Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure by Michael Chabon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Chabon seems to be equally adept at any genre - historical adventure fiction included. I admit to not knowing much about the 900s, much less that time in the borders of Russia. Who knew that there was a Khazar empire? Well, now I know and I'm inspired to learn more.
The book itself is a little confusing at times, as you slowly learn more about the two gentlemen (one Frank from Regensburg and the other an Abyssinian - how did they meet up and join forces?!), their "mission" and lives. When they take on the guardianship/protectorship of Filaq, the son of the former bek of Atil, their nomadic style becomes more complicated and filled with deception and fighting. Ultimately they manage to right the wrongs done to Filaq and restore the kingdom to its rightful heir and path. Along the way we meet warriors, whores, merchants and an elephant.
One enchanting feature was the illustrations, with Zelikman looking like Puddleglum (and sounding like him, too).