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Empires of Sand: A Novel de David Ball
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Empires of Sand: A Novel (original: 1999; edição: 2001)

de David Ball (Autor)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1867114,971 (3.79)2
From the mysteriously beautiful, richly hued landscape of the Saharan mountains to the sumptuous splendor of nineteenth-century Paris, Empires of Sand is a novel that takes us on an extraordinary, powerfully emotional journey. In a clash between two civilizations, two men of common blood discover that in war, love, and even family, they are both destined to be outsiders.... The year is 1870. The proud Republic of France is crumbling under the onslaught of the Prussian army. Paris is under siege. Too young to understand the shifting fortunes of the empire, two boys forge a bond with their breathless adventures in the tunnels beneath the threatened city. Paul deVries is the cousin and constant companion of Michel deVries--called Moussa--whose world-explorer father shocked Paris with his marriage to a noblewoman of the Sahara. Moussa will inherit the title of count; Paul is destined to be a soldier like his father. But tragic events will send Moussa fleeing to his mother's homeland, with its brooding mountains, its hidden caves and fortresses. And the two boys who have been the closest of friends are fated as men to become the bitterest of enemies--victims of history and the scheming of scoundrels. They meet again on the Sahara's blazing sands, one as part of a foolhardy French expeditionary force, the other with the nomadic Tuareg, a majestic race of veiled warriors who live and die by flashing swords and a harsh desert code of honor. On this unforgettable, ever-shifting landscape, Paul and Moussa are swept into another war, one far more brutal than anything they have experienced. Paul is obsessed with a quest for personal vengeance and honor. And Moussa, in love with a woman betrothed to an implacable Tuareg warrior, searches for the peace he knew as a child in France. Now they both face a challenge of sheer, harrowing survival: whether to follow the call of their shared blood...or the destiny written in the treacherous sands. Empires of Sand is a grand novel of adventure in the best tradition of historical fiction. With its astounding scenes of the desert and its rich cast of characters--soldiers, lovers, slaves, and zealots--this is a reading experience to be treasured and remembered long after the final page is turned.… (mais)
Membro:justeleblanc
Título:Empires of Sand: A Novel
Autores:David Ball (Autor)
Informação:Dell (2001), Edition: First Printing, 784 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:****
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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Empires of Sand de David Ball (1999)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 7 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I'd never heard of this author, but one of his books was recommended by George R.R. Martin on his website (http://georgerrmartin.com/reading.html) - so I picked this one up.
It's actually NOT the book that Martin read (that was Ironfire, about the Knights of Malta), but I think he'd like this one as well. What an enjoyable book! Ostensibly, this is an historical novel, based on a true incident – a failed 19th-century French expedition to suss out the possibilities of building a trans-Saharan railroad. However, the book has only a marginally less tenuous connection to reality than, say, George R.R. Martin's books. (still reading A Feast For Crows, btw) Empires of Sand is first and foremost a grand adventure-drama, and if historical reality falls a bit by the wayside – who's missing it?
The book focuses on the relationship between Paul DeVries and his half-French, half Tuareg nomad cousin, Moussa. The first half of the book takes place against the backdrop of Paris during the French Revolution, and establishes their relationship as boys. The second half of the book is set in the Sahara. Paul is now an officer in the French army, but Moussa has gone back to the desert and reclaimed his Tuareg heritage... they must meet again, this time on different sides in a terrible conflict.
Along the way, there's plenty of violence, passion, daring escapes, rape, enslavement, cannibalism, miserable deaths, betrayals, revenge... all that good stuff! And plenty of it... it's 770 pages long. It's got enough manly/military type action to satify fans of that kind of thing (Bernard Cornwell, perhaps?) – but also strong female characters and enough romance for those more into the soap-opera dramatic epic kinda thing (Melanie Rawn?). A good balance. The historical background is richly panoramic, but the story itself is always about the personal relationships between the characters, which is something I personally like in this kind of epic fiction... Definitely recommended! ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
This is one of those rare escapist treasures that you pick up expecting to be good, not great, but find yourself thoroughly enjoying. The plot, characters and seamlessly interwoven historical research all combine into an adventure story reminiscent of Dumas or Kipling. There is love and lust enough to keep the story interesting, but not so overwrought and overdone as to turn it into a gratuitous bodice-ripper. I fully intend to seek more of this author's works out. ( )
  Shutzie27 | Jan 26, 2014 |
After reading Ironfire, I searched this book out and certainly was not disappointed. Great characters, interesting plot, and fascinating settings. I've never been to the Sahara (or Paris for that matter); however, I could almost feel the sand blow. Ball is a great storyteller. The only fault I can find is the ending is just a bit too easily tied up; however, I would have been so disappointed in anything less because it seems I invested so much in all the characters. Check out the website: [...]

