Title: The Mahzur
Author: Dr. Henana Berjes
‘It isn’t enticing enough if it isn’t forbidden.’ Humanity has sworn by this dictum since eons. Aren’t we here as a testimony to the first sin ever committed by Man? How can Sin be sacred? How can anything related to life remotely be connected to sanctity and yet we swear by Sanctity as well. For years, the conflict is manifest and for years, unresolved. Somewhere between the promise of resurrection and eternal damnation, we exist as a race tugged towards both good and bad by a thin thread of belief. Satan in one minute and angel in another, we defy all logic when it comes to tasting the forbidden fruit. What is so tantalizing about it is the same thing that makes it unforgiving, its soul! And in the end it hurts, it leads to bloodshed, it kills and it destroys. It leaves us vulnerable to damage and then the perdition never ends. ‘The Mahzur,’ reminds you of a simple fact, If it is forbidden, It will Bleed..
The Al Nafud is not just another desert. It is an amalgamation of poetry and music in the right proportions but it has a heart of stone under that soft burnished gold skin. The sand dunes sing to your call as if a dozen tubas are blown in unison but it isn’t a song for the faint of heart. It is unforgiving.
Sarah, the lovely daughter of the Al Janubis is engaged to be married to another man but this doesn’t deter Ahmed from falling for a woman whose clan he has abhorred all his life. And when kismet trudges them towards an unlikely path through its bosom, does the Nafud forgive them for this mistake or does it unleash a fury unheard of in Janub as Sehra, their native land?
I bring to you a love story from the wildest and the most beautiful desert of the Middle East. It is a story of love and loss for where there is great love, the loss, invariably is greater.
A beautiful tale of forbidden love. When Sarah and Ahmed find themselves in love with one another, they are horrified to learn that they are from opposing clans. The clans have been at war for some time, and Sarah is not really sure of all the specifics. Being a female means she must listen to the wishes of the male members of her family. So she ends up in an arranged marriage, but the discovery of her love for Ahmed will take her new, potentially dangerous, places.
All in all, I enjoyed every bit of this book. I thought the setting of the Middle East was interesting in the way the author used it to introduce us to new customs and traditions. For these groups, tradition even decided who would marry who and for what purpose. The descriptions of the scenery were also beautiful.
I liked Sarah’s character. She was sweet and calm, and easy to relate to. Her life of living by the rules shaped her in a way. Ahmed is almost the opposite in every way. Having grown up in a luxurious lifestyle, he usually gets what he wants. When he sets his sights on Sarah, he’s determined to make sure the situation is no different.
Fantastic romance with plenty of thrills and suspense.