Based on true events that happened in Timbuktu in 2012, conservative muslim Ali meets liberal muslim Kadi during a siege that will change their lives. Dramatic and thoughtful, nothing could be more important than examining these perspectives and seeing them played out with an ending that will leave you breathless. Historical fiction, thriller, and love story-- this is one of my top picks of the year!
Part thriller, part love story, this contemporary YA novel is based on true-to-life events in Mali in 2012 and centers around the power of individuals to take a stand against terrorism. Kadi is the 15-year-old daughter of a librarian in modern-day Timbuktu. Ali is the son of shepherds and has been conscripted by the Defenders of Faith, an arm of Al Qaeda. When these two teens meet, it's hate at first sight. Forced together by a series of tumultous events, their feelings slowly but persistently turn into something more, causing Kadi to let her guard down and Ali to discover her family's secret hiding place for the manuscripts her family is tasked with safeguarding. Kadi undertakes a dangerous operation to smuggle the manuscripts out of the city, while Ali and his military commander are soon in pursuit. Ali's loyalties will never be more in question than when Kadi's life is in danger.
About the Author
Stephen Davies lived among the Fulani herders in West Africa as a missionary for thirteen years, one of the poorest regions of the world. He was written picture books, middle grade and YA, all of which have been set in West Africa, particularly the Sahel region - the southern 'shore' of the Sahara Desert which includes parts of in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. He currently lives in London, England.