30 day book challenge day 8 – Most underrated book.
I’ve been looking forward to answering this question in particular, because there is one book that I absolutely love but that no one else I know has read:-
Sand Daughter by Sarah Bryant
This is the story of Kalidah, the daughter of a Bedouin leader who runs away on the eve of her forced marriage with a mysterious minstrel, Suleman, who takes on a journey across the desert to the sanctuary of her dead mother’s people, the Jinn. But Suleman has his own motivations for rescuing Kalidah, and seeks to use her influence to persuade the Jinn to join Salah ad-Din’s war against the crusaders. Meanwhile, Kalidah’s best friend Bilal also runs away from the tribe, hurt by Kalidah’s betrayal. He is ordered by his estranged father to join Salah ad-Din’s forces as a spy, but he finds his loyalties divided as his relationship with Salah ad-Din’s youngest son develops.
This story has it all. It has love, loss, conflict, betrayal, misunderstandings, an epic journey across the desert, a war. It is written beautifully, and the descriptions of the cultures and the landscapes are evocative. I did not know much about the crusades prior to reading this book, and definitely knew nothing of it from Salah ad-Din’s point of view. Sarah Bryant’s writing really brings this time period to life and makes me want to learn so much more.
Kalidah is exactly the kind of character that appeals to me. I love to read about strong women who defy convention and live ahead of their time. From a pampered Bedouin princess, she emerges as a tough and courageous young woman who leads an army into war and fights for the respect that she deserves. It is also a pleasure to follow the other main character, Bilal, in his journey from boy to man, from a person entirely at the mercy of others, to one who is prepared to stand and fight for what he wants.
I have already mentioned Sand Daughter on a previous post as a book I would love to see made into a film. It has all the ingredients to make an epic film, and I would love for someone to make it, just to raise the profile of this excellent book. It deserves much more attention and recognition than it receives and it is definitely one of my all time favourites.