By the Shores of the Middle Sea is the second novel in Dana Stabenow’s Silk and Song Trilogy.
In Everything Under the Heavens, 16-year old Johanna fled Cambaluc—and her murderous stepmother—joining her uncle's westbound caravan on the Silk Road. With her foster brother Jaufre and a few faithful companions, they made it to the rooftop of the world—Terak Pass—separating Mongol China from the scattered sheikdoms of the Persian empire. Then, disaster struck. In a climactic skirmish, Johanna and her stallion, North Wind, were abducted and Jaufre left for dead.
Now, in By the Shores of the Middle Sea, Johanna is a prisoner in the harem at Talikan, with Baron Ogodei's army pillaging the countryside and preparing to sack the tiny Persian enclave. Hundreds of leagues to the south, in Kabul, Jaufre lies recovering from his near-fatal wound. Their journey has taken them halfway across a continent, yet an equal distance still lies between them and Gaza, where Johanna and Jaufre once meant to take ship for Venice and the sanctuary of Johanna's grandfather's family.
Gaza and Venice: two cities on opposite shores of the Middle Sea that together open a door to the West. For Johanna and Jaufre, it’s a passage that will shape their destiny, if only they can reach it.