Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon is a fun adventure story of two Jewish mercenaries (scoundrels/thieves) as they come into contact with a young prince of the Khazar Empire and help him in his quest to retake the throne and oust the usurper from it.
Involving Vikings, elephants, warriors and whores this is a rollicking, medieval tale that left me wanting more. I wanted to stay with these characters, Amram and Zelikman, as they continued on down the road and share with them in any new adventures.
Michael Chabon wrote this story in a style that reminded me of many of the adventure stories I read when young, by the likes of R.M. Ballantyne or Robert Louis Stevenson. Rather flowery, very descriptive, and requiring a dictionary, but the story moves quickly and I was soon caught up in the plot. For such a short book, less than 200 pages, Chabon packs in a lot of information, he also expects his readers to suspend our disbelief and accept a number of bizarre coincidences.
I never quite sank fully into the story, but still I recommend this book for it’s swashbuckling, captivating, page-turning story.