Raised in a prosperous family of 14th century Chinese merchants, Wu Johanna has grown up on camelback, in bustling city marketplaces and the cool, shaded depths of Silk Road caravanserai. Hers is a world of spice merchants and pearl divers, bandits and troubadours, servants and sheikhs. A world in which trust is more valuable than gold, and the right name can unlock a network of contacts from Japan to North Africa. Johanna is, after all, the granddaughter of Marco Polo.
In the wake of her father's death, however, Johanna finds that lineage counts for little amid the disintegrating court of the Khan. Dynastic loyalties are shifting, petty jealousies lead to cold-blooded murders, and the long knives are coming out. If Johanna is to find a future for herself, she'll have to rely on her wits, the vagaries of fortune, and a close-knit circle of friends and traveling companions. Her destiny-if she has one-lies more than a continent away, at the very edge of the known world.
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If you liked Kate Shugak...
If, when I was choosing the Dana Stabenow book, I had known that this was the first "chapter", I would not have been so surprised. The length of the "chaapter" was the length of a novel but ended with a cliff hanger ... not good.The narration was done by a woman that had done all of the other Stabenow books and I was lulled into thinking that this was the first of the Kate Shugak novels, the one where the lineage of the Inuit (or whatever tribe) came by its mixed blood. Not good thinking on my part but I would have accepted this new genre if I wasn't left hanging. One cannot call it a book if it is not complete in and of itself.
I think that I will get her next novel in book form and then the disappointment won't be so great. It seems like listening is a more active use of the mind.
She was fine in the performances, except for the fact that she has done all the other books and is so identified in my mind as "Alaska". I kept hearing the narrator's voice and it would bring images of all the other characters in her Alaskan novels.
- Patrice Sieler