Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, sprang from an early passion for the derring-do and larger-than-life heroes of classic comic books. Now, once more mining the rich past, Chabon summons the rollicking spirit of legendary adventures–from The Arabian Nights to Alexandre Dumas to Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories–in a wonderful new novel brimming with breathless action, raucous humor, cliff-hanging suspense, and a cast of colorful characters worthy of Scheherazade’s most tantalizing tales.
They’re an odd pair, to be sure: pale, rail-thin, black-clad Zelikman, a moody, itinerant physician fond of jaunty headgear, and ex-soldier Amram, a gray-haired giant of a man as quick with a razor-tongued witticism as he is with a sharpened battle-ax. Brothers under the skin, comrades in arms, they make their rootless way through the Caucasus Mountains, circa A.D. 950, living as they please and surviving however they can–as blades and thieves for hire and as practiced bamboozlers, cheerfully separating the gullible from their money. No strangers to tight scrapes and close shaves, they’ve left many a fist shaking in their dust, tasted their share of enemy steel, and made good any number of hasty exits under hostile circumstances.
None of which has necessarily prepared them to be dragooned into service as escorts and defenders to a prince of the Khazar Empire. Usurped by his brutal uncle, the callow and decidedly ill-tempered young royal burns to reclaim his rightful throne. But doing so will demand wicked cunning, outrageous daring, and foolhardy bravado . . . not to mention an army. Zelikman and Amram can at least supply the former. But are these gentlemen of the road prepared to become generals in a full-scale revolution? The only certainty is that getting there–along a path paved with warriors and whores, evil emperors and extraordinary elephants, secrets, swordplay, and such stuff as the grandest adventures are made of–will be much more than half the fun.
Patrick O'Brian - Treason's Harbour
While Captain Aubrey worries about repairs to his ship, Stephen Maturin assumes the center stage; for the dockyards and salons of Malta are alive with Napoleon's agents, and the admiralty's intelligence network is compromised. Maturin's cunning is the sole bulwark against sabotage of Aubrey's daring mission.
Patrick O'Brian - The Far Side of the World
Captain Jack Aubrey sets sail for Cape Horn, determined to intercept an American frigate before it can wreak havoc on the British whaling trade. As always, he is accompanied by intelligence operative Stephen Maturin, and as always, Aubrey has no idea of what his companion is up to. Another impeccably written adventure, by the end of which you should be able to identify a mizzen topsail in your sleep.
Patrick O'Brian - The Letter of Marque
When Jack Aubrey is unfairly deprived of his commission in the Royal Navy, Stephen Maturin comes to the rescue, purchasing the captain's former ship and outfitting it as a privateer, to be commanded by... Jack Aubrey. Soon the Surprise is off to sea, on a mission that Aubrey hopes will redeem his good name. The author's grasp of period detail is astonishing as ever--and so is his gift for pure entertainment.
Patrick O'Brian - The Thirteen-Gun Salute
Captain Jack Aubrey sets sail for the South China Sea with a new lease on life. Following his dismissal from the Royal Navy (a false accusation), he has earned reinstatement through his daring exploits as a privateer, brilliantly chronicled in The Letter of Marque. Now he is to shepherd Stephen Maturin—his friend, ship's surgeon, and sometimes intelligence agent—on a diplomatic mission to prevent links between Bonaparte and the Malay princes which would put English merchant shipping at risk.
Patrick O'Brian - The Nutmeg of Consolation
Shipwrecked on a remote island in the Dutch East Indies, Captain Aubrey, surgeon and secret intelligence agent Stephen Maturin, and the crew of the Diane fashion a schooner from the wreck. A vicious attack by Malay pirates is repulsed, but the makeshift vessel burns, and they are truly marooned. Their escape from this predicament is one that only the whimsy and ingenuity of Patrick O'Brian—or Stephen Maturin—could devise. In command now of a new ship, the Nutmeg, Aubrey pursues his interrupted mission. The dreadful penal colony in New South Wales, harrowingly described, is the backdrop to a diplomatic crisis provoked by Maturin's Irish temper, and to a near-fatal encounter with the wildlife of the Australian outback.
