Ancient & Medieval Historical Fiction discussion

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Monthly Group Reads > APRIL 2013 (Group Read 2): Silk Road by Colin Falconer

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message 1: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Mar 14, 2013 02:10PM) (new)

Terri | 19571 comments This is the Discussion thread for the April Group Read of Silk Road by Colin Falconer.

Silk Road by Colin Falconer

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.



message 2: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19571 comments My library has this cover Silk Road by Colin Falconer
but I much prefer the purple-grey one.
Silk Road by Colin Falconer


message 3: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19571 comments I have reserved my copy of Silk Road for April.

My library had about 5 copies and they are all due back approx 5th April.

there is no way that there will be a hold up this time (unlike other group reads where I have reserved books for the read and something happens to postpone it).
Because they have so many copies and they are all due back early April I will definitely be starting Silk road in the first week of April.

I will kick off the month with the other group read (the Ancient one) Conspiracies of Rome then come onto the Silk Road group read as soon as I finish that up.


message 4: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19571 comments I have this one in my possession now.
I will read the other group read first come April 1 I think as it is a smaller book.


message 5: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19571 comments Have added a short 6 minute video on the Silk Road to the group to coincide with the Silk Road group read.
http://www.goodreads.com/videos/40725...


message 6: by Colin (new)

Colin Falconer (httpscolinfalconerorg) | 15 comments Hi Teri, rapt that you've chosen SILK ROAD as one of your books to read this month. Thanks to Michelle and Darcy for letting me know and inviting me to drop by. I'd be delighted to answer any questions you and your readers might have about the novel. And I agree with you about the cover - the paperback cover is much, much better. Covers are a sore point with me ... And that's a nice video you found to go with the book! COLIN FALCONER.


message 7: by Mark (new)

Mark | 1879 comments welcome Colin.


message 8: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19571 comments Welcome Colin. Great to have you join us.

And thanks to those who tweeted Colin to let him know we are reading Silk Road this month.

I don't know how many will be on the two group reads this months as I know some of our regular group readers cannot source the books at their libraries.

I hope as the month progresses that more and more will join in the read, but until then, there are definitely a couple of us who will be reading your book in April and commenting here, Colin. :)

I started the month out with our 'Ancient Group Read' Conspiracies of Rome so I will still be a few days off starting Silk Road.

RE: Covers
I'll have you know. That purple cover is one of my new favourite historical fiction covers. Everytime I see it I find it really pleasant to the eye. :)


message 9: by Darcy (new)

Darcy (drokka) | 2675 comments Thank you for joining us Colin
I'm all moved in to my new abode, so I'll be starting this tomorrow. :)


message 10: by Colin (new)

Colin Falconer (httpscolinfalconerorg) | 15 comments Terri wrote: "Welcome Colin. Great to have you join us.

And thanks to those who tweeted Colin to let him know we are reading Silk Road this month.

I don't know how many will be on the two group reads this mont..."


Thanks Teri. I think the problem is that US publishers still haven't bought SILK ROAD - they say an Australian author is too difficult to promote - they seem not to have heard about the internet and forgotten that I know live in Europe. I believe it is why the eBook market has taken off, because so many authors have found a huge audience for their work that publishers previously told them did not exist. But don't get me started on publishers!!! A lot of readers are suspicious of Amazon but authors mostly love them for that reason. If any of your US group members has an eReader and would like to read SILK ROAD email me at colin_falconer_author@hotmail.com and I'll send them a file for free so they can read along.


message 11: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19571 comments What a fantastic offer.
I will let some people know! Hopefully they aren't committed to other books and can jump in and read it this month.

It keeps surprising me the amount of authors that aren't gettign taken up by US publishers. They must be so cautious right now with the ecomony and the whole ebook and Amazon market.
You are not our first author to have this issue. (and won't be our last I imagine).
We had Andrew Swanston's book The King's Spy recently and our US members just couldn't get his book, and the ebook edition was over $15.
Same problem with Richard Blake with this months April 'Ancient' read. He has 10 books and yet he isn't readily available in the US market.
Another was Michael Arnold who has a four book series.

you are all successful authors who have written many high quality books and yet the US and North American market is very reluctant to give you all deals.

It is a shame the book market is in such an uncertain state of affairs right now. It is to the detriment of authors and readers.

