Set more than 1000 years ago, in Khazaria, the fabled kingdom of wild, red-haired Jews,this tale of “Jews with Swords” involves Filaq, young heir to the recently deposed king of the Khazars. He is traveling under duress to his grandfather’s house with his guardian when they come across the heroes of the book. Zelikman is a morose, Frankish physician, and, Amram, his gigantic, Abysinian friend. When the guardian is murdered by the pursuers, these two swindlers, horse thieves, bodyguards for hire, endeavor to complete the task and collect the reward for Filaq’s safe delivery Their attempts to restore Filaq to the throne make for a terrifically entertaining, modern pulp adventure replete with marauding armies, drunken Vikings, beautiful prostitutes, and rampaging elephants.
A significant change from Chabon's weightier novels, this dazzling trifle is simply terrific fun.