Patrick O'Brian - Clarissa Oakes
The 15th installment in the Aubrey/Maturin series. This splendid installment in Patrick O'Brian's widely acclaimed series of Aubrey/Maturin novels is in equal parts mystery, adventure, and psychological drama. A British whaler has been captured by an ambitious chief in the Friendly Isles (Tonga) at French instigation, and Captain Aubrey, R.N., is dispatched with the Surprise to restore order. But stowed away in the cabletier is an escaped female convict. To the officers, Clarissa Harvill is an object of awkward courtliness and dangerous jealousies. Aubrey himself is won over and indeed strongly attracted to this woman who will not speak of her past. But only Aubrey's friend, Dr. Stephen Maturin, can fathom Clarissa's secrets: her crime, her personality, and a clue identifying a hightly placed English spy in the pay of Napoleon's intelligence service. In a thrilling finale, Patrick O'Brian delivers all the excitement his many readers expect: Aubrey and the crew of the Surprise impose a brutal pax Britannica on the islanders in a pitched battle against a band of headhunting cannibals.
Patrick O'Brian - The Commodore
After several installments of gallivanting around the South Seas, Aubrey and Maturin return home to England, where the surgeon-cum-intelligence-agent discovers that his wife has disappeared. As if such a domestic crisis weren't enough, the intrepid pair are also dispatched to the Gulf of Guinea (to suppress the slave trade) and to Ireland (to rebuff an impending French invasion). O'Brian's stunning range, coupled with his mind-bending command of minutiae, explain why James Hamilton-Paterson has called him "the Homer of the Napoleonic Wars."
Ken Follett - World Without End
World Without End takes place in the same town of Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building the exquisite Gothic cathedral that was at the heart of The Pillars of the Earth. The cathedral and the priory are again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge, but this sequel stands on its own. This time the men and women of an extraordinary cast of characters find themselves at a crossroad of new ideas--about medicine, commerce, architecture, and justice. In a world where proponents of the old ways fiercely battle those with progressive minds, the intrigue and tension quickly reach a boiling point against the devastating backdrop of the greatest natural disaster ever to strike the human race--the Black Death.
Arturo Pérez-Reverte - The King's Gold
**From the international bestselling author, the fourth adventure of Captain Alatriste ** With *The King's Gold*, bestselling author Arturo Pérez-Reverte continues to enthrall readers and critics with his heroic seventeenth-century mercenary, Captain Alatriste. The fourth adventure picks up in Seville in 1626. After serving with honor at the bloody siege of Breda, Alatriste and his protégé, Iñigo Balboa, accept a risky job involving a dozen swordsmen and mercenaries at their command, a dazzling amount of contraband gold, and a heavily guarded Spanish galleon returning from the West Indies. The job offer comes from the king himself, for at stake is nothing less than the Spanish Crown, and its dominion over the wealth of the Americas. But for Alatriste, a very personal surprise awaits him on that galleon.
Patrick O'Brian - The Yellow Admiral
At last! Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are back as Patrick O'Brian provides his indomitably loyal fans with another adventure, this one by land as well as by sea. Lucky Jack Aubrey finds himself not so lucky as his troubles amount ashore, his prospects of admiralty dimmed and Sophie's affection waning. At sea, he fares little better: in the storms off Brest he captures a French privateer laden with gold and ivory at the expense of missing a signal and deserting his post. And worst of all, in the spring of 1814, peace breaks out... Fortunately, Maturin returns from a mission in Chile with news that may help restore Aubrey to good favor with both his beloved navy and wife. Then, off to Gibraltar: Napoleon has escaped from Elba.
