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Silk Road

Silk Road

Written by Colin Falconer

Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller


Silk Road

Written by Colin Falconer

Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller

ratings:
4.5/5 (5 ratings)
Length:
14 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Dec 4, 2018
ISBN:
9781541485914
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

The Holy Land, 1260.

Josseran Sarrazini is chosen to escort the Pope's emissary on an embassy to the all-conquering Mongol horde in an effort to save all Christendom from destruction. But although he serves as a Templar warrior, Josseran is not all that he appears to be — and he despises the Pope's man on sight.

Now they have to spend nine months in each other's company on the most dangerous and most inhospitable journey on the earth — across the legendary deserts of Persia, through the horrific black hurricanes of the Taklimakan, along the entire spider's web of the Silk Road to Khubilai Khan's legendary capital at Xanadu. When he sets out, Josseran cannot know then that he will never see Christendom again.

Meanwhile, somewhere near the Roof of the World, a Tatar princess possessing a gift for prophecy, defies her father's attempts to marry her off to the sons of other tribal chiefs. She does not belong in her world any more than Josseran belongs in his.

Now fate will bring their paths on a collision course somewhere on the Silk Road and change the course of her life, and Josseran's, forever.

From the Storehouse of Winds to the Palace of Myriad Tranquillities, from the Pamirs and Hindu Kush to the legendary Xanadu and the dazzling court of Khubilai Khan, this is romance and adventure on a breathtaking scale.

Contains mature themes.

Publisher:
Released:
Dec 4, 2018
ISBN:
9781541485914
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Born in the north of London, Colin drove cabs and played guitar in dark bars and rough pubs before joining an advertising agency - 'a step down.' He then worked as a television and radio scriptwriter, and as a freelance journalist. He has been a full time novelist for the last twenty years. He has been a full time novelist for the last twenty years, with his historical novels published widely in Europe, the UK and the USA and translated into seventeen languages. "Falconer's grasp of the period and places is almost flawless; his pace is good, the dialogue convincing and descriptions effective. He's my kind of writer." The Australian His quest for authenticity led him to run with the bulls in Pamplona, chase tornadoes across Texas and Oklahoma, go cage shark diving in South Africa, and get tear gassed in La Paz. He has also chased black witches in Mexico and went into the Amazon to undergo ayahuasca ceremonies with Peruvian shamans. A critic once introduced him to an audience this way: 'Colin Falconer's novels are based on dedicated research and a profound knowledge of his subject, stories of passion and human frailty drawn on a vast canvas, about the perennial nature of love and the human spirit.'


