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Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
Race to Tibet by Sophie Schiller is a thrilling adventure novel based on a factual expedition to Tibet. Race to Tibet is about an expedition launched by French explorer Gabriel Bonvalot into the heart of Tibet where few westerners had ventured before. Accompanying him is the young son of the Duke of Chartres, who is the sponsor and financial backer of the expedition. The story starts with an introduction to the Duke and the latest trouble that his son, Henri, has gotten himself into. Henri is the proverbial black sheep of the family and the Duke decides to send him far away from Paris to keep him out of trouble. What follows is an exciting expedition to the Roof of the World that takes us into the high plateau lands of Tibet, battling severe weather, encounters with bandits, being trapped in the midst of a battle, meeting a Tibetan princess, all set against the backdrop of the mysterious country of Tibet and some of its little known Buddhist practices.
Race to Tibet by Sophie Schiller is a great travel book, especially for readers interested in the East and the spiritual and mystical aspect of countries such as Tibet set in the Himalayas. While reading this book, I found myself transported to the high altitude plains among the Lamas, which is a testament to Sophie’s skill as a writer to paint a vivid picture of the landscapes. I also enjoyed the fact that this story was inspired by real events and people and it certainly was an interesting period in history. The novel moves along at a good pace and the characters and events are well represented, making for an exciting read. This is a great adventure novel with elements of action and romance that I would recommend to all readers, and especially those interested in Tibet or travel books in general.