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Sand Daughter

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  288 ratings  ·  45 reviews
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 finds herself the pawn in a deadly plot involving her feuding tribe and the Templar Knights.
Paperback, 506 pages
Published September 30th 2006 by Snowbooks
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Average rating 3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  288 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Bryn Hammond
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: imagined-fiction
I undertook this because it’s set on the Muslim side of the Crusades. Mostly in Crusades fiction we get only a cursory glimpse of the societies I’m more interested in and that’s frustrating. Here it’s the Franj who are only seen from the inside now and then. So, I loved the setting straight away, as we are plunged into Bedu tents, where the adventure starts. I’d call this an adventure, more than a war story. With Bilal we spend our time in Salah ad-Din’s camp, but with Khalidah we travel through ...more
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
I quite enjoyed this book. It was a little long in some spots, but the story unwound and revealed different layers in some unexpected ways. Reading about the Crusades from the Muslim perspective was interesting, too.

While there were some totally predictable developments, I was pleasantly surprised to find some completely unexpected. And the ending, although bittersweet, seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. Anything too rosy wouldn't have fit with the story.
Dec 13, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book, but after a few chapters I couldn't shake the feeling that the primary characters were simply cardboard cut-outs running through a familiar script in an exotic locale: headstrong daughter of mysterious mother flees unwelcome marriage with the assistance of mysterious stranger and finds out she has a secret destiny.

There's nothing *wrong* with that plot, per se, but if you're going to do it, you need to have strikingly original characters and/or vivid dialo
Carolyn Lessard
Sep 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
I expected something a little more romantic and action packed, but it was a bit flat.

The "Sand Daughter" tells two stories, one of a tribal princess who flees an arranged marriage with her cousin to solidify peace between tribes ruled by brothers.

She escapes with a mysterious musician and embarks on a long journey to a secret land. The journey lasts an eternity. Dialogue is wordy, always involving a long story to explain the simplest questions.

I was not able t
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather Wallace
Jul 31, 2018 rated it did not like it
The cover blurb - crusades as told from the Arab side, and normal people at that, made me grab it. First chapter? Nice set up, quite interesting, Khalidah and her backstory look quite engaging, as does everyone.
And then there's an awful lot of not very interesting incident that keeps happening but no actual plot. The characters explain bits of backstory to each other because of the incident and new people appear but you still don't know any more about them than you did in the first chapter
Jennifer Withers
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very different read to what I normally pick up. Beautifully written & brimming with lifelike and unforgettable characters, I loved this book. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because it did lag in some places, bogged down with passages of description which I felt could've been cut down somewhat. I learned a huge chunk of history about the crusades, which I knew very little about, and found extremely confusing at first with all the different groups & people & beliefs, but ...more
Amy Fischer
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a vividly written account of the crusades from the point of view of a Muslim girl and boy. Full of adventure and romance and beautifully acknowledges the great faith and human frailties of both sides. Sad that not much has changed in a thousand years. I really enjoyed this book, it's Well worth the read.
Ellen Eveland
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I chose Sand Daughter because I was fascinated by the idea of reading of the Crusades from the viewpoint of the "Saracens" and it didn't disappoint. I particularly enjoyed the many religious comparisons between the Muslim and Christian faiths. A strong story with characters who make interesting choices.
Tara Chevrestt
This novel takes place during the Crusades. At first, there are so many different groups and tribes involved in the story, that one not familiar with the history of the Islamic world or Crusades or Templar Knights will have to do some googling. Once the reader figures out who is who, it is a decent enough story about a young woman named Khalidah. Khalidah was born into a nomad (traveling) Arab tribe and is a devout muslim. While the Franjs are waging war against the Sultan and those of his relig ...more
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Part historical fiction and part fantasy, Sand Daughter is the story of Khalidah, born of a Djinn mother and a Bedu father.

