Sand Daughter by Sarah Bryant

Read: 3 December, 2009

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 hold on the novel’s verisimilitude.

The storytelling was quite good, making the book very readable. This is always a plus, especially in longer works!

Another aspect that I quite enjoyed was the inclusion of a homosexual romance as one of the subplots. It’s lovely to see homosexuality dropped into a story without it being the story, normalizing it as just another possible pairing, undeserving of freakshow attention.

I enjoyed this novel quite a bit. There are aspects of the history that I could argue with, but that seems unimportant in the face of a good story. Recommended for fans of both historical fiction and fantasy, but not for purists in either genre.

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