Reread: 5-2016: Read this after reading "Bad-ass Librarians.." because of the Tuareg peoples. Probably would have given it a 4 star after second reading. A bit wordy in places especially with descriptions and there were too many coincidences. Still good characters: Paul, the Frenchman, and Moussa, Paul's half-French and half-Tuareg cousin. Paul's mother, Elisabeth is a bit over the top of malice and Moussa's Tuareg mother, Serena, a bit too good. ( )
  maryreinert | Aug 16, 2013 |
La fascinante inmensidad del desierto y la extraordinaria vida de los tuareg en agudo contraste con la incipiente colonización europea, portadora de los grandes inventos del siglo XIX. Éste es el escenario que ha elegido David Ball para crear una gran novela épica que resultará de enorme atractivo tanto para los amantes del género de aventuras y viajes como para aquellos lectores que disfrutan de una narrativa apasionante y rica en referentes históricos.

La acción comienza en París, en pleno fragor de la guerra franco-prusiana, y muy pronto se traslada al desierto del Sáhara. Dos primos, que en su infancia eran inseparables, se convierten por las circunstancias políticas en amargos rivales. Moussa es hijo del conde Henri deVries, un noble aventurero francés, y de Serena, descendiente de una dinastía tuareg a quien Henri conoció en un viaje en globo por el desierto. El matrimonio, considerado un escándalo por la nobleza francesa, ha infundido en Moussa un sentimiento de marginación que le acompañará el resto de su vida. Paul, en cambio, es hijo de Jules, hermano de Henri, y de la fría y ambiciosa aristócrata Elizabeth, y no sufre los prejuicios que afectan a Moussa. Cuando Francia decide emprender la construcción de un ferrocarril que atraviese el Sáhara hacia el interior de África, el enfrentamiento de los primos se hace realidad.
  kika66 | Feb 9, 2012 |
Not my typical style of reading, but it was recommended to me. I'm glad it was. Two cousins, two cultures... Bonds of family nutured in Paris tested against bittle conflicts in the Saharan sand.
I enjoyed the glimpse into a culture I knew nothing about. ( )
  jegka | Oct 3, 2011 |
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From the mysteriously beautiful, richly hued landscape of the Saharan mountains to the sumptuous splendor of nineteenth-century Paris, Empires of Sand is a novel that takes us on an extraordinary, powerfully emotional journey. In a clash between two civilizations, two men of common blood discover that in war, love, and even family, they are both destined to be outsiders.... The year is 1870. The proud Republic of France is crumbling under the onslaught of the Prussian army. Paris is under siege. Too young to understand the shifting fortunes of the empire, two boys forge a bond with their breathless adventures in the tunnels beneath the threatened city. Paul deVries is the cousin and constant companion of Michel deVries--called Moussa--whose world-explorer father shocked Paris with his marriage to a noblewoman of the Sahara. Moussa will inherit the title of count; Paul is destined to be a soldier like his father. But tragic events will send Moussa fleeing to his mother's homeland, with its brooding mountains, its hidden caves and fortresses. And the two boys who have been the closest of friends are fated as men to become the bitterest of enemies--victims of history and the scheming of scoundrels. They meet again on the Sahara's blazing sands, one as part of a foolhardy French expeditionary force, the other with the nomadic Tuareg, a majestic race of veiled warriors who live and die by flashing swords and a harsh desert code of honor. On this unforgettable, ever-shifting landscape, Paul and Moussa are swept into another war, one far more brutal than anything they have experienced. Paul is obsessed with a quest for personal vengeance and honor. And Moussa, in love with a woman betrothed to an implacable Tuareg warrior, searches for the peace he knew as a child in France. Now they both face a challenge of sheer, harrowing survival: whether to follow the call of their shared blood...or the destiny written in the treacherous sands. Empires of Sand is a grand novel of adventure in the best tradition of historical fiction. With its astounding scenes of the desert and its rich cast of characters--soldiers, lovers, slaves, and zealots--this is a reading experience to be treasured and remembered long after the final page is turned.

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