I have received a free e-copy of the book Revolution by Piet Hein Wokke to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.
Here is the book blurb.
Escape to the Middle East in this thrilling tale about Khalid, Abdullah and Jalal – young men who try to shape the kingdom of Beledar.
While the nearest battlefields of WWII are hundreds of miles of away, on the streets of Mayasin, the capital of Beledar, Abdullah struggles to survive. In a remote village, Khalid sets out in search of his father, and must face the brutal laws of the desert.
Jalal, the young king, wants to break through nepotism and corruption, but in a conservative, Islamic country, change doesn’t come easy. That the western world preys on his country’s oil fields, doesn’t make his life any easier either.
In this exciting book, Wokke expertly and poignantly shows the roots of modern conflicts in the Middle East, through the people and ideas that inhabit it.
The book swaps between the storylines of Abdullah and Khalid, interspersed with that of Prince / Emir / King Jalal. It is set in the fictional Middle East kingdom of Beledar.
After a prologue 10 years earlier, it starts in 1942 with Abdullah, a boy trying to earn a living on the streets shining shoes and selling cigarettes or arak. However policeman Rizq is always on his case. When times get harder, he tries taking customers to a pimp. But when Rizq corners him, he grabs his dagger and stabs him in self-defence. He then goes to hide from the ghosts in the Green Mosque.
Prince Jalal becomes Emir in 1942 when his father dies. However he discovers that his uncles were plotting to have him killed, so he orders them to be hung. And in 1946 he becomes king.
Meanwhile in 1943, 9 year old Khalid and his brother Aadhil skip school when they hear that a caravan has been attacked in the desert, fearing that it is the caravan of their father and elder brothers. They join the force setting out from the village to avenge the attack. On the way back they talk to one of the prisoners, a boy Omar of a similar age to themselves and step in to avoid him being taken as a slave. But worse is to befall Omar. He is to die by scaphing, a horrible form of torture where bugs crawl over him for many days. Omar begs Khalid to end it now by killing him, so Khalid reluctantly smothers Omar.
Abdullah’s chance visit to the Green Mosque changed his life, as he was taken under the wing of scholar Mr al-Rubaie and 5 years later he gets a job as a clerk in the palace. Then a year before he is due to complete his degree, Aadhil persuades Khalid to run away with him against his parents wishes to join the army.
I won’t say any more but we continue to follow their lives until their paths cross in the revolution.
Revolution is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.99 in Kindle format and is also available in hardback. I enjoyed this story, but not enough to add the Queen of Beledar follow-up novella to my wishlist.
Disclosure. This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.