The Sand Daughter [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Sarah Bryant
eBook Category: Historical Fiction/Historical Fiction
eBook Description: It is the time of the Crusades. The Islamic world is divided and the Franks have captured the Holy Land. As the mighty Saladin struggles to unite the warring clans of Arabia against the invaders, Khalidah, a young Bedouin woman of no obvious importance finds herself a pawn in a deadly plot involving her own feuding tribe and the powerful Templar Knights. Faced with certain death, she runs away with a man she barely knows, towards adventure and the echoes of a past that somehow connect her to the Jinn--the mysterious Afghan warriors who may hold the key to the coming battle for the Holy Land.
eBook Publisher: Snowbooks/Snowbooks
Fictionwise Release Date: January 2007
?There is Kerak Castle,? said Yazid, pointing to a low mountain in the middle distance, topped by fortress walls. ?That is the home of Brins Arnat.? Rahil clutched her grandfather?s hand more tightly. Like all Muslim children in Oultrejourdain, she had been brought up on tales of the Franj prince?s savagery, but she had more reason than most to dread this place. It had haunted her dreams for as long as she could remember, for it was Kerak that had killed her parents. They had been taken prisoner in one of Arnat?s many raids as they made their own pilgrimage when she was two years old. And so, although Rahil had never laid eyes on the castle before, she nevertheless knew it by the intimacy of fear, just as she knew her parents? faces in her nightmares, though she had long forgotten them by day. Now the only family left to Rahil was Yazid, but though she loved him devotedly, she would have given anything to have been left at home. She had even asked him if she could stay with a neighboring family; but in the end, her grandfather had felt that it was wrong to impose on others for so long. The trip to Mecca was long and unpredictable and besides, he had said, it would be good for Rahil to make the hajj now, while she was young, instead of leaving it until the end of her life, as he had. They drew closer to the hilltop fortress. Danger radiated from its walls like the miasmic shimmer of heat on a noontime desert. Rahil tried to convince herself that what she felt was merely fear, not foresight. She tried to concentrate on the caravan?s size and the strength of its defenses. She counted it down from the front, where the Amir al-Hajj rode on a magnificent bay stallion. He was personally responsible for the safety of the travelers; it was a matter of honor. Spreading out behind him was a troop of soldiers led by a phalanx of officers. There were also all the officials of a town: a judge, his notaries and secretary, officials to oversee the care of the animals and the distribution of provisions, a saddler, a staff of cooks, even an inspector of weights and measures. Then there were the pilgrims themselves, grouped according to their point of origin and marching with the discipline of soldiers. Surely, thought Rahil, even Brins Arnat would think twice before attacking a group of such size and might; and if he did, he would surely be interested in the wealthy pilgrims, with their rich trappings and their high ransom potential. Surely he would not touch an old man and a ten-year-old child in nondescript clothing, carrying only enough money to pay their way at the caravanserais. Surely?and yet as the castle loomed closer, Rahil found that she was sure of nothing but her own terror.