Saturday, 1 October 2011

HISTORICAL FICTION: The Silk Road - Colin Falconer

Release Date: 01/10/11


1260 AD: Josseran Sarrazini is a man divided in his soul. A Christian Knight Templar haunted by a shameful past, he hopes to find redemption in a dangerous crusade: a journey from Palestine to Xanadu, to form a crucial allegiance against the Saracens at the legendary court of Kubilai Khan - the seat of the Mongol Empire. Instead he finds the solace he seeks in a warrior-princess from a heathen tribe. Beautiful and ferocious, Khutelun is a Tartar, a nomadic rider of the Mongolian steppe. Although their union is utterly impossible, she will find in Josseran what she cannot find in one of her own. Parched by desert winds, pursued by Saracen hordes, and now tormented by a passion he cannot control, Josseran must abandon Khutelun if he is to complete his journey and save his soul. Worse, he must travel with William, a Dominican friar of fearsome zeal who longs for matyrdom, but whose life Josseran is sworn to protect. And worse yet, he will arrive in Xanadu just as the greatest empire in human history plunges into civil war. Winding through the plains of Palestine and over the high mountains of the Hindu Kush, from the empty wastes of the Taklimakan desert to the golden palaces of China, Silk Road weaves a spellbinding story of sin, desire, conflict and human frailty onto the vast tapestry of the medieval orient.


This title is one that takes it time to get going and whilst it does, it allows the reader to become accustomed to the Thirteenth Century and the roads less travelled when the Holy Land was at the centre of the crusades. It’s wonderfully written, the characters gripping and with an epic story to unfurl within, it’s one that keeps you going from the start to the end.

Whilst this title is one that may not appeal to all, it brings political, social and of course friendships to the fore alongside adding a love story to the mix which gives the reader something to hang onto throughout. Add to this a treachery and a man who feels his own damnation and this title is overall very satisfying. Definitely one to enjoy over a few nights with a glass or two of your favourite tipple.

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