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Reviews

What people think about Silk Road

4.6
5 ratings / 4 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    I received an advance review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is an epic tale of a journey along the Silk Road in an attempt to negotiate a union with the Tatars against the Saracens and an attempt to convert the Khan of the Mongolian empire to Christianity during the 13th century Crusades. The author depicts the brutality, violence, and excesses of the era and culture with brutal honesty giving the reader insight into the Mongolian and Chinese lifestyle. The author’s descriptions of the characters and their individual personalities are colorful, vibrant, and believable. Colin Falconer has done a great deal of research in order to depict such an accurate epic tale. As I read this book I was reminded of the writing style of Ken Follett. I found the glossary and the location headings very helpful. This is a fabulous exciting book that I found very hard to put down and I recommend to anyone that wants to read a good book.
  • (4/5)
    Six-word review: Absorbing adventure-romance spanning medieval Asia.Extended review:Silk Road is an exciting action tale that makes the most of its dramatic social, cultural, and topographical settings, which are well integrated into the story. In the mid-thirteenth century a Knight Templar named Josseran Sarrazini sets off eastward from the Mediterranean across Asia on a mission for his order. The ancient Silk Road, though well traveled, was still a rugged route that took months to traverse through terrain beset by dangers of every kind. The warrior daughter of a Tatar chieftain is assigned to guide the knight across a portion of the treacherous domain controlled by her people at a time when the vast empire of the Khans is threatened by political upheaval.As Josseran's progressive disenchantment with his mission comes into conflict with his pragmatic commitment to the Templar order, he begins to see that he has nothing to go home for. Meanwhile, his attention is occupied by the daily battle for survival and the allure of the chieftain's daughter. This well-researched blend of history and geography with romance and adventure delivers a strong sense of time and place and cultural diversity. Set in a time of transition, when the rivalry between brothers (grandsons of Genghis Khan) for the title of Khan of Khans causes the breakdown of a united empire, the novel vividly depicts two strains of the race of Tatars: the traditional nomadic peoples of Central Asia and the Chinese-acculturated khans. It is culturally nonjudgmental for the most part, although the Dominican friars look bad, and so do the Chinese Tatars.I'm not much of a reader of romances, but there is enough else going on to keep that aspect of the story from dominating it. Instead, it weaves in and out and adds an intimate dimension to a story that is in many other respects a rich sensory experience with an inherently cinematic quality. This is, in fact, one of those novels that clamor to be a movie. I can't help suspecting that the author kept the screenplay in mind as he set down his scenes and action. The last glimpse of Josseran is an extreme long shot that gives us just enough to carry forward in our imagination.Oddly, there is a strange shift at the end. The plot takes a sudden turn that completes one storyline well enough but nevertheless seems to throw the structure off balance, like adding that one last log to the woodpile, the one that turns out to be one too many.As I sometimes like to do, I read this novel in tandem with a related work of nonfiction, in this case Valerie Hansen's The Silk Road: A New History. I found that each amplified the other, one supplying context and concrete detail and the other lending much color and movement. By now, two months later, the two have merged and mellowed nicely in my mind, leaving me with a luminous mental picture of a time and place that had thitherto been dark to me.What else I happened to be reading at the same time was The Martian, and there I found unlooked-for parallels. Like Mark Watney on Mars, Josseran embodies both of the two basic plot structures: "someone takes a trip" and "a stranger comes to town." He is compelled to take an unexpected journey, and for some long part of it all he wants is to get home. He must be resourceful and adaptive to meet changing conditions and survive mortal challenges in a harsh environment. In both, the setting is crucial to story. Unlike Mark, Josseran finds guides all along the way; but Mark has all of NASA in his corner, as well as an arsenal of equipment. Also unlike Mark, Josseran loses his impetus to accomplish his mission when it becomes meaningless. In both, however, there is a strong echo of the classic hero's journey described by Campbell, the mythic quest to reach the goal and return with the elixir. No matter how many times we hear it, it always makes a good story.(Kindle edition)
  • (4/5)
    Fascinating, chaotic, political, religious road trip novel involving Christians, Saracens, Tartars, and Chinese set during the Crusades in 1260 ACE. Josseran Sarrazini,a Knight Templar is tasked with a secret mission to China to negotiate a union with the Tartars against the Saracens. If that impossible job weren't enough he also must escort fanatical Christian monk, William, who is bent on converting every nonbeliever he encounters, even if it means the death of him and everyone in his party. These two men are each others nemesis.Destiny leads to their encounter with Khutelun, a fiercely independent Warrior Woman of the steppes who tempers the barbarity of her people by proving to be as curious about the Christian Knight as he is about her. Later in the novel, Sarrazini meets and makes an important ally of the gentle, petal-footed princess of China, the complete opposite of the fiery Khutelan, who has captured Sarrazini's attention and heart. This book is primarily a period political novel that explores the twists and turns of shifting secular and religious alliances. Thematically, it is an exploration of exploration, spatial and temporal. Falconer examines the nature of encountering the new from the perspective of a liberal minded man (Sarrazini) and an ultra-conservative one embodied in Brother William.Readers will be fascinated to learn details of the daily lives, cultural customs, and political machinations of the Tartars. Historical detail is rich and accurate, betrayals, duplicities, and character conversions will keep the reader breathlessly trying to keep pace with the action in this well developed, fully realized, intelligent action-packed novel. This is a book with broad appeal for the more intellectual reader as well as the red-meat adventure lover.
  • (5/5)
    Great story telling, against the background of Kubli's battle to be Kahn of kahns and the end of the crusader conquests. Really great story telling , a very compelling story, you can actually feel the emotions of the characters