I shall let people know that you are making your ebook available for the group read. :)

(for the record..I am paper all the way..I don't like ebooks)


message 12: by Colin (new)

Colin Falconer (httpscolinfalconerorg) | 15 comments Teri, I understand how readers like print books (even though I am a complete eBook fanatic - I am child-like in my need for immediate gratification I guess!) but it's print publishers who are partly responsible for the eBook revolution as Andrew, Richard and Michael may attest. My eBook publishers in the US plan to make all my books available in print - something the print publishers will not/cannot do. (Ironically, I believe eBooks will make print books more readily available.) I don't think readers and book groups yet realize the growing power they possess - power that once belonged to Big6 publishers - that's why Amazon bought Goodreads!!! I know this is an unlikely conversation for an Historical Fiction site, but I think HF is one of the genres hardest hit by print publisher policies.


message 13: by Daniel (new)

Daniel (dward526) | 290 comments Beginning to read this book today (kobo in case anyone is wondering). Looking forward to this as I find the idea fascinating.


message 14: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Apr 02, 2013 01:19PM) (new)

Terri | 19571 comments Daniel wrote: "Beginning to read this book today (kobo in case anyone is wondering). Looking forward to this as I find the idea fascinating."

Kobo! Well good on you. :)

Great to have you along on another group read, Daniel!


message 15: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Apr 02, 2013 01:22PM) (new)

Terri | 19571 comments Colin wrote: "Teri, I understand how readers like print books (even though I am a complete eBook fanatic - I am child-like in my need for immediate gratification I guess!) but it's print publishers who are partl..."

I also don't think publishers know their HF audience yet. I think they know some of the female demographic as the ladies do like the more female targeted type of HF. They seem to sell like hot cakes.
They also know some of their male market, thanks to Bernard Cornwell and Conn Iggulden.
But I sometimes wonder if the big6 are learning their way with what I call 'unisex' HF. HF that can be marketed at both sexes. The kind of books you will find in here.
As you can see on the Groups Recommended Reading List: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/24...
I am seeing more of these 'unisex' reads becoming available in the UK and Europe. UK publishers seem to me more trusting that they will sell. I hope soon that the US publishers will take leaps of faith with books that are marketed at both sexes.


message 16: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 1505 comments Amen.


message 17: by Daniel (new)

Daniel (dward526) | 290 comments Bryn wrote: "Amen."

Agreed.

On other notes, finished Part 1, it was ok. I have a feeling it was written more to introduce the characters and setup the situation then explore 'life among the Templars' or describe the cities of Tyre and Antioch. So far, 3 of 5. I am intrigued as to what is happening.


message 18: by Marty (new)

Marty (martymill) | 65 comments Since I completely missed last month's read, I'll give this one a try. Unfortunately, it's not at either of my public libraries, so I'll have to order it from work. Maybe I'll even get it read!


message 19: by Marty (new)

Marty (martymill) | 65 comments Wow, can't even get it from work. I'll have to check the bookstores!


message 20: by Monica (new)

Monica Davis Have my ebook version loaded up on the Kindle...thanks to Colin for his generous offer. Will be starting this read soon as well.


message 21: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 5212 comments Marty wrote: "Wow, can't even get it from work. I'll have to check the bookstores!"

If you're an eBook reader Marty, check out message #10. The author can send you a copy if you like.


message 22: by Daniel (new)

Daniel (dward526) | 290 comments Getting into this story. nearing a 4 :)


message 23: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19571 comments Daniel wrote: "Getting into this story. nearing a 4 :)"


ooo..intriguing...:)


message 24: by Darcy (new)

Darcy (drokka) | 2675 comments I've read the first two parts, and am enjoying it. The sort of 'vignette' style chapters make it, I think, a more honest travel story. Rarely is there always something going on from one place to the other. Also, I think that the economy of words allows for a large story to be told in a reasonable amount of space.

There are some mythical/mystical aspects, but they are all reasoned out as part of the religion. For comparison: unlike Manda Scott, the story isn't about the interpretation of the message, rather it enhances the understanding of a particular group's belief system.


message 25: by Lia (new)

Lia (lia_mb) | 636 comments My book arrived today... :D
Nice smell. Beautiful cover illustration. No complaint with the font used. Very positive first impression.


message 26: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19571 comments I wish I owned this book with the purple cover. Is that the cover you have, Lia? The purple one in this thread title?

I have a library copy and it has the white cover I mentioned at the beginning of the thread.


Silk Road by Colin Falconer


message 27: by Darcy (new)

Darcy (drokka) | 2675 comments I have the one in the thread title.


message 28: by Lia (last edited Apr 03, 2013 08:17PM) (new)

Lia (lia_mb) | 636 comments Terri wrote: "I wish I owned this book with the purple cover. Is that the cover you have, Lia? The purple one in this thread title?

I have a library copy and it has the white cover I mentioned at the beginning ..."


Yes, paperback with the purple cover . I've been looking at the cover (front and back) for almost one hour now. Silk Road by Colin Falconer


message 29: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19571 comments You lucky things!!! :)


message 30: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Stockard Miller (michelleamiller) | 4 comments Colin wrote: "Hi Teri, rapt that you've chosen SILK ROAD as one of your books to read this month. Thanks to Michelle and Darcy for letting me know and inviting me to drop by. I'd be delighted to answer any quest..."

