Harold Lamb was an author who wrote adventure and historical fiction for the pulps, but anyone who likes Swords & Sorcery would probably like them, so I'm hoping someone here can help.

The story I'm trying to identify:

  • Main character is a warrior
  • Meets a young woman who is the slave of an evil warlord
  • Her motivations are unclear (is she an ally or working for warlord?)
  • There is a horse race with contestants from all over
  • The warrior follows her instructions during the race, and inadvertently helps her escape with a contestant who is from her people (possibly Khyrgyz or Khazak)

Michael Chabon's "Gentlemen of the Road" was listed as being inspired by this author.

  • @Richard, your edit completely reverses the meaning of the final sentence. Harold Lamb's stories inspired Chabon, not the other way around.
    – cr0m
    Oct 29, 2014 at 5:40
  • I've revised the edit, but don't forget you can also make or reverse edits yourself.
    – Valorum
    Oct 29, 2014 at 7:16
  • Seemed rude to reverse your edit without talking to you first.
    – cr0m
    Oct 29, 2014 at 14:59

2 Answers 2


Probably "Roof of the World" in vol. 1 of the Cossack adventures - Wolf of the Steppes by Harold Lamb

Summary excerpted from here:

The Dalai Lama sends an envoy to the Tatars, offering them help in their fight against the Kallmarks if Khlit, the Wolf, will come to the citadel of Talas, near Jallat Kum on the border of the Taklamakan desert. Khlit decides to go alone, and leaves the khans behind. Chagan, the sword bearer follows him and they reach Talas together, where they meet Shellil, a Kirghiz dancer, and Azim, a shepherd. The Dalai Lama’s messenger meets them at Talas and takes them to Kashgar, where the Kirghiz chiefs Iskander Khan and Bassangor Khan are coming. The head of the lamasery, Dongkor Gelong, is playing both ends against the middle. Caught between the lamas and the Kirghiz, in a hostile place where he is a prisoner in all but name, what will Khlit do?

  • 2
    Please provide some details why you think this is the story in question.
    – Null
    Oct 28, 2014 at 17:49
  • This was it! Thank you! After I read the story tonight, I inadvertently found this page with summaries of many Lamb stories, if anyone else runs into the same problem (and Sai S is not on hand): pulpflakes.blogspot.ca/2012/05/…
    – cr0m
    Oct 29, 2014 at 5:37

Is it by chance "The Golden Horde?" That featured a young knight and the princess of Samarkand escaping from the armies of Genghis Khan. I've only read a couple of his stories, but if that's not the one then this link might help. From it, I gather that "The House of the Strongest" is a short story featuring a horse race and "The Road of the Giants" is a novella featuring one.


  • I will investigate The Golden Horde and if it is, I'll accept this answer. Thanks for the help.
    – cr0m
    Sep 2, 2014 at 6:16
  • It wasn't The Golden Horde, though it is a great story! I've resolved to read through all of the various "Swords of the X" collections until I find it.
    – cr0m
    Sep 5, 2014 at 16:25

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