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Shadow on the Wall (The SandStorm Chronicles, #1) Paperback – May 1, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

I received a copy of Pavarti K Tyler's new book entitled "Shadow on the Wall" to review. What I will say to you is this. Buy it. Read it. It was wonderful. Not only was it a page turner that I read in one sitting (something I have not done in a few years), the story lines were well constructed and the dots all amazingly connected. --Naif Al-Mutawa of the99.org

Pavarti K Tyler s Shadow on the Wall, her first book in The SandStorm Chronicles, is a delicious read even as it exposes themes that are difficult to grapple with. Her beautiful and vivid prose places us in a world where we forget ourselves and fall into her characters we love them, we hate them, we understand them, and we are mystified by them. Even as Shadow transports us, once we step back into ourselves we are left thinking about her real-world depictions of religious motivations, corruption, fear, tenacity, and hope. --Jessica Swift Eldridge, editor, publishing consultant, founder of Swift Ink Editorial Services

From the moment I read the first sentence, I could not stop until I finished reading. As an Arab Muslim, I found it refreshing, to finally have someone sharing my cultural background to not be a "terrorist", but be an actual "hero". The imperfections of his character are what made him believable to me. We are not perfect, no one is, but he took his imperfections & became a hero for the people, instead of a suicide bomber. If anything, I see him as a metaphor for redemption, I am extremely excited to follow these Chronicles. I have always used to say that Batman was my favorite superhero, I have no doubt from this point on, my #1 answer will be "The SandStorm". --Mosno Al-Moseeki

About the Author

Pavarti K Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher. She graduated Smith College in 1999 with a degree in Theatre. After graduation, she moved to New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off Broadway.

Later, Pavarti went to work in the finance industry as a freelance accountant for several international law firms. She now operates her own accounting firm in the Washington DC area, where she lives with her husband, two daughters and two terrible dogs. When not preparing taxes, she is busy penning her next novel. 
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Fighting Monkey Press (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983876908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983876908
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,991,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After his mother committed suicide and his father disappeared, eight-year-old Recai became heir to the multi-billion dollar Osman Corporation. Recai’s father had used the business’s profits to develop his home town of Elih, Turkey, in a secular fashion, granting interest free loans to support education and local business. In the absence of this easy money, the town is taken over by the RTK, a regressive and corrupt political group who imposed Sharia Law on the population. The tale follows Recai in his early twenties as he tries to find his place in the world.

The story opens with Recai having been dumped and left to die in the desert after a night of illicit drinking in Elih. He meets with two main characters when they save his life and within a few pages, we’re treated to the first experience of the brutality and anti-woman bias of the RTK’s officers.

This novel, it seems to me, is a vehicle through which the author wishes to expose the hypocrisy of those using Sharia Law to further their own means. At its core is the attitude of these so-called Muslims toward women. The officers of the RTK, or at least the ones the story focuses on, use rape to subjugate women. There is a lot of rape in this story. Once a young woman has been raped, the author shows how she is then shunned by those closest to her who consider her spoiled goods, bringing shame on the family. This was an unpleasant education for me. I’ve read of atrocities committed against Muslim woman, but the author brought this home in a visceral manner.

Sadly, for this reader, the story, and in particular the main character, didn’t ring true. Because the tale wasn’t strong enough to carry the message, I found it difficult to suspend disbelief.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic and powerful read that grabs you right from the beginning! I did not read this right away because I thought... Muslim Superhero? Ummm riiiiiiiight, and then I said to myself, oh gods a book that speaks against the violence of muslin women... OK I am against it but do I want to read a book about it in the guise of a superhero novel? So I put it off, BIG MISTAKE! I read the author's other pieces and realized I may have jusged to quickly so Christmas Eve I gave myself an early present, picked it up and read, read and read and I was unable to stop reading till I was done. And at the end of the book, with my mouth open, I kicked myself for not giving the book when I first received it!

This is not just a superhero story, this is not just about the plight of the Muslim women, this is not just about ... well it is about a lot of things! Ms. Tyler has not pulled any punches - misogamy, religion, greed, corruption, abuse, and right off the bat - rape. As a rape survivor so many times when I read a rape scene it is handled without care, full of gratuitous violence, and most of the time times sloppy. This did not even trigger me except for moving right to feeling righteous and wanting to get up and fight!

Where is the superhero you say? Recai Osman, son of a billionaire in Elih, Turkey. After attempting to help someone, he finds himself beaten and left for dead in the desert with the city no where in sight. Taken in and cared for by an elderly Jewish man with the help of his daughter. After recovering, resting and some true enlightenment (you have to have a superhero mentor)Recai is back in the city, though still recovering when he has a run in with a corrupt organization which changes everything and dark local hero was born... THE SANDSTORM!
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By E. L. Sapp on January 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have heard that the mark of a good book is that it makes the reader feel and care. Going by that measure, this is one of the best books I have ever read. Reading this made me angry. The events are told in a brutal, gritty style that leaves nothing to imagination. It was almost painful (in a good way).

So why only 4 stars? Because characterization is lacking. The author comments on this in the Q&A at the end of the book, and it seems to be intentional. (She says there is more character development in the second book.) Recai is too sheltered to be a workable main character. He does develop, but it seems to be too little, too late. Darya is supposed to be strong, but she comes across as a wimp. Maryam and Hasad seemed to be cardboard cutouts rather than actual people.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I couldn't put this book down. It is extraordinarily gripping from the first page to the last, and the characters are so unusual and well-developed that you just want to discover more about them. The book is set in Turkey, in a real place called Elih (fun fact: Elih is the Kurdish name for a real Turkish town called 'Batman'. Nice.) Although the Elih that the author creates is fictitious and nothing like the real place, she chose the Turkish setting because she wanted somewhere with religious tensions between Muslims and Jews that didn't instantly evoke 9/11. You really do learn more about the Islamic faith from the book, as it describes and portrays many rituals, prayers, greetings and passages from the Qur'an and religious tensions. Different groups' interpretations of religious texts are at the heart of the story. Tyler has clearly done her research and, for me, it really paid off.

In this story, there is a 'morality' police force called the RTK. They are a Muslim group who are in control of the city and are, basically, armed policeman who make sure that certain Muslim practices are being followed. There include: not drinking, not smoking, not eating pork, women must wear their burkas and be accompanied by male chaperones, reading material is restricted, women are not allowed newspapers, etc etc. They are an intimidating and brutal force and, as we soon realise, very corrupt.

The RTK become the villains of the piece right from the outset of the book. If you are averse to brutal violence (including sexual and incestual) then you are going to find this book hard going. And I am not exaggerating. I have seen the most violent films out there and read incredibly violent books in the past, and this is definitely up there with them.
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