Excerpt from The Warlord's Son by Dan Fesperman, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Warlord's Son

A Novel

By Dan Fesperman

The Warlord's Son
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Sep 2004,
    336 pages.
    Paperback: Sep 2005,
    336 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Enjoin believing men to turn their eyes away from temptation and to restrain their carnal desires," the first line said. "This will make their lives purer."

His smile widened. Someone must have seen Daliya exiting a few nights ago, and it probably wasn't the first time. The memory brightened his mood. Whereas he thought of himself as wispy and insubstantial, she was full and complicated, a soul worth clinging to. He continued reading.

"Enjoin believing women to turn their eyes away from temptation and to preserve their chastity; not to display their adornments."

Oh, but such adornments. If this writer only knew. Another set of numbers followed, 24:39, meaning the writer had skipped ahead. The next passage took his smile away.

"As for the unbelievers, their works are like a mirage in a desert. The thirsty traveler thinks it is water, but when he comes near he finds that it is nothing. He finds God there, who pays him back in full. Swift is God's reckoning."

Najeeb wondered angrily what sort of "reckoning" the writer had in mind. Did God's self-appointed scold also intend to be His avenger? He crumpled the page, then reconsidered, smoothing it out and reaching for a pen. This demanded a reply. He pulled his own copy of the Koran from between English editions of Philip Roth and Paul Auster, thumbing the pages. Where was that verse that had recently caught his eye? There. Just as he remembered. He'd be quoting it out of context, of course. In fact, he was likely misinterpreting it altogether, a thought that returned his smile with a gleam of mischief.

"2:79," he wrote. Then he scribbled in rusty Arabic: "Woe betide those that write the scriptures with their own hands and then declare: 'This is from God,' in order to gain some paltry end."

He stuffed the page into the messenger's own envelope and resealed it with tape, then wrote on the outside in Urdu, "A reply to this morning's visitor to apartment 12." After a second cup of tea he grabbed his satchel and the keys to his scooter, taking care to lock the door before rushing down the stairwell. He posted the envelope by the mailboxes at the entrance, wondering how long it would be before someone took the bait. For a moment he had misgivings--why stir the pot?--and his stomach rumbled, as queasy as if he'd just eaten too much chapal kebab. He'd have to remind Daliya to take more care in her comings and goings. The city grew more dangerous and irrational by the day.

"Meddlesome fanatics," Najeeb muttered on his way into the streets. "They'll be the death of us all."

Excerpted from The Warlord's Son by Dan Fesperman Copyright © 2004 by Dan Fesperman. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Search
    by Geoff Dyer
    All hail the independent publisher! In May 2014, Graywolf Press brought two of long-revered British ...
  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...
  • Book Jacket
    The Stranger on the Train
    by Abbie Taylor
    The opening chapter of Abbie Taylor's debut novel, The Stranger on the Train, took me right back to ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The City
by Dean Koontz

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  93Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.