STAR RATING: 5 Stars
Book Description from Amazon
To escape his humdrum London existence, Henry Layard has undertaken a dangerous overland journey. On the way, he has agreed to carry out a mission for a shadowy organisation. With every step further from the familiar salons of his indomitable aunt Sarah and scheming uncle, William, Layard must abandon friends, western ideals and even his sense of self in order to survive an alien and terrifying world.
Death stalks his heels. A terrible act of injustice has awakened an ancient, implacable force. Layard finds himself plunged into a world where myths, nightmares and modern monsters come crashing together. Discovering friendship where he least suspects, Layard must fight alongside a wild hill-tribe against a deadly foe. All the while, the attentions of foreign powers are drawn towards Layard’s mission – leading to a bloody finale.
A fast-paced tale of the Great Game, the Sleeping Sands is enthralling, mystical, comic and terrifying by turn.
With larger-than-life characters, grisly murders, monsters, cliff-hanger suspense, desperate midnight rides, plagues, bandits and battles, the Sleeping Sands is a good old-fashioned romp of an adventure story, in the tradition of Rider Haggard and Karl May – but with a twist. A gothic fantasy of the 1840s that combines moments of black humour and dark terror, while offering some chilling contemporary echoes.
I downloaded this book because the book description intrigued me. Once I read the Prologue I was hooked.
The story follows the adventures of Henry Layard through Persia, Susiana and Babylonia in search of an ancient artefact. During the course of the book, Layard survives a number of near death experiences while being part of some of the most hair raising events any human being could be part of.
What I liked about the book
I did not like this book – I LOVED IT! It will forever be on my shelves as one of my favourites. The story is incredibly interesting. Layard is a fascinating character, and I like how the author described his appearance and personality from different people’s point of view. The story is filled with adventure and wonderful descriptions of the life and culture of the people Layard meets on his travels. Both the beauty and brutality of the land and its inhabitants are described in such a way as to make the reader feel as if they are part of it. There are so many interesting characters, but the two that I most enjoyed was Henry Layard himself and Munachar Ali Khan who was such a thoroughly evil character.
As the story progressed, a beautifully complicated tale emerged, tying together the many interwoven plots.
What I didn’t enjoy that much
The one and only thing I struggled with in the book was the many names that sound so similar. I had to keep my wits about me to make sure I always knew who was who. The story was so fantastic though, that this minor issue could not change the fact that I loved this book from start to finish.
I’ve never read anything from this author before, but will make a point of finding more of his writing. If I could give this book 6 stars I would!
STAR RATING: A mind blowing 5 Stars