Kristy McCaffrey's Reviews > Race to Tibet

Race to Tibet by Sophie Schiller
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it was amazing

In 1889, French explorer Gabriel Bonvalot set out to reach Tibet. At that time, no European had ever set foot in Lhasa, and he was determined to enter the well-guarded city and meet the Dalai Lama himself. To gain the funds to go, he’s forced to bring along Prince Henri d’Orléans, a pretender to the French throne and a scandalous playboy. Joining them in a large caravan is Camille Dancourt, a young French woman searching for her husband who disappeared in Tibet and was never heard from again.

Ms. Schiller has taken historical fact and woven an exciting adventure story around it. Traversing through Russia and the Tian Shan and Atlyn Tagh Mountains, the expedition is plagued by harsh weather, altitude sickness, hostile Tibetans and Chinese Mandarins who control all travel within the region. While Bonvalot’s ideals are lofty, he’s forced into thievery and violence to survive. It’s a harrowing journey, and there’s no doubt these early explorers were hardy souls. Prince Henri and Camille are not, but watching them grow and adapt throughout the trek adds a counterpoint to Bonvalot. There is also a side story involving a Buddhist princess that offers insight into the culture of Tibet. Today, we take for granted that westerners enter the Himalaya region easily, but without men like Bonvalot this might never have come to be. It’s a fascinating tale of determination chasing after mythology. I won’t spoil the story by telling you whether Bonvalot reaches his destination or not, but rather I encourage you to immerse yourself in this thrilling adventure into another land and time.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
April 20, 2015 – Finished Reading
May 11, 2015 – Shelved

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