So glad you're joining us, Colin! Personally, I love the white cover. Of course, it's the edition I own so I guess I'm partial. =O)


message 31: by Daniel (new)

Daniel (dward526) | 290 comments purple. But this is my cover as well.


message 32: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19571 comments I like the white one. Love the purple.
Was having a close look at the white one today...admiring the lovely gold embossing. :)


message 33: by Monica (new)

Monica Davis Going by ebook measures I'm 30% through this book. (view spoiler) Which may not be a bad thing...


message 34: by Daniel (new)

Daniel (dward526) | 290 comments Monica wrote: "Going by ebook measures I'm 30% through this book. [spoilers removed] Which may not be a bad thing..."

I agree with what you say in spoiler, but I have found something that is keeping me coming back to the story. Not sure what it is yet. 'I don't know art, but I know what I like' type thing.


message 35: by Marty (new)

Marty (martymill) | 65 comments Dawn wrote: "If you're an eBook reader Marty, check out message #10. The author can send you a copy if you like."

Thanks for pointing that post out, Dawn. Hopefully I can get started on the book today.


message 36: by Kathleen (last edited Apr 04, 2013 07:50AM) (new)

Kathleen I just started last night..(I am finishing a review book and another group read) So grateful to Colin who went above and beyond to make sure I had a readable copy..apparently I just did not know how to transfer a MOBI. Bunches of Thanks!

Enjoying the small amount I read so far..Acre is familiar to me as a reader of medieval and crusades.. Thanks Terri for the video, I do love to understand what is happening and where.. flipping back and forth between authors notes and narrative is clumsy with the Kindle ( which is new to me)
Kathleen


message 37: by Monica (new)

Monica Davis Daniel wrote: "I have found something that is keeping me coming back to the story..."

Ahh yes, an itch that needs to be scratched ;-)


message 38: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19571 comments Kathleen wrote: "Thanks Terri for the video, I do love to understand what is happening and where...."

You are most welcome. :)


message 39: by Monica (new)

Monica Davis Now 60% through the ebook. Not sure I need to qualify this as a "spoiler", but to respect other readers, I have. (view spoiler)


message 40: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 1505 comments I'm opening your spoilers, Monica, and for my part, I don't find them spoilerish -- nothing specific and plotty given away. Your last makes me look forward to it, too.


message 41: by Monica (last edited Apr 05, 2013 02:39PM) (new)

Monica Davis Bryn wrote: "I'm opening your spoilers, Monica, and for my part, I don't find them spoilerish -- nothing specific and plotty given away. Your last makes me look forward to it, too."

Thanks Bryn, good to know. I don't want to "plant" any preconceived notions for anyone. These are just my thoughts on the book as I go along.


message 42: by Monica (new)

Monica Davis Finished the book. I'll put my opinions inside the "spoiler" so as not to sway other readers. Had it's moments, but...(view spoiler) Anyone else have thoughts on the book?


message 43: by Darcy (new)

Darcy (drokka) | 2675 comments I felt the book had its moments too. (view spoiler). However, I found the pace worked well and (view spoiler).


message 44: by John (new)

John Phillips | 63 comments almost finished, really, really enjoyed it.
l look forward to writing review for it, a well deserved 4 stars will be coming from me.
The desert and mountains were so well described, felt like l was there.


message 45: by Linda (new)

Linda (ladylawyer8650) | 1694 comments I am on page 146. I like this book.


message 46: by Daniel (new)

Daniel (dward526) | 290 comments I enjoyed the ending of this story, it had a nice pacing to it and tied up things well. 3.5


message 47: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 1505 comments I began this on the bus, 18%. Quite enjoying it; I like the travelogue.


message 48: by Linda (new)

Linda (ladylawyer8650) | 1694 comments I am 68% through the book, and I am still enjoying it. I did not know what mobi was. Tom, the man I am married to, the computer whiz, acted like he did not know what Mobi was either. I fall for his 'I don't know what you mean darlin, but I would help you if I could' look every time he pulls it on me. The author was so gracious in sending me an e copy that would work on Nook. As soon as I finish this book, I am going shopping for a mobi app, and I am sending the bill to Tom. I have a few looks of my own.


message 49: by Daniel (last edited Apr 10, 2013 05:55AM) (new)

Daniel (dward526) | 290 comments mobi is the format used by MobiPocket Reader. It can be read by other readers (Kindle, Kobo, etc) and the desktop application Calibre.


message 50: by Colin (new)

Colin Falconer (httpscolinfalconerorg) | 15 comments Linda, I'm glad mobi worked for you! I could have sent a .pdf as a last resort but it's not as flexible. (Tom is of my gender, so I shall stay loyal and not say a word about the other issue!) I'm away for the next 3 weeks but I'll keep checking on the group discussion and if anyone wants to ask any questions or needs any help, I'll try and get back soonest.


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