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Silk Road

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,095 Ratings  ·  100 Reviews
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Atlantic Books (first published June 28th 2001)
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Rating details
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Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These are the kinds of historical fiction books I dream of. Richly detailed, well researched, a natural harmony between dialogue and non dialogue - never being too much of one or the other - a lesson in history and some engaging characters thrown in. Oh, and I am a little partial to journey stories too. They are one of my favourite ways for an author to channel an historical adventure story.
These are all facets that I look for in an historical fiction and if they hit the right points of balance
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Historical fiction lovers
Recommended to Anne by: Ancient and Medieval History group
Colin Falconer has written a fabulous book. Not only is it exciting and very readable it is also hard to put down. I have wanted to read it for quite a while but unable financially until the price was lowered to 99 cents which enabled me to buy it. From the start, I was mesmerized by Josseran's travels and felt I was truly with him and could actually smell the things he smelled, feel the hardness of a camel saddle(ouch), enjoy the fascinating people he met during the excruciatingly long trek alo ...more
Bob Mayer
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really like reading historical novels; and nonfiction. I'm in the midst of a book I'll review shortly when I'm done, about the frontier, when it was here, just on the other side of the Appalachians.

But this book is about a time much earlier. And set in another part of the world. So in a way, it was interesting on both levels. I did have my google earth app open for a lot of this. Basically, it's set in 1361. The Mongol hordes are swarming from the East. The Pope sends a priest as his emissary
I am always surprised when an adventure story that travels so far can gain my attention. These are not often books I enjoy enough to give more than 2 stars though the chance of finding one such as this keeps me reading.
It was fast, evocative and informative without being boring and I actually liked the crazy evil priest, he was a great character even though I hated him!
I didn't think the last 50-100 pages were as good as the rest, it got a little over dramatic.
I did like the very end though.
Helena Schrader
May 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-ages
“Silk Road” by Colin Falconer is well named because the silk road itself is the most complex, vivid and well-drawn character of the book. Falconer clearly did his research about the route itself – its changing geography and climates, and the diverse and fascinating people, who lived along it during the 13th century. His descriptions of the route itself are vivid, informative and evocative, as are his meticulous and convincing portrayals of Mongolian culture, life-style and politics in this perio ...more
Jan 31, 2015 rated it liked it
I just wrote a whole review on this and when I the last laptop highlighted the whole thing and I hit a button and was left with a lonely letter a in the whole box. I'm too mad at myself to rewrite it right now. had some good thoughts too. Something about Falconer being Chex Mix....I dunno. *sigh*
Sezinur Balıkçıoğlu
Colin Falconer'ın okuduğum ikinci kitabı ....iyi bir tarihi roman yazarı Falconer...
Петър Стойков
Исторически роман от най-добрите такива: с интересно, зарибяващо действие, персонажи, за които да ти пука, с изобилни и базирани на реалността исторически детайли.

Заглавието не е много добре избрано, защото всъщност действието се развива главно в империята на монголите (или, както ги наричат - татари) по времето на Кублай хан и няма нищо общо с Пътя на коприната, освен че главния герой се движи известно време по него.

Действието се развива от Сирия и битките на кръстоносците със сарацините, до Ки
Apr 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
alternates between some truly awful prose and banal stereotype B-level action and some real exciting action (the Mongol/Crusade setting is a prop for a fairly modern action adventure story as the characters act like the caricature of the noble but flawed crusader, evil inquisitor etc etc); still greatly enjoyed in parts so better class of pulp reading; comparable with the standard genre sff action adventure except that it's swords and horses rather than spaceships and laser guns
Bryn Hammond
Apr 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: steppe-fiction
Ancient & Medieval group read.
The descriptions were tremendous and I felt much of the time I was in a finely-written travel book. I don’t mean that negatively. It’s what I enjoyed most, the travel along the Silk Road. I saw in this much of Marco Polo’s travels and the journeys of friars to the Mongol court in the 13th century – Friar William in the novel is just such a monk on embassy as his namesake, Friar William of Rubruck, who left an account and understood the cultures he blundered thr
Viviane Crystal
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Josseran Sarrazini is a Christian Knight Templar who has a mission to guide a Dominican monk, William, to the far side of the world in what is present-day Beijing. It's the time of the Crusades in the 1200s and there is just as much in-fighting among the Christians as there is against the enemy Muslims who have captured and hold Jerusalem. The novel begins in Aleppo and covers for years the entire Silk Road from Palestine to Xanadu; not a day passes in which there is not unbridled adventure, mur ...more
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It appears to be well researched I liked the main character Josseran. He is pledged to take a very unlike able priest to see the Tatar Kahn of Kahns. They think it will be a month long journey. It takes them six months to get there and they find themselves in the center of a civil war. Josseran, a catholic and a Templar who has been a crusader in the holy land for five years. He
is exposed to many other religious and philosophical points of view which make him question his o
Leonide Martin
Dec 18, 2013 rated it liked it
This book was not for me. Too much violence, brutality and cruelty. Once the Mongols were established as vicious and ruthless, why keep subjecting the reader to such excesses? Depictions of the filth and disgusting living conditions were overblown (one reviewer commented that hygiene in the time was better than described). Descriptions of geography were compelling, from mountains to desert and the Silk Road. I appreciate the research into Tatar society, and complexities of the plot in Kubilai Kh ...more
Jul 07, 2014 rated it liked it
While I deeply enjoyed the part regarding the travel and the different cultures, I would have happily renounced to the drama of the improbable love story. That made this book a 3 stars read instead of four.
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Great Reading

