Friday, February 5, 2016

The Red Hand Adventures #3: Legends of the Rif by Joe O'Neill

Legends of the RifMalik and Sanaa recover from near death in the desert and attempt to organize the rebels to fight the Caid. However, rumors have spread that the rebel leaders were killed, so their efforts are extra difficult. The Caid's forces, led by the Black Mamba, are joined with the French, so they will create an overpowering juggernaut. Fez and Aseem help to organize a spy ring of orphans and children of the streets to gather information against the Caid. Tariq's talents grow, and he's joined by an Australian named Jack. Jack is searching for some ancient scrolls that hold great power in the balance of good and evil in the world. Meanwhile, Colonel Owens is trying to elude the British navy and bounty hunters after he's branded a traitor. His wife is pulled into the conflict and finds herself in prison. In the end, all of these characters will find their lives put on the line.

This book is the third in the series, and book two was nominated for a Cybils award in 2013. I have only been able to find the books in this series through Netgalley. A more detailed explanation of The Red Hand Society is described in this book. I have enjoyed the series but wish the author had kept Tariq as the focus of his stories. Book two, and now book three, added many side stories that I didn't think were necessary. They added new settings and characters that distracted me from the main plot. I liked everything, but the story of Colonel Owens could have been its own book. At this point, it hasn't had anything to do with the conflict between the Caid and the rebels, so I'm unclear why they're in the same book. Perhaps the stories will come together in the future, but I didn't feel the colonel's story was necessary at this time.

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