Kings of the Sands
Closer to a detective story than a novel, Kings of the Sands (Kaleem Publishing, Abu Dhabi, 2009) tells the story of a soldier lost in the bewitching world of the desert. In this tragic tale, instead of being portrayed as the usual dreadful end to human life, death becomes a commonplace and unremarkable backdrop – perhaps indicative of how cheap life has become in a country which has been preoccupied with war for decades. With its desert setting, Kings of the Sands is a new direction for the Iraqi novel, which has tended to focus on urban life. The novel is both entertaining and fast-paced, and reveals the author’s notable talent for description.