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Sand Daughter Paperback – Bargain Price, October 6, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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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.


'Somehow intimate and grand at the same time. Romantic, thrilling, epic and touching. How does Sarah Bryant do it? Robert Finn, bestselling author of 'Adept' and 'Ex Machina'. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; Original edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425229807
  • ASIN: B00342VE7Y
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,255,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tara Chevrestt 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 Verified Purchase
This was my first reading of a Sarah Bryant novel; many others will follow. Her character development (and choice of characters) is excellent. The story she tells is sweeping in scope, and yet she pulls it all together in a way that is not difficult to "feel" and follow. The storytelling is simply wonderful, full of tales, myths, action and insight that provide a complete picture and wonderful insight into what is going on in both broad strokes and great detail. The historical part of this historical fiction is engaging and educational. Through anecdotes and personalities, one absorbs the era more than learning it. And, for me at least, as an unexpected bonus, it introduced me to the root beginnings of the Afgan culture, both above and below the surface. The depth of the book is also evident in the philosophical handling of life's basic question, e.g., how we are a result of one's individual history and experience, how one is motivated, how (some of us) comprehend what is truly happening and grasp the broader meaning rather than a narrow focus of the events unfolding before us. And all of this is handled by the author in subtleties rather than actual statements. Enjoyable, entertaining, engaging, informative and insightful--very much more than what I had anticipated. Excellent.
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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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