Ayelet Waldman - Love and Treasure
A spellbinding new novel of contraband masterpieces, tragic love, and the unexpected legacies of forgotten crimes, Ayelet Waldman’s Love and Treasure weaves a tale around the fascinating, true history of the Hungarian Gold Train in the Second World War. In 1945 on the outskirts of Salzburg, victorious American soldiers capture a train filled with unspeakable riches: piles of fine gold watches; mountains of fur coats; crates filled with wedding rings, silver picture frames, family heirlooms, and Shabbat candlesticks passed down through generations. Jack Wiseman, a tough, smart New York Jew, is the lieutenant charged with guarding this treasure - a responsibility that grows more complicated when he meets Ilona, a fierce, beautiful Hungarian who has lost everything in the ravages of the Holocaust. Seventy years later, amid the shadowy world of art dealers who profit off the sins of previous generations, Jack gives a necklace to his granddaughter, Natalie Stein, and charges her with searching for an unknown woman - a woman whose portrait and fate come to haunt Natalie, a woman whose secret may help Natalie to understand the guilt her grandfather will take to his grave and to find a way out of the mess she has made of her own life. A story of brilliantly drawn characters - a suave and shady art historian, a delusive and infatuated Freudian, a family of singing circus dwarfs fallen into the clutches of Josef Mengele, and desperate lovers facing choices that will tear them apart - Love and Treasure is Ayelet Waldman’s finest novel to date: a sad, funny, richly detailed work that poses hard questions about the value of precious things in a time when life itself has no value, and about the slenderest of chains that can bind us to the griefs and passions of the past.
G. W. Dahlquist - The Dark Volume
With old loyalties tested by new and unlikely alliances, Miss Temple, Doctor Svenson, and Cardinal Chang must call on every reserve of courage to face a new and desperate struggle - after all, the integrity of their very minds is at risk. From palace intrigue and a city in turmoil to wolf-haunted mountains, underground tunnels and a suspicious hidden factory, they must overcome war and heartache to battle old enemies and a host of new villains, all hoping to seize for themselves the power of the blue glass books. Now one glass book in particular drives them all, its deadly contents the key to controlling the secrets of the blue glass, or destroying it forever.
Anne Gracie - The King, The Queen, and The Mistress
A king torn between two women could lead to a kingdom torn. Troubled by religious unrest in his kingdom and changing alliances with other countries, weighing most on King Henry VIII of England's mind is his impending divorce to Queen Katherine of Aragon. The matter is of extreme urgency, as the king desires an heir and has just met the woman who holds his destiny -- Lady Anne Boleyn, eighteen and in the flower of youthful beauty. But was their meeting by chance, or part of a plan devised by her father for the furthering of his family? As the new romance blooms, it causes heartache for the queen and headaches for the king's personal chaplain, Cardinal Wolsey, who once worked on behalf of the kingdom to organize diplomatic talks, but now toils to obtain the Church's approval for the king's divorce. As loyalties are questioned and the Church's influence is threatened by the emboldened king, the fate of the kingdom lies in the balance. An irresistible story of love, lust, ambition, and political intrigue, this novelization of season one of The Tudors introduces us to a young, virile king of one of the most powerful nations in the world, and the women who will cause him to forever alter the course of history.
Jennings Wright - The Hoard of the Doges
When her boss finds an Old Master painting buried under centuries of junk in a Venetian cellar, restoration specialist Rei Quinn is over the moon. When she gets kidnapped and the ransom demand is the painting, her enthusiasm understandably wanes. Along with her husband, security specialist Gideon, and their pilot friend Mac, the Quinns discover and decipher a map encoded in the painting. Taking off for Venice and her bygone territories, they begin the search for a treasure hidden since the Crusades. Hot on the trail are members of an ancient crime family, determined to finally claim the Venetian wealth. Who will be the first to find the hoard of the Doges? The Hoard of the Doges is a fast paced adventure, whisking the reader back to Venice in the Middle Ages and forward to the Greek Isles and beyond.