I recommend this book! The story is fabulous! It's around the year 1260, I learn with this book about the culture of the Tartars, their food, the way they live. The main character name is Josseran , he knows different languages and he always was willing to learn another language and learn the costume of the place he was visiting . In other word he had a lot of diplomacy. He is traveling to the Roof of the World with a Dominican fryer. Too many incredible adventures await for t
Oct 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
April A&M Group Read. This was my first experience with this author. The mechanics of good writing were excellent. The book was set during the Crusades era, and most of the action took place on the trade route that connected Asia with Europe and Africa. That route was better known as the Silk Road. The descriptions of the panorama were outstanding. There were personal hardships crossing the deserts and the mountains on the Silk Road. There was great humor in the face of adversity, and there ...more
Mary Ann
Aug 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I feel very satisfied about this book. A grand, rich look at a Westerner encountering the landscapes, people and cultures of the Far East. Historical fiction (1206) , and a great adventure story. Lots to think about -- people of very different cultures encounter each other with pre-formed ideas about what that other culture is. They question religious beliefs, gods, "rules" of the other. They marvel at the food, clothes, habits of the other. Some characters try to learn, others just dismiss. Lot ...more
Oct 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un muy buen libro sobre la época de los cruzados hacia el año 1260 que narra la intención de los cristianos de aliarse con los mongoles, nueva potencia mundial, para derrotar y expulsar a los sarracenos de Tierra Santa.
La misión de un embajador del Papa y una escolta asignada que debe atravesar casi toda Asia, por la ruta de la seda, para establecer la alianza hace que se mezclen dos culturas antagonistas y es muy interesante conocer un poco más de los mongoles y la herencia dejada por Genhis Ka
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exotic and down to Earth

I loved this book, this brutal, yet wondrous clash of religions set within an equally brutal, wondrous geography. This is historical fiction at its best: researched, but "divinely" human; a love story where love becomes an ironic leap of faith and religious faith, a hallucination amid blowing sands.
Maya Morikawa
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Read this while travelling the Silk Road,so the towns were alive for me more than appeared in the book.
But the story was intriguing as I am sure many people's faiths were tested in those days.
This novel is set in 1260: a priest and a Knight Templar attempt to travel to the heartland of the Mongol Empire to negotiate with them - only to find that that empire is fracturing as Genghis Khan's grandsons argue over the succession. They are journeying to lands that most 13th century Christians thought were semi-mythical, lands filled with people of many races and religions - and the priest cannot abide any of them. On the other hand, the Knight, Josseran has travelled more, speaks many lang ...more
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Following finishing this book, I decided to read Peter Frankopan's non fiction history 'The Silk Roads'. At the time of writing this I've got no further than the preface in which Mr Frankopan remarks on the narrow history syllabus taught in Western schools. How right he is. This novel sent me time and again to Google to look up one thing or another for I have very little knowledge of world history beyond that of the UK and Europe and the USA. I knew vaguely that there was some one called Genghis ...more
Victor Carson
One of the best books I have read in the past five years. A spectacular setting, encompassing the last years of the Templar presence in the Holy Land, the seige of the Saracen stronghold at Aleppo by a Mongol Tatar army, and a civil war between Kublai Khan and his brother to become the Khan of Khans. The story follows a journey by a Templar Knight and a Dominican Friar from the Holy Land to Aleppo and from Aleppo, via the Silk Road over The Roof of the World, to China. The historical detail is i ...more
Hideous ending

I always hesitate before reading a book because I worry that the ending will be disappointing. This ending was not only disappointing but hideous with torture of a pregnant woman and her full-term baby. Remember that this is a work of fiction and the author chose every word. The ending had one shocking torture after another, each worse than the one before culminating with the gruesome death of an innocent woman who had endured tortured her whole life. Prior to the ending chapters,
Phyllis Stewart
Almost perfect but not quite

For someone who has published more than 50 books, there's really no excuse for not paying for a final line edit. A col is not the apex. A col is the depression between two high spaces instead. Dictionaries are free and there to be used. The quoted sentences should be correctly attributed to the two separate characters, not slapped within on line with an opposing character's line. Punctuation should be correctly written. Two periods instead of one, a comma next to a pe
Margaret Lockhart
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A raw and brutal look at man, culture and religion

I chose 4 out of 5 stars not because the author was less than amazing but because the story was so unabashedly Raw. I found I couldn't help but want to see the two love interests win out and finally realize there life together. But the depths of deprivation of the soul of the priest had me sickened. The look into the culture of the Tartar people was fascinating. The author's ability to describe and craft the story is nothing short of brilliant.
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVE!! I could not put this down!

The characters and the story line caught hold of me in the first page and never let go. This book does the thing I love most about books and that is making me think about different places, cultures, times and experiences in such a way that I immediately go out and find everything I can on the topic and/or time period!
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Silk Road

Historical fiction beyond what I’ve read before, weaving the Templars in with the Mongols and the hardships of the desert. So many cultures and thoughts of religion and managing to portray the intolerance of early Catholicism in it’s true nasty form. I loved it.
patricia snitzer
Page Turner

Great read. Enjoyed the combination of history, adventure, romance and cultures. It was definitely a page turner. The different views from the three main characters sharing the same prejudices that we have today, fearing the unknown and unfamiliar.
Donna Robey-sullivan
Entertaining. Love historical fiction.
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