply distracting.
If you want to read about Genghis Khan, do yourself a favor and select the much clearer and rather entertaining (as well as insightful) nonfiction Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford, based on the same secret history that AMGALANT ONE: THE OLD IDEAL relies on.
If you want a book that approximates the experience of assembling a 100,000-piece, black and white jigsaw puzzle, then AMGALANT ONE: THE OLD IDEAL will fit the bill.
Reviewed by Jodi McMaster for IndieReader