Sixteen-year-old 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 as dynastic loyalties are shifting. Johanna's destiny – if she has one – lies with her grandfather, in Venice, more than a continent away at the very edge of the known world.
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, pillaging armies and warlords...