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The Golden Horde: From the Himalaya to the Mediterranean

The quest for a mysterious amulet that had taken Sheila Paine from the Hindu Kush to Bulgaria in "The Afghan Amulet" continues. Starting in the forbidden valley of Palas in Pakistan, she travels through the former territories of the Soviet Union - from Arctic Northern Russia, through the lands of Genghis Khan's Golden Horde and into Soviet Central Asia - Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and into the wild Tien Shan. She follows ancient trading routes, travelling in the footsteps of merchants and armies, chasing legends of goddess worship, traditions of Orthodox belief and stories of pagan superstition. Her relentless pursuit, involving years of travel, finally ends on the island of Karpathos in Greece, where in a tiny church on Easter Sunday she makes an extraordinary discovery. Sheila Paine's search evolved into an unexpected journey full of twists and turns, dead ends and discoveries, ultimately revealing the ancient threads that culturally bind Central Asia and Europe.

Sheila Paine is a world expert on tribal societies and textiles. Her passion for travel began when she was very young and has taken her across the world, from Africa to Pakistan. She is the author of several acclaimed books, including Embroidery from India and Pakistan, The Linen Goddess and The Afghan Amulet (also Tauris Parke Paperbacks) and has won travel writing awards from the Independent and the Sunday Times. She is currently writing a book on Afghan embroidery for the British Museum.

Reviews:

'This is excellent travel writing from an author who is always lively, fascinated by everything and prepared to take almost insane risks' - Times Literary Supplement

'Dalrymple and Birkett both project personal glamour. Sheila Paine couldn't be bothered with it...she has a lovely tenderness towards those who made or make things.' - The Guardian

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