I have mixed feelings about the book. The plot is great, once you get into it. The beginning portion (Part 1, maybe even Part II) is relatively slow, especially as it mostly seems like Harb (the leader of the tribe) is just grunting and boasting about how deathly and awesome he is, which I found tiresome. However, it really picks up once Harb starts his family and settles the tribe. Since I really didn't like Harb, I preferred when the narrative moved to the perspectives of Imru, Mazin, Fareedah, and Itimad.
I had some issues with Basheh's writing. He seemed to slip into clichés a few times--"fought with the strength of a thousand warriors" and a couple of others that I don't really remember. I thought that portions of the book were written wildly better than others. The ending, narrated by Mazin, was by far the best. It also gets pretty philosophical later in the book, which I liked. However, it was quite a jarring change in tone from the beginning of the book. A philosophical bent could have been incorporated into the entire novel to make it less discordant.
Basheh has some issues with characters as well. At times, Harb seems willing to chuck customs and the opinion of others. At other times, he seems to care so much that he's willing to commit murder of a daughter that he loves. The narrator and Harb himself implies and says frequently of Fareedah that she is his "light and love", yet he does terrible things to her when he meets her and then to her child? (Sorry, tried to get around writing spoilers!) The same idea goes with Imru and his supposed love, Itimad.
That brings me to the only two significant female characters, Fareedah and Itimad, both who seem to be rather one-note and uninteresting. Their only thoughts revolve around men and babies. For all I know, this was accurate considering the time and place of the novel, but it seems to me that men of every era assume that this is what consumes women when they don't know anything about the other sex. Though I'm not a woman, I can't imagine a female reading this and not remarking on this. There is a portion where Fareedah gravitates towards monotheism instead of the gods her tribe worships, but it's not flushed out enough.
Again, the plot is pretty gripping, so I recommend it to anyone looking for a decent read, especially for the price. The themes of death and ties to your culture are nice, too. I'd be really interested to see what Basheh does next, as I think he shows promise as a storyteller.