Swords from the Desert
Countless authors have swept us into the exotic east, but few based their tales there. In a time when westerners still spoke publicly about “the white man’s burden,” Harold Lamb was crafting action-packed stories featuring Arabs, Mongols, and Hindus as heroic, sympathetic, and believable characters: men of honor and integrity ready to lay down their lives for their countries and their comrades. Assembled in this volume are four novellas and three short stories gleaned from the work of one of the greatest pulp writers. Lamb eventually won acclaim and awards for his accurate historical research and was regularly consulted by the State Department for his Middle Eastern expertise, but before any of that he drafted these thrilling tales of adventure. In “The Shield,” Khalil el Khadr reaches storied Constantinople just before it is besieged by a horde of crusaders. He must survive the intrigues of his rivals, bypass the invading Franks, rescue the maiden under his charge, and escape with the city’s most fabulous horse. Journey to sixteenth-century India with the brilliant Daril ibn Athir, a skilled Arab physician with a sharp wit and a sharper sword that he must wield in three novellas to keep schemers and assassins at bay. Three shorter tales of heroes and maidens from desert lands round out this volume, a must-have for those who thrill to tales of bold deeds and daring exploits.
- 2009 University of Nebraska Press
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