I had just picked it up without knowing what it was about, and the first portion read like a standard historical fiction, so I was taken rather by surprise when the story veered off into fantasy territory. That’s not to say that it was unpleasant. Bryant managed to combine the two in a way that worked, inserting magic into real history while still keeping a good
Jan 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Great book which is well-researched and is one of those books that clearly defines the tag "historical fiction." The fictional characters hold their own against the historical personages and the story is a wonderful balance between the various characters. With Khalidah's story running parallel to that of Saladin's conquering of the Franks for possession of the Holy Land, the story never gets tiresome or ponderous. I have posted a full-length review on
Jun 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I just picked this up at random in a book store in Bath and LOVE IT! I couldn't put it down. Well written, great plot, interesting characters, beautiful images...I have no complaints. Not a single one. I wished somethings had turned out differently but I don't think those things could have been helped so such is life. I hope to teach this book someday. WONDERFUL!
This was an awesome book, the characters were vibrant and real and the twists and turns keep you guessing until the end. Though it can be slow at times, it is ultimately a fantastic read that captures the landscape of the middle east and the turbulent period of the crusades, where both sides felt driven by God to claim the holy land.
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. It's been a while since I read a book like this. I really enjoyed it, although the characters seem a lot flatter than those I have enjoyed more recently, but I think that that is the nature of the gendre. I especially liked the reference to the various horse breeds from the East, e.g. Arabians and Akhal Teke. This is an action packed adventure with a feisty young heroine.
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
A good read. The book was slow to begin , but by the time I was on Part 2 i could'nt put it down . I really liked the character Bilal , surprising in many ways. Was surprised and overjoyed to see Balian , Sibylla , Guy mentioned and elaborated on. The ending was finished so smoothly , which I liked immensely.
Dec 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book for Christmas and it is something I wouldnt normally read. I did really enjoy it though. I liked that the story was about two different people and the way it jumped from person to person was not confusing. The story itself was very interesting. I think if you liked the Kite Runner you will like this one too.
Feb 13, 2014 rated it liked it
"Sand Daughter" is cleanly written and does a lovely job of evoking the opulent east. Unfortunately about 2/3 of the way through I lost steam, probably because I was less interested in the Saladin angle than in the "searching for her mother" angle. Will try to finish this book again later.
Laura Moriarty
Jan 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful writing style, it's like poetry and song, making it flow like water and pleasant to read. The love stories are both melancholy, keeping me reading. The battle scenes are also beautifully done, rich in meaning.
Nalini Deonarine
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who knows me, knows my love for female empowering characters. Khalida, Sandara, Zaynab, Brekhna were the epitome of my liking.

I was skeptical to read this as it was based on a religion and era I knew little of. But it didn't disappoint.
Ghazala Khan
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Got into this book straight away. Its about the Islamic Crusade in the Middle East in the 12th century. Each character has its own journey and agenda. The struggle, journey, war and emotions are well described in this book.
Khalidah is the beloved daughter of a nomad chief, meaning she must go into an arranged marriage. Yet instead she escapes and takes a chance to find her mother, guided by a musician w/ hidden depths. Treachery, love, and the history of how Salah al-Din took Jerusalem back from the Crusaders.
May 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
The story revolves more around Bilal and his love affair with a prince (son of Sala-al-Din) than it does around Khalidah's romance with Sulayman. Definitely a well researched historical fiction about Sala-al-Din's victorious campaign against the Christians in Jordan.
Jordan (jordan_nb)
Oct 12, 2010 rated it liked it
The plot was fairly good, not too many twists and turns but overall a good read. Takes a while to figure out all the different tribes and since it follows two Muslim characters set during the Crusades the events are fairly difficult to comprehend unless you have previous knowledge.
Oct 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
I love historical fiction, and this was a new one for me (I normally keep to English locals), so the historical aspect was a bit hard for me to grasp. But the story was very enjoyable and novel itself was very well written.
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Very well written! It was a very interesting read. I love historical fiction and this was definitely a winner!
Jun 05, 2011 rated it did not like it
I thought this book was boring and couldn't even finish it.
Gail/Ladyvolz Bowman
Apr 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-read
set during 1100's during the Templars defense of Jerusalem and salah a-din's attempt to take control back. Told more from the Muslim point of view.
Mar 06, 2011 added it
I thought it was pretty good. A part of history and a perspective not usually seen.
Jenny Q
Apr 14, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Got this on the bargain rack at Borders. Drawn in by the change of scenery and the crusade-based storyline.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 15, 2015 06:49PM  

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Sarah Bryant (born 1973 in Brunswick, Maine, USA, is a contemporary British based writer.

She attended Brown University in Rhode Island before moving to Scotland in 1996 to study creative writing at the University of St. Andrews. She settled in the UK after meeting her husband and now lives in the Scottish Borders region where along with writing she doubles as a teacher of Celtic harp,
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