Friday, November 14, 2014

Rebels of the Kasbah by Joe O'Neill

This is the first three books in the Red Hand Adventures.  It's adventure and written for middle grade readers but it's not sweetness and light.  It's about being a slave in Morocco...

Blackship Publishing and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Slaves in Morocco are young and often stolen.  One boy is sold by his own father, one is stolen is from an orphanage, and one's entire family was killed and he was taken to be a slave.  The girl in the group was in a lovely hotel until they drug her off.  They are sold at the market and hauled across the desert to their new owner's holdings.  They aren't much better off there.

The girl becomes part of the evil warlord's harem.  He's saving her for his son.  The boys become part of his camel crew and must learn to race camels.  Those who win can eventually get their freedom.  Those who come in last, get whipped.  If you displease anyone in power, you get whipped.  If you talk back or look at someone wrong, you get whipped.  It's not a nice world here.

The captives swear to escape.  Even if they die trying, it's better than being a slave.  Slaves die all the time anyway, so what's the difference?

There is friendship, bravery, a variety of skills, and an overwhelming desire to escape and become something more.  Each person has a different goal, but they are all working for the common good.

I found the characters very interesting and I worried about them as the story went on.  The warlord is cruel; he cuts the head off any general who doesn't do his job.  Don't let someone too young read this series.

There are two more books in the series that you can read on Net Galley now for review.  They got away but the warlord is coming after them...

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