Starting in the forbidden valley of Palas in Pakistan, Paine travels through the former territories of the Soviet Union, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and into the wild Tine Shan. She follows ancient trading routes, traveling in the footsteps of merchants and armies, chasing legends of goddess worship, traditions of Orthodox belief, and stories of pagan superstition. Her relentless pursuit finally ends on the island of Karpathos in Greece, where, in a tiny church on Easter Sunday, she makes an extraordinary discovery.
Sheila Paine is a world expert on tribal societies and textiles. Her passion for travel began when she was very young and has taken her across the world, from Africa to Pakistan and beyond. She is the author of several acclaimed books, including Embroidery from India and Pakistan, Embroidered Textiles, The Linen Goddess and The Afghan Amulet (also Tauris Parke Paperbacks) and has won travel writing awards from the Independent and The Sunday Times. She is currently writing a book on Afghan embroidery for the British Museum.