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Corto Maltese sets out on another globetrotting adventure after the discovery of a Byron manuscript in a mosque on the isle of Rhodes.
Set in the years 1921-22, the action leaps from Turkey, to Azerbaijan, and to the Caspian Sea, tracing the path of the legendary Silk Road, as Corto hunts for the fabled treasure of Alexander the Great.
A parade of interesting characters ensues, including the Whirling Dervishes, Joseph Stalin (with whom Corto is on a first-name basis), the Hashinin sect of assassins, the Turkish general Enver Pasha, and the return of Venexiana Stevenson and the witch-tongued Rasputin (who has just escaped from the dreaded prison known as "The Golden House of Samarkand.")
Pratt further explores the theme of dual personality, as Corto tries to evade his doppelganger, the Turkish revolutionary Timur Chevket, always mindful of his mother's warning that coming face to face with his look-alike would mean disaster.
About the Author
Hugo Pratt (1927-1995) is considered one of the great graphic novelists in the history of the medium. His strips, graphic works, and watercolors have been exhibited at the Grand Palais in Paris and the Vittoriano in Rome, and a landmark show in 2011 at the Pinacotheque in Paris drew 215,000 visitors, hailing Pratt as "the inventor of the literary comic strip."