Read for the 2010 YA and Historical Fiction Reading Challenges.
The Beduin’s Gazelle takes place in the 14th century, in the desert of Northern Africa where the Beduin roamed. It’s the story of cousins Atiyah and Hamila, who were promised to each other at birth. Atiyah has been sent to the city of Fez to study at the university, where he might learn ways to be a bridge between his nomad people, and the people of the cities. Meanwhile, Hamila is lost in a sandstorm in the desert, and found by a rival clan. Though her people assume that she’s lost, Atiyah travels the desert to find her.
This is a lovely little picture of life in medieval northern Africa. Atiyah and Hamila and their family are interestingly drawn, and there are lovely little glimpses into their world. The story does seem a bit short, but it’s noted right in the forward that the author passed away unexpectedly the day she finished this book. I have to wonder if this was a draft, and what more she might have added had she not passed away.