The Road to Samarcand by Patrick O'Brian
From the stormy South China Seas to the steppes of Central Asia, this is the gripping story of a young man's adventurous spirit leading him on a journey full of fearsome tribes, great danger, friendship and treasure. When Derrick's missionary parents are tragically murdered he is entrusted to his gruff uncle Sullivan, Captain aboard the Wanderer. After surviving a killer typhoon on the South China Sea, and meeting up with his elderly and eccentric cousin, they set off across land to discover the treasures of Central Asia. Along the way Derrick befriends a fierce young Mongol warrior who saves his life, and helps to defeat a ruthless Chinese warlord. Given a gift of priceless jade, the group is pursued into the inhospitable mountains of Tibet where they are caught between the fierce ascetic mountain monks, and a terrifying creature that stalks them through the snow.