After reading the synopsis of this book, my curiosity was peaked. I just had to read it and find out what it was really about. And this time I wasn’t disappointed.
Title: Desert Jewel
Author: Natalina Reis
Series: ? (Probably a series)
Summary: Rebellion brews inside Milenda’s heart as the date for the Trials approaches. As the heiress to the throne of Natale, she is forced to choose a consort from the survivors of the grueling quest across the desert.
Milenda’s heart belongs to Jaali and wants no part in the ancient and cruel ritual, but the Elders—the true rulers of Natale—will not back down.
Jaali was brought from the far North as a child slave. His only chance to be with the woman he loves is to volunteer for the Trials, no matter how dangerous or how much Milenda objects.
Together they begin their journey of discovery and rebellion against the Elders. But will their love be enough or will they lose everything they’ve fought for?
It’s been a week since I started trying to write this review and I still cannot find the words I need to express my thoughts. I guess I will simply have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
First of all, I have never read a book set in Africa. I have just realized this and it feels so odd. I have read soooo many books, but not one of them was set in Africa. Anyway, maybe it was the novelty of it or maybe it was the book itself, but I loved the setting! Settings like jungles and deserts have always been fascinating to me.
Something I was afraid that might ruin the book for me was the political part of it. I really do like books with political intrigue in them, but if the scheming is too heavy, it can make the book confusing and tiring and generally hard to read. So, I was glad that this was not the case here. The author walked that fine line where she could have easily overdone it, but she didn’t. She added a healthy dose of scheming, suspense and mystery, that made the book simply awesome.
Lastly, a liked that touch of the supernatural and of magic and that was added in the story. My favorite part of course was Mjusi, the flying lizard. Who was my favorite character in the entire book, even though he didn’t have that big a part in it. Now I know what I want for my birthday and it is definitely a mjusi msitu for a pet.
I am almost sure that there is going to be a sequel. The story is far from over. I just can’t wait to read the rest of the story!!!
About the author:
Natalina wrote her first romance in collaboration with her best friend at the age of 13. Since then she has ventured into other genres, but romance is first and foremost in almost everything she writes.
After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She lived in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master’s degree in education. She lives in Virginia where she has taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit.
Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.
Now it’s your turn…
Did you like this review? Have you read Desert Jewel and did you like it? Would you like to read it? Would you like a mjusi msitu for your birthday (and do you know how to find one)?