In the latter part of the 18th century, about 400, 000 Kalmuck Tartars left their Russian homes to relocate near the outer wall of China. This was a massive undertaking moving men, women, children, household goods, and animals over mountains, steppes, frozen rivers, deserts and fertile lands. Its a book which is describing in detail the horrors of that journey. The ancestors of the Kalmucks were Tartars and Mongols who were nomadic warriors. When they warred, they took their families, food, animals, and gers with them.