The Explorers Guild: A Passage to Shambhala is an incredible and beautiful book, one that calls to mind the classical age of adventures stories from the early 1900s. Written by Kevin Costner (yes, he of the Hollywood fame and Academy Awards) and Jon Baird, and paired with the incredibly beautiful artwork of illustrator Rick Ross, this book is something that will appeal to anyone who was ever captivated by wonder.
Calling to mind Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, tells the story of a group of adventurers who seek to explore the hidden side of the world and learn great secrets. Set in the same early 1900s that it hopes to emulate both on and off the page, A Passage to Shambhala tells the story of the Explorer’s Guild mission to discover the mythological holy Buddhist city, a search that will take them from one side of the world to the other and back again, an unveil an incredible secret.
This novel is such good fun that there is no doubt in the success of the series, which is a lot to say considering how recently it was released. Work is no doubt already underway on the subsequent volumes, and they’re sure to be just as enjoyable as long as the two authors stick together. The impact of Ross’s amazing illustrations should also not be understated, as they help to truly paint the world that Costner and Baird describe.
While you might be tempted to think of Costner as an actor first and a storyteller second (if at all), this novel will surely change your mind. The only thing that might turn some readers off is that the prose is unusually dense, thanks to Baird’s incredible command of the English language, but anyone who can take the time to process it all will be truly astonished by the breadth and depth of the world it uncovers.