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Sand Daughter Paperback – Bargain Price, October 6, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; Original edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425229807
  • ASIN: B00342VE7Y
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,527,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this Crusades-era historical, Bryant (The Other Eden) follows the journey of an ordinary Bedouin woman, Kalidah, who escapes her arranged marriage to run off with a mysterious minstrel named Sulayman. Doing so, she sets into motion a chain of events that draw her into plots with the Knights Templar, the legendary Saladin and the shadowy Jinn, a group of fearsome Afghan warriors who form the basis of the Islamic legend. Bryant also follows Kalidah's childhood friend Bilal, who discovers that the father he thought was dead is not only alive but the commander of a band of warrior-monks; Bilal's story explores Saladin's army and the charismatic leader himself. Immediately immersing, rich in detail and complex in theme, this skillful novel uses nested stories and long reveals that call to mind the Arabian Nights, and doesn't shy from challenging subject matter. Gripping and convincing, this is a worthy historical page-turner. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Sarah Bryant was born in Brunswick, Main. In 1996 she moved to Scotland to do an MLitt in creative writing at the University of St. Andrews.

More About the Author

Sarah Bryant was born in Brunswick, Maine, USA in 1973. After a childhood spent in Maine and Massachusetts, she attended Brown University in Rhode Island, USA. In 1996 she moved to Scotland to do an MLitt in creative writing at the University of St. Andrews, and ended up marrying a Scot and settling in the UK. Along the way she learned piano, Celtic harp, painting, printmaking, knitting, hand-spinning, and how to stay on a galloping horse, among other pursuits that would have been far more profitable in the nineteenth century. After 15 years in Scotland, Sarah has recently moved to her long-dreamed-of horse farm in Washington, USA, where she lives with her two children, two horses, two dogs, far too many cats and one neglected husband. She is currently finishing her seventh novel for Snowbooks, London.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tara VINE VOICE on August 16, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This novel takes place during the Crusades. At first, there are so many different groups and tribes involved in the story, that one not familiar with the history of the Islamic world or Crusades or Templar Knights will have to do some googling. Once the reader figures out who is who, it is a decent enough story about a young woman named Khalidah. Khalidah was born into a nomad (traveling) Arab tribe and is a devout muslim. While the Franjs are waging war against the Sultan and those of his religion, Khalidah is escaping an unwanted marriage to her cruel cousin by drugging the entire camp and running away with a traveling singer.

The traveling singer, Sulayman, means to take Khalidah back to her long lost mother's people, the mysterious Jinn tribe. Upon arriving in the strange and beautiful land of her mother, Khalidah must make some difficult decisions. Is she ready to lead her people? She is next in line for leadership. And if she does choose to lead the Jinn, will she lead them into war against the Templar Knights? If she leads them to war and aides the Sultan, will she also be leading them to their deaths? Meanwhile, a romance has bloomed with Sulayman. Does she plan to act on her strong romantic feelings towards the traveling singer?

UNFORTUNATELY, Khalidah's story is only half of the novel. What the summary fails to tell potential readers is that there is another story going on as well. Every other chapter is about Khalidah's childhood friend Bilal. Bilal is going back and forth among the Franjs and the Sultan's warriors. It is thru Bilal's eyes that the Crusades and the drama surrounding it is explained. While learning the history tho, readers must also read about Bilal discovering he is gay and in love with the Sultan's son.
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Format: Paperback
In the book, Sand Daughter, by Sarah Bryant, the reader travels back in history to the time of the Crusades. The Christians, known as the Franji, with their Templar Knights, are battling to retain their hold on the Holy Land while the Bedouin tribes of the Fertile Crescent are battling for Islam.

In this drama, told from the unique Islamic point of view, we meet a Bedouin Princess named Khalidah and her childhood friend Bilal. Both are to be pawns in a cat and mouse game that spans the Arabian deserts and mountains. When Khalidah is being bartered into a marriage to help unite clans, a strange minstrel enters the game and evokes ghosts of her long dead mother, rumored to be one of the mythical Jinni. By escaping with this mystery man, Khalidah embarks on a journey to find the truth of her mother's past and her own heritage.

Bilal, who had thought he loved Khalidah, betrays her escape plans and becomes a pawn in his own right as the fate of his own mother is held over his head. He is forced into the position of becoming a double spy for both the Franj and the Arab tribes, but finds himself confused about his loyalties as he falls in love with the Sultan's youngest son. Who will he be forced to betray--his mother, his childhood friend, his tribe, or maybe even his new lover?

Bryant's lyrical style of telling a story gives such vivid descriptions that the reader is left spell bound and determined to find out the fate of her fascinating characters. This blend of history, romance and thriller gives a fresh look into the history of the rise and fall of many Holy Land occupations by the Jewish people, the Muslims and the Christians.

by Rhonda Esakov
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
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Format: Paperback
In 1187 the crusading Franks are in control of the Holy Land while the Muslim armies led by Salah ad-Din prepare a counter offensive against the occupying European forces. In that environs, two normally hostile towards each other Bedouin clans of the Hassan have settled on a peaceful coexistence as they share a common infidel enemy. To anchor their shaky friendship, Khalidah and Numair will marry. She does not want to wed her cousin, but knows she must for her people's safety; however Khalidah is unaware her saying I do is a death notice for herself and her clan as betrayal is what awaits her and them.

The minstrel Sulayman persuades Numair to flee with him to save her clan. He promises to escort her to her maternal kin in Qaf; she prays to Allah that the Qaf Afghan warriors Jinn come to her aid. At the same time, her friend Bilal initially joins with Numair before switching to the Templar Knights as a spy lover of Salim, the sixth son of the Sultan; he also learns his dead father actually lives and is coming commanding a legendary unit as war will soon unite him with Khalidah.

This is deep Crusades era historical thriller that brings to life the Holy Land at a time in the late twelfth century when the Christian Franks are in control. The story line provides various perspectives of those caught up in the numerous battling factions, but especially the SAND DAUGHTER and her BFF. Fans of vivid tales of the Crusade will want to read this fresh saga.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Megalith on December 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
The time of the Crusades seems to be a trend in historical fiction of late. In Sand Daughter, Khalidah, a Bedouin woman, finds herself wishing to escape an arranged marriage with her cousin. She runs away with a traveling singer named Sulayman. Together, they seek out the Jinn, Khalidah's mother's people. Along the way, the inevitable romance blossoms. The second plotline follows Khalidah's friend Bilal, who finds himself a double-agent between two factions. His same-sex romance with the son of a sultan is also explored.

There are many positives to this novel. Sarah Bryant has crafted one of the richest settings I have read in a historical fiction novel. Intrigue abounds, and the novel is filled with tension, as characters are always pressed to make difficult choices, thus exploring their own sets of values in the process. On the downside, the romance element was much too heavy for my liking, though I imagine that is due more to my own reading tastes than the content itself. I also did not enjoy Bilal's storyline as much as I did Khalidah's. It's a definite must-read for those who love historical romance.
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