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Empire of Sand

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  121 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
1915: While the war in Europe escalates, a young intelligence officer named Thomas Edward Lawrence is in Cairo, awaiting his chance for action. His superiors, however, have consigned him to the Map Room at GCHQ. But there's more to Lieutenant Lawrence than meets the eye. A man of immense energy, he runs a network of agents across the Levant. Lawrence is convinced that an A ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 3rd 2008 by Headline Review (first published January 1st 2008)
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Alison Smith
Sep 15, 2013 Alison Smith rated it liked it
A great Boy's Own Adventure story : 1915 - the Middle East - T.E. LAWRENCE (AKA Lawrence of Arabia)a network of spies in Cairo, wily German provocateur- rifles, horses and camels race across the burning sands, the Arabs are treacherous,the Turks are cruel, there's plot & counter plot - men drop like flies; but officers act and die like gentloemen; brave men pilot bi-planes AND there's a woman, disguised as an Arab boy ... I REALLY had my money's worth with this one! Bravo, Mr Ryan!
Josie Rideg
Apr 22, 2015 Josie Rideg rated it it was amazing
Very interesting, suspense-filled, informative and enlightening fiction based on reality about Lawrence of Arabia. Impressed by the similarities and historical background to the problems of the Middle East today. Involving story.
Dec 31, 2014 Soho_Black rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, used-to-own
I've long thought that 'historical fiction' was a bit of a misnomer. After all, fiction by definition has to stop where real history begins. However, that doesn't mean that wrapping fiction around historical events or people can't lead to a decent story and that's what has happened here.

It is 1915 and with the First World War raging in Europe, events are also progressing in Africa and the Middle East. In Cairo, a British Intelligence Officer by the name of T. E. Lawrence has come to believe that
Jul 13, 2016 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”
T.E Lawrence

It is 1915 the First World War raging in Europe, events are also progressing in the Middle East. In Cairo, T.E Lawrence is serving as a British Intelligence Officer who believes that the only way to beat the German supported Turks in Per
Graham S
Jun 13, 2013 Graham S rated it liked it
Hard to come to a definite conclusion as I didn't really get the point of the book. Most of the story focuses on one episode in Persia in 1915 which was a good adventure story well told. I certainly got the feel of the desert and the privations and dangers of the soldiers and local tribesman. A cruel and often short life, it seems. Were the characters real? -it seems so after reading the Author's note at the end, but Lawrence comes over as having almost magical powers, always spotting the decept ...more
Nuno Magalhães
Este livro de Robert Ryan centra-se na personalidade de Thomas Edward Lawrence, oficial do Exército Britânico, e na respectiva influência da revolta Árabe contra o Império Otomano que ocupava a Palestina e que se desenvolveu durante a 1ª Grande Guerra do Século XX no Próximo Oriente. A prosa do autor é muito interessante, por vezes complexa, e integra de uma forma fluída relatos de acontecimentos passados no Cairo e Aqaba, cidades controladas pelos Britânicos, bem como no Sudoeste da Pérsia (act ...more
Dec 30, 2012 Iceman rated it liked it
D.E. Lawrence foi uma personagem fascinante na revolta árabe durante a 1ª Grande Guerra. Fascinante e deveras misterioso, pois a sua história ainda hoje não é totalmente conhecida, existindo muitos pormenores e factos por esclarecer, assim como acontecimentos sem quaisquer explicações.

Em todo o caso esta é uma obra de ficção, mas os acontecimentos descritos sucederam mesmo e isso faz com que o presente livro seja, de facto, um romance notável.

Mas a estrutura e a escrita simples do autor ajudam.
May 13, 2013 Caz rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book, I wanted to learn some more of Lawrence of Arabia. This book was captivating from beginning to end. The author had carefully researched facts known about Lawrence and mixed fiction with non-fiction to give a very convincing account. Clearly the author was in awe of Lawrence and made continuous references to his natural leadership, intelligence and master thinking - so much so that any of Lawrences' flaws or mistakes were also written in a positive way which made him c ...more
I enjoyed this book as a quick read and a change of pace from some others I've read lately.
It's a good romp through the early imagined history of T E Lawrence and as I've never read 'seven pillars' it gives a flavour of how Lawrence may have been. The story has a drive to it and introduces a number of historical figures that I will investigate further. So worth a read.
Apr 19, 2010 Stefan rated it liked it
"Empire of Sand" explored the early military career of T. E. Lawrence. The story explored the dynamic conflict that occurred Lawrence and Wilhelm Wassmus (a German agent). The author effectively incorporated numerous historical events and people. I found that the plot, at times, became somewhat tedious. Otherwise, it was a decent thriller.
Ron Decaigny
Jan 02, 2010 Ron Decaigny rated it really liked it
Populated with mostly actual people this is a painless and enjoyable way to gain insight into the people and happenings of the time. Throw in a good (and plausable)story and you can't go wrong. Mr Ryan has certainly done his homework. Well worth the time.
Sep 27, 2015 Sasha rated it really liked it
I was given this book by a friend, mainly because of the Egyptian connection.
It was a great read, and I especially enjoyed the sharp dialogue and the relationship between two highly intelligent men (Wassmuss and Lawrence).
Feb 01, 2012 Sandra rated it liked it
I enjoyed the book, but I am not sure how close it conforms to the real Lawrence of Arabia.
Dianne Landry
Sep 03, 2012 Dianne Landry rated it did not like it
May 21, 2009 Mercedes rated it did not like it
Didn't finish it. Couldn't get into it.
Paul Vilarino
Jul 19, 2011 Paul Vilarino rated it really liked it
fun book, for summer time reading
Lindsey Keys
May 13, 2016 Lindsey Keys rated it really liked it
If I hadn't read this book, which was very good, I would never have read his Dr Watson books which are excellent!
NancyHelen rated it really liked it
Apr 12, 2015
Peter rated it liked it
Apr 22, 2011
Phil Deakin
Phil Deakin rated it it was amazing
Apr 05, 2013
Patricia rated it really liked it
Jun 02, 2013
Birdeena rated it liked it
Aug 15, 2015
David rated it it was amazing
May 29, 2013
Bonn rated it liked it
Jan 06, 2014
John Radford
John Radford rated it did not like it
Nov 20, 2015
Joseph Gadea
Joseph Gadea rated it liked it
Feb 13, 2014
Suzanne Dowdall
Suzanne Dowdall rated it liked it
May 30, 2014
Magnus Halsnes
Magnus Halsnes rated it liked it
Feb 14, 2017
HalcyonDaze rated it liked it
Oct 04, 2014
Roshan Kate
Roshan Kate rated it it was ok
Dec 24, 2012
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aka Tom Neale

Robert Ryan was born in Liverpool but moved to London when he was eighteen to attend university. He lectured in natural sciences for several years before moving into journalism in the mid-1980s, first with The Face and then the Dylan Jones-edited Arena. During this time, he also wrote for The Daily Telegraph, US GQ, US Conde Nast Traveler, Esquire and The Sunday Times.

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