''Literature/TheJourneyer'' is an historical novel by ''Creator/GaryJennings'', first published in 1984. It follows the life and travels of Marco Polo, from his life in Venice as the son of a wealthy (if absent) merchant, across the Middle East and Asia, then through China and back to Venice.
Spoiler alert! Some tropes associated with the novel include:
* ADateWithRosiePalms : Frequently, when he's younger. Referred to by the UnusualEuphemism "the priest's war." (Five against one).
* AnythingThatMoves : Nostril. A memorable scene includes the use of his namesake for such goings on.
* ArcWords : "Beware the bloodthirstiness of beauty."
* BatmanGambit : Marco's revenge in the last third of the book.
* BedTrick : Princesses Moth and Sunlight.
* BeenThereShapedHistory : Including inventing the bomb. Although it this case, it's probably Justified, as Marco Polo is an historical figure.
* BuryYourGays : In a strange mix of AuthorAppeal and ArtisticLicense, all Muslim men are portrayed as taking their sexual pleasure with men, while women are babymakers only. Marco frowns on homosexuality in general, and terrible things tend to happen to the more important characters who practice some form of homosexuality. [[spoiler: Aziz, Uncle Mafio, Nostril, etc.]]
* ChristianityIsCatholic : The Polo family is from Venice, where most people are Catholic, yet Marco continually refers to "Christians" and "Christianity."
* ColdBloodedTorture : Apparently in medieval China, it was both a trade and an ''art.'' Try to hold onto your lunch during the scenes with The Death of A Thousand.
* CunningLinguist : In addition to the Italian and French he speaks at the beginning of the book, Marco learns Farsi and a number of other languages through his travels, many of which are learned from his sexual conquests.
* DisappearedDad : Marco's father has been gone a long time, due to his work as a traveling merchant.
* DisproportionateRetribution: The Armeniyan Prince in the Levant. Hoo boy. He gets married to a young woman from another region, who is 14 and beautiful. [[spoiler: He gets drunk at his bachelor party and decides he doesn't need to wait for his wedding night to deflower her. He then forgets the whole thing and when he discovers she's not a virgin in their wedding bed, he wreaks his revenge by cutting off her nose and lips.]]
* DoorStopper : The paperback runs about 1100 pages.
* TheDungAges : ZigZagged. While set during the time, Marco comes from a wealthy family, and describes Venice as relatively clean due to the tides washing away refuse. The larger cities are crowded, dirty, and smelly.
* FamouslyMundaneFictionallyMagical : Discussed. Marco, expecting the opulent empires as described in the Bible, is disappointed that the largest cities from the Bible are little more than villages run by tribal chiefs. He also opines that the great leaders such as King David and King Solomon were probably also petty chiefs.
* FreeRangeChildren : Marco's mother died when he was seven, and his traveling merchant father was gone for many years at a time, leaving wee Marco to roam the streets of Venice with a pack of orphans.
* AManIsNotAVirgin : Discussed, and as a result of the teasing, Marco has a distressing encounter with Malgarita.
* MarriageOfConvenience : When Nico, Marco's father, returns to Venice in the first arc, he quickly marries a neighbour after finding out Marco's mother passed away eight years previously. As he's going back to the East, Nico needs someone to take care of business and act as a figurehead while he's gone.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane : Mordecai.
* MightyWhiteyAndMellowYellow : Both played straight and averted, although Hui-Sheng is a mellow version of the ManicPixieDreamGirl.
* NoDeadBodyPoops : Averted and discussed. Marco is discovering just how limited his ideas of the world are, and the messiness of death is one example.
* StreetUrchin : Doris and her brother Ubaldo.
* TwinCest : Biliktu and Buyantu.
* WhereDaWhiteWomenAt : Zia Zulia and her lover, Micholo the boatman. It's more scandalous [[spoiler: When they run off together]] because he's a slave. Marco seems to wish them well.