I do have a love of historical novels that make me pay attention to history as an adult like I never did at school. This however, from Birmingham based author Andrew Killeen, is a whole other level of history.
We are following the adventures of Ismail, a young thief and (aspiring) poet who is desperate to get to Baghdad and be part of the world’s capital city’s vibrant culture.
As we read of his adventures, we learn of his history and how he came to be so young and travelling to the biggest of city alone. He soon falls into the hands of the most famous poet, womanising bi-sexual Abu Nuwas. ‘The Father of Locks’ takes him under his wing although this doesn’t stop either of them cheating death many times as they weave in an out of Baghdad’s back alleys and uncover ancient cults, multiple religions and beautiful people of both sexes.
Then there is the mystery of the missing children which unlocks more questions than answers.
I found it a tough to keep up with the colourful cast as we’ve weaved back and forward in history buy enjoyable nonetheless. If this era appeals to you, you will love it.
By Rickie J. Reader of books & founder of Brum Faves.