Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure by Michael Chabon

Frankish Zelikman is tall, dour, obsessed with excellent hats, and as thin as the needle-sharp blade he carries. Gray-haired Amram comes from Abyssinia and is broad, strong, with a wit as sharp as the edge of “Defiler of Your Mother” his Viking battle-axe. They are adventurers and hired blades making their way through the Caucasus Mountains circa A.D. 950 living as much by their wits as by the weapons they carry and using both to make their fair share of enemies.

Until an unexpected witness to one of their bamboozles forces them into more legitimate employment, as the guardians of Filaq, the dethroned prince of the Khazar Empire and as unwilling generals in the counterrevolution to restore him to his rightful throne.

It is an impossible task that will require quite a bit of daring, quick-wits, and even quicker blades. Surely child’s play to such experienced gentlemen of the road as these, assuming they live that long…