Gentlemen of the RoadBook - 2007
A rollicking saga set a thousand years ago along the ancient Silk Road, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.
Gentlemen of the Road is set in the Kingdom of Arran, in the Caucasus Mountains, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, A.D. 950. It tells the tale of two wandering adventurers and unlikely soul mates, variously plying their trades as swords for hire, horse thieves, and flimflam artists–until fortune entangles them in the myriad schemes and battles following a bloody coup in the medieval Jewish empire of the Khazars. Hired as escorts for a fugitive prince, they quickly find themselves half-willing generals in a mad rebellion, struggling to restore the prince’s family to the throne. As their increasingly outrageous exploits unfold, they encounter a wondrous elephant, wily Rhandanite tradesman, whores, thieves, soldiers, an emperor, and the truth about their young royal charge, whose slender frame conceals a startling secret and a warrior’s heart.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Set more than 1000 years ago, in Khazaria, the fabled kingdom of wild, red-haired Jews,this tale of “Jews with Swords” involves Filaq, young heir to the recently deposed king of the Khazars. He is traveling under duress to his grandfather’s house with his guardian when they come across the heroes of the book. Zelikman is a morose, Frankish physician, and, Amram, his gigantic, Abysinian friend. When the guardian is murdered by the pursuers, these two swindlers, horse thieves, bodyguards for hire, endeavor to complete the task and collect the reward for Filaq’s safe delivery Their attempts to restore Filaq to the throne make for a terrifically entertaining, modern pulp adventure replete with marauding armies, drunken Vikings, beautiful prostitutes, and rampaging elephants.
A significant change from Chabon's weightier novels, this dazzling trifle is simply terrific fun.
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