Al-Kabar by Lee French
Publication date: August 30th 2015
Without a Sultan, corrupt Fire Dancers and their pompous Caliphs abuse power and wage fruitless wars across the parched sands of Serescine.
Fakhira wishes her family could afford to solve their problems with magic. Sometimes, wishes come true. In the worst possible way. A simple peasant, she’ll have to find the strength to survive and shoulder her fate before the desert is bathed in the blood of innocents.
The Fires blaze in dozens of wild, capricious Dancers.
The Waters anoint only one champion, one Al-Kabar to serve–and save–the people of the desert.
*MY BOOK REVIEW*
DISCLAIMER: The books/eBooks being reviewed were provided free of charge in return for an honest review.
I haven’t read a straight fantasy novel for what feels like the longest time ever. And, when I get the opportunity to read a novel such as Al-Kabar, I really question why I don’t read a lot more in this genre!
Al-Kabar is what I would consider Middle Eastern Fantasy. There is deserts and magic and mages galore. I really love the feel of this novel, the author draws you in immediately and sets the scene nicely with the main character meeting a potential suitor. Her family is introduced and the everyday sense of the setting is engaging.
Then, stuff happens. And since I am not a spoiler heavy reviewer, let’s just say that things go down and the main character discovers she is actually Al-Kabar, a water dancer (or mage) that is set to seek revenge.
Overall, the pace of this story was great. There were a few moments where I felt the story lag and get bogged down with the fine details of what was going on, but these moments were few and far between.
My main gripe with this novel is the fact that when the main character (who is female) becomes Al-Kabar, she transforms into, for all intents and purposes, a male character. While I loved the conflict that occurs after this transformation, when it first occurred, there was some confusion as the character was suddenly being referred to as a male when a chapter ago they were being referred to as a woman. However, this hiccup has been amended between the ARC and the published copy, so all readers have to do is sit back and enjoy the show!
Over all, I am giving Al-Kabar by Lee French, 4 out of 5 stars. I really, REALLY enjoyed this book!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lee French lives in Olympia, WA, and is the author of several books, most notably the Maze Beset Trilogy, The Greatest Sin series (co-authored with Erik Kort), and assorted tales in her fantasy setting, Ilauris. She is an avid gamer and active member of the Myth-Weavers online RPG community, where she is known for her fondness for Angry Ninja Squirrels of Doom. In addition to spending much time there, she also trains year-round for the one-week of glorious madness that is RAGBRAI, has a nice flower garden with one dragon and absolutely no lawn gnomes, and tries in vain every year to grow vegetables that don’t get devoured by neighborhood wildlife.