Alisha: A Desert Urchin Part III: The Vandals

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Alisha: A Desert Urchin Part III: The Vandals

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Length: 226 pages3 hours

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A Vandal patrol out in the desert intercepts a small group of Arabs. The leader of the patrol learns that these Arabs are an envoy task force from Sakakah. They were sent by the sultan to seek out the barbarians and to inform them that Geisarix is a captive of the sultan. Sultan Mejhem ibn El-Hashem wishes to conduct talks with the barbarians and so Geilamir, the father of Geisarix and the Vandal baron, sends a group of men to accompany the Arabs back to the city to hold talks there.
Meanwhile, things go awry for Sultan el-Hashem; Geisarix and the girls manage to escape from the dungeons. Despite numerous and thorough searches throughout the city by el-Hashem’s soldiers, the three fugitives remain at large. Thus, when the Vandal delegation arrives at the palace, the sultan has no Geisarix to present them with. As a consequence, El-Hashem decides to lock up the Vandal envoy team and plans to use them as hostages instead of Geisarix. Despite this move, el-Hashem still does not give up his search for the three escapees.
Alisha, Zenobia and Geisarix have been given refuge by an underground freedom-fighting organization called Muqatili Aleadalat, whose leaders are the brothers and true emirs of Sakakah, Farid and Salim. A couple of times Alisha and the other two must use escape tunnels to flee from the grasp of the sultan’s troops, who are still combing through the city for them. They eventually learn that a spy from Emir Abd al Alim has managed to get established within the secret organization, and no less inside the leadership cell. But not enough; Alisha realizes that there is yet another spy there too.
Events in the sultanate eventually develop in an unforeseen way. Shortly after the imprisonment of the Vandal delegation in the citadel of Sakakah, a small Arab rebel delegation reaches the Vandals on the lonely hilltop fort. They inform Geisarix’s father Geilamir that his delegation has been imprisoned by the sultan. Geilamir decides to move against the city of Sakakah to free his son and his men. The rebels are willing to help the Vandals in this endeavor, for they too have persons who are captives in the citadel and wish them to be set free.
Retrospectively, the Vandal king had promised Geilamir to sent ships and troops to him after one year had passed to look after him and his men. Geilamir had remained in the Arab lands after Geisarix was captured to seek his son. Now the year was up and the king has kept word; another Vandal force has landed on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. This force unites with Geilamir and together they march against Sakakah.
Alisha, Zenobia and Geisarix attempt to stop the second spy from divulging the secrets of the rebel organization to the emir. Alisha manages to identify who the spy is. In this effort, the three get separated in the night and in the confusion that reigns in the city. The streets are dangerous for them because the sultan’s troops are still out and about looking for them. Alisha eventually gets captured and by none other than the feared and hated Musad.
In the city, members of the rebels get prepared to help the Vandals free their men and the other prisoners too. However, they learn that the Vandal forces are much larger than they had anticipated. Thus, they contemplate doing more than just free captives; now they plan to regain control of all of Sakakah and even to depose the fake sultan, Mejhem ibn El-Hashem, and replace him with the true heir to the sultanate throne, Riyad ibn el-Hashem. The rebels also learn that el-Hashem has sent messengers to the other cities and garrisons of the sultanate to request reinforcements. They now realize that time is of the essence. Speed and planning will determine if their rebellion shall succeed or fail.

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