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Synopsis: An epic novel of adventure in the grandest tradition of historical fiction, Empires of Sand takes us on a thrilling, unforgettable journey.
As civilizations collide around two men, a battle begins: for survival, for love, and for a destiny written in a desert's shifting sands.
The year is 1870. Paris is under siege, and two boys, best friends and cousins, are swept from their life of privilege. A brutal killing forces Michel deVries — called Moussa — to flee to his mother's homeland in North Africa. A family disgrace forces Paul deVries to seek redemption in the French military.
Ten years will pass before they come face-to-face again. Now Moussa has become a desert warrior and a beautiful woman's forbidden lover, while Paul leads an ill-fated French force into the Sahara. Against a breathtaking landscape of blazing sands and ancient mysteries, these two men face a struggle that will shatter lives across two continents — and force them to choose between separate dreams and shared blood....
Review: What a find! David Ball's first novel packs the wallop of a good old-fashioned adventure movie, with historic sweep to please any James Michener fan. The action starts with a wounded wild boar's attack on two French boys (convincingly told from the points of view of the boar, the boys--Paul and Moussa--the terrified mom, and an evil bishop who watches and prevents his coachman from shooting the beast). The pace never slackens as the scenes flash past: invasion and class war in the streets and underground quarryways of Paris during the 1870 siege, moonlit sneak attacks in the desert the Arabs call "the Land of Thirst and Fear," and an epic French attempt to drive a railroad through the Sahara--a mad plan opposed by the dunes and their no less implacable inhabitants, the Tuareg.
The Tuareg are the coolest--they're known as the blue men because they wear head-to-toe wraparound indigo-dyed clothes that scarily obscure their faces and stain their skin. Their rivals call them blue devils, and they have lots of rivals. Even though their dads are brothers, the French boys are fated to fight as tribal rivals in Saharan nomad's land because Moussa has a Tuareg mother. His dad, Count Henri deVries, crash-landed his balloon at her feet, and she followed him back to Paris. Racial oppression and bad bishop behavior provoke justifiable homicide at the Paris Opera, occasioning a hairsbreadth balloon escape and southern adventures too numerous to enumerate here. The prose is purple but handsome, the plot pulpy and propulsive. Check out these sentences: "He fell to her from the sky"; "Bashaga's howl haunted them until it was swallowed by the wind"; "As Moussa's stabbing knife pushed up through to his brain, Abdul ben Henna's last thoughts were of revenge." If these make you burn to read on, read on! You won't be disappointed. --Tim Appelo
Title: Empires of Sand
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
Book Condition: Good
Book Description Dell, 2001. Book Condition: Good. Ships from Reno, NV. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP96213664
Book Description Dell, 2001. Book Condition: Fair. Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Shows definite wear, and perhaps considerable marking on inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP96859602
Book Description Dell, 2001. Book Condition: Good. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP2874391
Book Description Dell. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. Very Good copy, cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage. Binding may have light creases. Lots of life left in these pages. Bookseller Inventory # 2775728294
Book Description Dell. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. little to no wear, pages are clean. The cover and binding are crisp with next no creases. Bookseller Inventory # 2778914114
Book Description Dell. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. Cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage. May have creases on the cover and binding caused from handling and reading. Some pages may contain writing and or highlighting. Bookseller Inventory # 2797349195
Book Description Dell. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Book shows a small amount of wear - very good condition. Bookseller Inventory # G0440236681I4N00
Book Description Dell. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Very good condition - book only shows a small amount of wear. Bookseller Inventory # G0440236681I4N00
Book Description Dell. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Appearance of only slight previous use. Cover and binding show a little wear. All pages are undamaged with potentially only a few, small markings. Bookseller Inventory # G0440236681I4N00
Book Description Dell. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Only lightly used. Book has minimal wear to cover and binding. A few pages may have small creases and minimal underlining. Bookseller Inventory # G0440236681I3N00