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Monday, May 4, 2009

The Tuareg by George DiGuido

The Tuareg by George DiGuido
Publisher: Vivisphere Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (422 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

A sweepingly romantic historical adventure set against a background of the African Slave Trade.

Diligently researched and poetically written, The Tuareg sweeps you into a world of abolitionists, shipwrecks, slave ships, camel caravans, desert raids, harems, sensual eunuchs, and the 1830 invasion of Algiers by France's armed forces.

Captivating! In this adventure/love story, Fleur Caldwell, a 19th century Southern girl, is uprooted when her plantation home is burned and her parents killed. She goes to London to be under the protection of her Uncle Whitaker Caldwell until she is old enough to inherit the family plantation, Rollingwood Sweep in Virginia. Even though Fleur is naïve about the ways of the world, she is intelligent, witty, and imbued with practical common sense. Often used as a pawn by her slave trader uncle and others, Fleur soon learns how to survive in alien environments and even influences the outcome of many intrigues as well as gaining the love of two remarkable men.

Fleur eludes death and degradation with intrepid determination in the merciless Sahara, in the “kasba” of Algiers, and in the mud huts of an African slave king near the Niger River. Both men who love her and men who would use her for their own profit are instrumental in her escaping many perils—sometimes willingly and sometimes unknowingly.

George DiGuido creates enchanting as well as infuriating characters that manage to commit all the Seven Deadly Sins found in medieval theology—avarice, pride, envy, wrath, sloth, gluttony, and lust. He does a masterful job of weaving these characters in and out of the culture clashes and differing religious beliefs and politics. He weaves the alien environments—mysterious, often cruel—into the story making them more powerful than the characters at times.

The volatile politics of England and France and the insatiable greed that drives their conflicts play major roles in this story, However, most intriguing is the politics, and tenuous balance of power in Africa. Among the major players in this balance of power is The Tuareg—Blue Man of the Sahara.

THE TUAREG abounds with adventure, resonates with culture clashes, and pulsates with love. It brings to mind: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends".