Title: Silk and Song
Author: Dana Stabenow
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publish Date: December 1, 2017
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Beijing, 1322.
Sixteen-year-old Wu Johanna is the granddaughter of the legendary trader
Marco Polo. In the wake of her father’s death, Johanna finds that
lineage counts for little amid the disintegrating court of the Khan.
Johanna’s destiny—if she has one—lies with her grandfather, in Venice.
So, with a small band of companions, she takes to the road—the Silk
Road—that storied collection of routes that link the silks of Cathay,
the spices of the Indies and the jewels of the Indus to the markets of
the west. But first she must survive treachery and betrayal on a road
beset by thieves, fanatics and warlords."
My Two Cents:
"Silk and Song" is the story of a young woman named Johanna who grew up hearing stories of her amazing grandfather, Marco Polo. When a tragic turn of events leaves her without her mother and father and under the thumb of her father's terrible second wife, Johanna leaves everything she has known in the East to go on an epic search for her grandfather. She'll retrace many of the same steps he took to get to the East as she makes her way to the West, a world she has never known before. This journey is well-detailed and well-told and one you'll definitely want to follow!
"Silk and Song" is actually three books in one and I actually think I would suggest that you read the whole trilogy all together. It was hard to let go of Johanna even after almost 800 pages. The whole story feels very nicely paced, which could perhaps be attributed to it having once been three books. There is a lot of excitement throughout all three books.
The characters are great! Johanna grew up among strong men and women and definitely hung on to that strength as she grew up. She can definitely hold her own. In the 1300s, it was unheard of for a woman to go on a journey like she does in this book. It was unheard of for a woman to be able to hold her own with all of the different people she meets and danger she faces throughout the entire story. And the secondary characters are great as well! I really liked her sidekicks and I am so not a horse person but I loved her cantankerous horse who can only be ridden by her and will throw all others to the ground.
I loved reading about all of the detail of the places that Johanna travels. The author really did a good job of making so many different places come to life. This book is such a treat for historical fiction lovers! It hits so many places that aren't often visited through historical fiction.