Thursday, June 24, 2010

New This Week: Shadow of the Swords by Kamran Pasha

We loved Kamran Pasha’s debut novel, 2009’s Mother of the Believers. Shadow of the Swords (Washington Square Press) delivers the same rich voice, this time in an epic tale of the Crusades from a perspective you’ve likely never seen before. But though seeing this story from the Muslim viewpointmay be a different place for a Western reader to stand, it is not mere novelty that makes Shadow of the Swords so compelling. Pasha is a genuinely good storyteller. Star-crossed lovers -- a Muslim sultan and a beautiful Jewish girl -- at the eye of a storm, the ravages of war as well as the various ebbs and flows of love and loss. It’s a rich and deftly imagined story, very well told.

Like Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner) Kamran Pasha is offering us beautifully written glimpses into a culture those of us in the West have seldom seen depicted in quite this way. Shadow of the Swords is first a very good story. Just don’t expect it to leave you untouched.

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