Friday, February 5, 2016

Red Hand Adventures #1: Rebels of the Kasbah by Joe O'Neill

Rebels of the Kasbah (The Red Hand Adventures, #1)Tariq is kidnapped from an orphanage and sold into slavery. He immediately becomes friends with Aseem, and they pledge to always have each other's backs.  The pair are joined by Fez and Margaret, and Tariq promises to help them all escape. Their slave caravan slowly travels across desert and into the mountains, and the group's plan to escape is halted when they're attacked by bandits. Tariq is whipped by a merciless guard, Zahir, for stealing food and water, and he may not survive to become a camel rider for the ruthless warlord, Caid. Many riders die after only a few weeks, and Tariq has angered the guard into torturing him. His hopes of fulfilling the pledge to his friends seem to be dwindling.

I could only get my hands on this title as an eBook in Net Galley. I actually read the sequel to this book first; it was a nominee for a 2013 Cybils award. This book provided background stories to explain how the friends became slaves. I was surprised to read a background story about Zahir's childhood, although it helped explain how he came to be such a dangerous man. The author created several layers of suspense as dangers were found in Caid, Zahir, bullies, and the harsh environment. Tariq was a faithful leader and never gave up on his friends.

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