History and archaeology – two subjects that fascinate me – blend together in The Count of the Sahara by Wayne Turmel. A novel based on the life of Count Bryon de Prorok, the tale follows his journey into the Sahara and the aftermath of his team’s discovery.
The story is told in two primary voices; one follows de Prorok’s team in the desert and the other is from the perspective of a young Milwaukee man, telling of his time as part of de Prorok’s speaking tour and the consequences of the Sahara expedition. The back-and-forth between these two perspectives caught me off guard at first, but once I grew accustomed to the rhythm, I fell into the story.
And the story kept me turning the pages. Danger lurked around every corner. I cared what happened to the characters as much as I wanted to know what happened. Perhaps that is why the ending seemed sad, yet satisfying to me.
Overall, this book was a great read. It brings the realities of archaeology alive without the dusty parts clogging the wheels. I also enjoyed reading about places I knew: Milwaukee, Chicago, Rock Island, even Beloit, then turning a page and discovering new cultures far from home.
Our actions make a difference. We have choices about what to do with our lives. The characters in The Count of the Sahara had to live with those choices. In the end we must answer the question, what will we do with the talents given to us?
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”