Everyone has heard of Jules Verne's most famous book - 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - but very few people outside of France would have come across his adventure story called Mikail Strogoff. Essentially it's a chase adventure story which has been translated recently from the French by Stephanie Smee, and boy has she crafted a great English version of the book. Set in Imperial Russia, a messenger is commanded by the Zsar to take a message from Moscow to Siberia as a Tartar uprising threatens to split Western Russia from its far flung eastern seaboard by cutting the telegraph wires. (It's a bit like taking down the Internet in modern times!) What is amazing is the detail described in the book of the places that the hero Mikail travels through and the fact that Jules Verne had never even been to Russia (and following on the Internet analogy, there was no WIkipedia either!!). Verne gleaned his information from visiting Russians who were in Paris at the time and researched the rest with in great detail. The result? A dashing adventure mixed with treachery, danger, bravery, loyality and even an innocent romance. It makes for a great book for Young Adults as well as all of us who have a somewhat romantic yen! Well worth sourcing and reading.