Title: Blood & Ink
Author: Stephen Davies
Publication date: September 19, 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Part thriller, part love story, this contemporary YA novel is based on true-to-life events in Mali in 2012 and centers around the power of individuals to take a stand against terrorism.
Kadi is the 15-year-old daughter of a librarian in modern-day Timbuktu. Ali is the son of shepherds and has been conscripted by the Defenders of Faith, an arm of Al Qaeda. When these two teens meet, it's hate at first sight.
Forced together by a series of tumultuous events, their feelings slowly but persistently turn into something more, causing Kadi to let her guard down and Ali to discover her family's secret hiding place for the manuscripts her family is tasked with safeguarding. Kadi undertakes a dangerous operation to smuggle the manuscripts out of the city, while Ali and his military commander are soon in pursuit. Ali's loyalties will never be more in question than when Kadi's life is in danger.
My Rating: 4 / 5 stars
There isn't anything better than learning. When I find out something I didn't know before by reading a book, I start looking further into the subject. When that book has action and a plot with interesting characters, it's even better. Blood & Ink is that type of book, which is based on real-life events that transpired in Mali in 2012.
Immediately when the two main characters meet, there is mistrust and a strong disliking, but Kadi and Ali go back and forth between understanding each other and feeling betrayed by the other.
The crux of the novel is that Ali has joined a movement in Islam called the Defenders of Faith, who are set on taking over Kadi's town and instituting strict laws because they view the people of the town as "godless." Differences between different sects of the Islamic faith are highlighted in this book, and I was left wanting to know more.
I wasn't sure if I was going to like Blood & Ink, but it's motivated me to learn about what happened in Mali in 2012 as well as learn about the different sects in Islam and how they're similar and different to each other.
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