Berkley, Oct 2009, $15.00
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.