Ursula Hegi - Floating in My Mother's Palm
From an award-winning author comes a deeply personal and powerful account of Hanna Malter, a young girl growing up in a small town in Germany in the 1950s, a time when Adolf Hitler isn't mentioned in history classes--or by anyone in town. "Stunning. . . . It can break your heart."--Los Angeles Times.
Larry Brown - Fay
Larry Brown's Fay picks up at the precise moment when its 17-year-old heroine walks out of his 1991 novel Joe. And really, who could blame her? Fay's father, Wade Jones, was one of the most enduring villains in recent fiction, the kind of man who would trade a son for a car and a daughter's virginity for a few $20 bills. Reared in migrant camps, tarpaper shacks, and, most recently, an abandoned cabin, Fay herself is pretty, goodhearted, astonishingly ignorant: in other words, trouble in a too-tight dress and a pair of rotting tennis shoes. Fleeing her father's advances, she takes to the Mississippi road in a passage that, with its rough music, is pure Brown: "She came down out of the hills that were growing black with night, and in the dusty road her feet found small broken stones that made her wince. Alone for the first time in the world and full dark coming quickly. House lights winked through the trees as she walked and swung her purse from her hand. She could hear cars passing down the asphalt but she was still a long way from that." For the first time, Brown narrates most of a novel from a woman's point of view, and while the result is every bit as gripping as his previous work, it is also more inward-looking. Joe, for instance, reads like something carved out of a block of granite; in Fay, Brown feels somehow closer to the story--almost tender, or as tender as a writer with such an unflinching gaze can be. As Fay hitchhikes her way down Highway 55, from the woods near Oxford to the beaches and strip bars of Biloxi, she draws both men and violence to her like a magnet. Utterly without envy or self-pity, she is a force of nature, pure and simple, and Fay illuminates just how deadly her kind of innocence can be. It's no value judgment to say this book is about white trash. Brown knows it, the reader knows it, Fay knows it; at one point, she even muses, "She never had been called a white trash piece of shit before but she'd been called white trash." But don't mistake Brown's work for mere trailer-park sociology. Despite the redneck trappings, the Jones family has been with us since the beginning of time, and their story, like all tragedies, is both larger than life and just like it too. "White trash," after all, is just another way of saying "not many choices." In writing about lives stripped down to their essentials, Brown reminds us of the dark truths our choices sometimes allow us to forget. --Mary Park
Jonathan Swift - Gulliver's Travels
Considered the greatest satire ever written in English, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels chronicles the fantastic voyages of Lemuel Gulliver, principally to four marvelous realms: Lilliput, where the people are six inches tall; Brobdingnag, a land inhabited by giants; Laputa, a wondrous flying island; and a country where the Houyhnhnms, a race of intelligent horses, are served by savage humanoid creatures called Yahoos. Beneath the surface of this enchanting fantasy lurks a devastating critique of human malevolence, stupidity, greed, vanity, and short-sightedness. A brilliant combination of adventure, humor, and philosophy, Gulliver’s Travels is one of literature’s most durable masterpieces.
Christopher Paolini - Eragon (angol)
When Eragon finds a polished stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands...
Bear Grylls - Tracks of the Tiger
Volcano eruption! Beck and his friend are on a relaxing holiday in Borneo, visiting orang-utan sanctuaries and hanging out by the pool. Except that when they spend the afternoon out in the jungle, things take an unexpected turn, and a volcano eruption leaves them stranded and alone. Beck must use all his skills to survive the dangers of the jungles and swamps of Borneo - can he get them to safety alive?
Bear Grylls - Sands of the Scorpion
Lost amid the desert sands! When Beck Granger and his friend, Peter, join Beck's Uncle Al for a holiday in Africa, they aren't expecting to find themselves stranded in the Sahara Desert. But when they stumble upon a smuggling ring and have to bail out of a plane over the desert, Beck knows their chances of survival are slim. Somehow they must find their way back to civilisation, but there are snakes, scorpions and the merciless rays of the sun to overcome first! This is a gripping African adventure packed with real survival details and dangers at every turn!