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Blood & Sand (English Edition)

Blood & Sand (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Rosemary Sutcliff

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Egypt 1807.

Thomas Keith of the 78th Highlanders has been thrown in battle against the Turks.

He is far away from Scotland in the harsh desert.

Defeated and lying wounded and imprisoned in a village headman’s house, he is just one of a handful of survivors. And he awaits his fate with dread.

Little does he know that Ahmed Ahga, a feared and powerful Ottoman general wants Thomas for his private guard.

With little choice in the matter, Thomas agrees, without realising that it is the start of an extraordinary series of adventures that will lead him to new friends, a new way of life and eventually see him rise to become Emir of the holy Islamic city of Medina.

Based on a true story, Rosemary Sutcliff’s magical and enthralling historical novel brings to life all the mystery savagery and the beauty of the Arab world.

‘The tone is dark and thoughtful, the detail carefully observed, and the flavour unmistakably exotic.’ - The Lady

‘Packed with feeling and historical fact’ - Books

Rosemary Sutcliff CBE (14 December 1920 – 23 July 1992) was a British novelist best known for children's books, especially historical fiction and retellings of myths and legends. For her contribution as a children's writer Sutcliff was a runner-up for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1974. Although she was primarily a children's author, some of her novels were specifically written for adults. Her other adult works include ‘Flowers for Adonis’ and ‘The Rider of the White Horse’.

Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent publisher of digital books.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 3001 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 360 Seiten
  • Verlag: Endeavour Press (8. Juli 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00LN5D1CK
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
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  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #55.497 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.0 von 5 Sternen  1 Rezension
3.0 von 5 Sternen The broadsword and the sabre; the extraordinary adventures of Thomas Keith. 1. April 2014
Von Selene - Veröffentlicht auf
From the turbulent Ottoman Empire of the early 19th century comes a rousing tale of political intrigue and shifting tribal allegiances, desert warfare, heroism and the brotherhood of arms, as the Napoleonic Wars between France and Britain spill over into the Middle East.

Published in 1987, the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction story of Thomas Keith, a young Scottish soldier who becomes the Emir or Governor of the holy Islamic city of Medina, has all the hall-marks of classic Sutcliff - it's written in her inimitable vivid and evocative style and woven round a central partnership of two young men who are both sword-brothers and heart-brothers; Keith himself and Tussum Bey, son of Muhammad Ali Pasha, Wāli of Egypt. Why then, does it lack the conviction of better known Sutcliff novels like "Lantern Bearers", "Sword at Sunset" or "Mark of the Horse Lord"?

"Blood and Sand" is an adult novel and readers may be taken aback by some relatively frank (for Sutcliff) sex scenes ("Had immoral parts. Don't read!", cries a clearly traumatised Goodreads reviewer.) This isn't as much of an issue for me as Sutcliff's introduction of a couple of extraneous female characters who add a jarring note of overblown melodrama - the sexually predatory Lady Nayli and Anoud, the gentle innocent who becomes Keith's wife. Sutcliff struggles to find a point of connection with female characters, and in her adult novels they are stereotypically either dangerous, like Nayli, or like Anoud, act purely as moon to a male hero's sun. Sutcliff comments herself that there is no record of Keith marrying, and that a stray romantic impulse prompted her to give him a happy marriage. She should have resisted that impulse - any real passion and depth in this novel lies in the interaction between her male characters.

Sutcliff freely acknowledges Scottish historian and educationist Michael Starforth as having given her the story of Thomas Keith. Herein, I discovered, lies the answer to the curiously dissonant feel of "Blood and Sand". Starforth didn't just give her an inspiration - he actually wrote this story first. Starforth's specialty was Middle Eastern affairs and he had spent a good deal of time working on a novel based on Thomas Keith's extraordinary adventures called "A Broadsword for Islam", but couldn't find a publisher for it. He gave the draft to Sutcliff who adapted it and subsequently published it, with Starforth's blessing, under her own name as "Blood and Sand". This is a graft that hasn't quite taken, a tale of two very different styles in uneasy co-existence - imagine an austerely masculine living room decorated with a profusion of colourful silken curtains and embroidered cushions and you'll get the idea.

Anything written by Sutcliff is well worth reading and Thomas Keith's fascinating and at times moving story showcases her abilities to recreate stirring battles and gift the reader a vibrant and visceral experience of a particular time and place. Unlike Roman Britain or ancient Greece, though, this just isn't her own particular time or place.
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