Great historical fiction based on fact ... but a little melodramatic for my taste, hence only 4 stars. The Sword and the Scimitar was a better book. Having said that, the historical detail, the rendering of the Tuareg people and their language and culture and the clash with the French is all superbly done. I finished this book last week and my head is still full of the images of the "blue men".
I think the French part of the book was probably more overcooked than the desert part, insofar as we were asked to believe that the aristocracy were revered and respected after the revolution and in a republic. I found it hard to believe as portrayed.
On the whole a very interesting read with lots of action and some love interest. I will read more by this author.