About Akmaral

a nomad woman warrior of the ancient Asian steppes must make peace with making war

—from Regal House Publishing

Pronunciation: ähk-mä-räl | Meaning: White Deer | Origin: Kazakhstan

Before the Silk Road had a name, nomads roamed the Eurasian steppes and women fought side by side as equals with men.

Like all women of the Sauromatae, Akmaral is bound for battle from birth, training as a girl in horsemanship, archery, spear and blade. Her prowess ignites the jealousy of Erzhan, a gifted warrior who hates her as much as he desires her. When Scythian renegades attack, the two must unite to defeat them. Among their captives is Timor, the rebels’ enigmatic leader who refuses to be broken, even as he is enslaved. He fascinates Akmaral. But as attraction grows to passion, she is blinded to the dangerous alliance forming between the men who bristle against the clan’s matriarchal rule. Faced with brutal betrayal, Akmaral must find the strength to defend her people and fulfill her destiny.

Inspired by legends of Amazon women warriors told by ancient Greek historian Herodotus, and evidenced by several archaeological discoveries in Central Asia:

  • the Ice Maiden on the Ukok Plateau, called the “Pasture of Heaven” by the people of the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia; and
  • the “Golden Man” of Issyk, a warrior burial that researchers believe might actually be a woman.

Judith Lindbergh

on the origins of AKMARAL:

“The story of AKMARAL grew out of one question:

‘What would a woman like me fight and die for?’

The answer was clear: she would fight to protect her family.”

AKMARAL - MAP of Central Asia 5th century BCE
Central Asia, 5th century BCE

Praise for Akmaral:

“Fraught with conflict both internal and external. Thoroughly imagined and vividly described… Fans of Madeline Miller and Natalie Haynes will relish how Lindbergh weaves fact and fiction to craft a gripping saga, a love story, and a convincing portrait of a time and people lost to history.” —Christina Baker Kline, #1 bestselling author of Orphan Train and The Exiles

“Meticulously researched, deeply imagined Akmaral brings the joy and hardship of a nomad woman warrior to vibrant, often aching life.” —Cathy Marie Buchanan, New York Times bestselling author of Daughter of Black Lake and The Painted Girls

“Akmaral delves deep into female power and confronts complex issues about womanhood, motherhood, and the sacrifices women make to protect those they love: issues as powerful today as they were in ancient times. If you love Madeline Miller’s Circe, you must read Akmaral. Lindbergh delivers a breath-taking story filled with vivid characters, haunted landscapes, powerful battle scenes, and a love story you will not soon forget.” —Laurie Lico Albanese, award-winning author of Hester

“Magically immersive…. You will smell the sweat of the horses and feel the ache of a warrior who is also a mother and a lover. Akmaral transported me, night after page-turning night, to a world I would never have been able to experience otherwise.” —Barbara Quick, author of Vivaldi’s Virgins and What Disappears

“Akmaral may be one of the most fascinating warriors in literature…. Written with a wild poetry, the author brings to life a strong woman and her unforgettable story amid stark cliffs and green pastures. Akmaral is pure literary magic.” Stephanie Cowell, American Book Award recipient and author of Claude & Camille: a novel of Monet and The Boy in the Rain