My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I had visions about what this book would be like…an action adventure of bibliophiles in northwest Africa…..and the beginning and ending were very much that. I longed to immerse myself in distant culture and glean new understanding of the cultural nuances of Mali….and there was that too. I even spent time scouring documentaries to see if the pictures in my head matched reality. But most of this book was a tough slog through military history of the circuitous chase of jihadi terrorists who threatened the ancient manuscripts’ well-being. Now if details of which weapons were used to hold whole villages hostage are your cup of tea, then you’re going to love this book….but I found these parts to be real slogs. Still it’s a story that needs to be told and needs to be heard, and I know a lot more now then I did before reading it.