by Scott Oden

Thomas Dunne Books, $25.99, 384 pages

A young, naive Caliph sits on the throne, Ruler of Egypt. Waiting greedily for signs of weakness is his adviser, the vizier, who himself desires the throne. Only one man can restore the balance between good and evil. They call him the Emir of the Knife. He is an Assassin. The mere rumor of his presence sends men running. With him he carries a sword so powerful, others dare not touch it. Can he save the Egyptian Empire from usurpers before it’s too late? Author Scott Oden introduces readers to the first book in the Emir of the Knife trilogy. The Lion of Cairo, is a historical thriller set in Medieval Cairo. Deeply influenced by The Arabian Nights, Oden pays homage to historical places time periods filled with intrigue and mystery. Oden’s imagery rich and vivid prose could easily be turned into a block buster movie script. The story’s female characters are brave, bold and decisive. They commit fully to making decisions and sacrifices that will ensure the safety of the rightful ruler. Women play integral roles in this story’s outcome. And what an outcome it is! Prepare yourself for an epic battle that will decide the fate of Egypt.

Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin