The Road of Silk
Matt Afsahi


Barbara Dysonwilliams

Synergy Books
January 2005, 329 pp.
ISBN: 0-9747644-6-9

Genre: Fantasy
Reviewed: 8/7/2005
Reviewed by: Conan Tigard

Book Cover


"Get her!" Serpata screamed at Gorgolen.

The Collector grabbed a metal bar and ran toward her. He swung it at her head, then fell back screaming. The pole dropped at his feet and disintegrated.

Serpata roared in anger. "I'll kill you now!" He moved forward and swung one mighty arm toward her. "Die!" His hand stopped about one foot from Yasamin's head. White lightning wrapped itself around his hand. Serpata screeched and backed away. The snakes snapped at Yasamin, their rattles vibrating furiously.

"What is it?" he shouted. He rubbed his smoking hand.

"As I said, set Arash free, and I will give myself up for your sacrifice; otherwise, you have nothing."

"What trick is this, girl?"

"It is no trick. It is light. I travel the road of silk."

If such a thing were possible, Serpata appeared to shrink in on himself. "You're too young to know such a thing," he whispered as much to himself as her.

"No one is too young to know right from wrong, Grandfather. You chose darkness for your own selfish end. I choose light to help those I love. Let him go if you want me."

Serpata stared at his granddaughter for a long time. At last, he nodded toward The Collector. "Release the wires."

"You're setting him free?"

"Do it."

The Collector stepped toward two wheels on the wall. Winding them counterclockwise, Arash's body began to lower to the floor. When he reached the concrete, Arash lay lifeless.

"Arash!" Yasamin cried. She rushed to him and cradled his head in her lap. "Arash, can you hear me? Open your eyes, please. Talk to me."

Arash's lids fluttered open. He gazed at Yasamin. His cracked lips tried to from her name.

"Arash, you must get up. You must leave now while there's time." Even as Yasamin spoke the words, she saw Arash's gaze drift past her.

She turned just as The Collector grabbed her and pulled her to her feet. "Got you now, bitch. Not as good as you think. You can't do two things at once."

It was at that exact moment someone else spoke. "Let her go."

The Collector swung Yasamin around and hit her on the jaw. As she went down, she saw Goliagoth, sword in hand, standing in the doorway. She thought it, but couldn't get her mouth to form the words "look out."



When King Amir's soldiers approach her town, Queen Yasamin's people try to defend her and one is arrested. His name is Arash and the queen does not know that he actually a prince from another land. Yasamin agrees to accompany the soldiers back to Dragonval because of a deal she made with Amir. She knows the only way she can spare her people a life of slavery or death is to become the second wide of King Amir and bear him an heir, since his first wife appear to be barren.

The soldiers are lead by a monster of man named Goliagoth. On the journey over the treacherous seas, a tremendous storm sinks most of the ships and only Yasamin, Arash and Goliagoth make it to land. There they wait for months for a rescue ship, but none arrive. Finally, they decide to travel over land and make it to a city where they end up on a ship to Dragonval.

Yasamin neither loves Amir nor does she want to marry him. Amir's first wife, Medusimia, hates Yasamin and wants her dead and also now hates her husband for wanting another wife. Medusimia teams up with Vulmire, a monstrous demon, and they begin coupling. She loves the power of his massive body. But after a while, she notices four scales on her neck and soon learns that she is pregnant. Her plans change as she now want Amir dead with her a ruler with Vulmire by her side.

Little does Yasamin know, but her wicked grandfather, Serpata, still lives in the castle and is Amir's puppet master. He made a deal with the devil when he was younger to sacrifice both of his grandchildren for power. Yasamin's brother was killed, but she had gotten away. Now he wants her back so he can fulfill his promise.

Meanwhile, Yasamin is struggling with the realization that she is able to walk the road of silk and use the powers of light for good. With time, she is destined to become very powerful. But with everyone wanting her dead, she is not sure if she will have the time to learn all she needs to know.

The Road of Silk is the first fantasy book in a series by Matt Afsahi and Barbara Dysonwilliams. This book contains the following main characters: Queen Yasamin - a woman that has magical powers from walking the Road of Silk, Prince Arash - a man who is in love with Yasamin and wants to help her country against King Amir, and Goliagoth - a Demolisherian who supports King Amir until he realizes that he also loves Yasamin.



The Road of Silk by Matt Afsahi and Barbara Dysonwilliams is a different from all other fantasy books that I have read. It is not your usual sword fight and magical battles. I found that I really liked all three of the main characters and cheered them all throughout the story. All of the characters, be they evil or good, are fantastic and the Road of Silk is an interesting concept.

To tell the truth, I'm still not sure of what the Road of Silk is. It is never really defined in this book. I know that it used the power of light in a good way, but I never understood how it was used or how it works. I did wish that this could have really been explained, since Yasamin never really did walk down any kind of mystical road. Other than this and quite a few punctuation errors, I quite enjoyed this book.

Overall, The Road of Silk is a great story that leaves the reader wanting more. This is obviously the first book in a series, but I am not sure how many books will follow. I look forward to reading the next one when it is published. Until then, I will just have to wait and wonder how it is all going to end.

I rated this book an 8 out of 10.

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