Rhonda Collins & Sandra McLaren
Castle Publishing -- 2001
‘Beyond Saqqara’ is the second installment of a
trilogy that begins with "Kahramaan’, the story of two lovers, two
cultures and multiple obstacles they must overcome in their quest for peace and
understanding within these different cultures. Anwar is an Egyptian of royal
decent, Amber a young English woman of humble means. To make matters even more
complicated, he’s thirty years her senior. But the love between them
recognizes no age, no culture, no bounds.
Amber struggles with the prejudice of Anwar’s culture and the
realization that her parents will never understand her love for him, so she
resolves to keep her relationship with the wealthy foreigner secret from them.
In turn, Anwar repeatedly encourages Amber to marry him in the Egyptian manner
so that she will be accepted and recognized as his wife in his own culture. But
problems, misunderstandings and grief threaten to tear the two lovers apart.
Beyond Saqqara transports the reader into another world;
a world of sand, heat and undeniable passion. Ms. Collins and Ms. McLaren
introduce the reader to the Mideast of the early 1960’s, weaving into the plot
the vagaries of Egyptian custom and tradition and the country’s struggle to
blend into the present while maintaining its ties to the past. The story of
Anwar and Amber brilliantly parallels this transformation from past to present,
and the wonderful characters compassionately portray the uncertainties as well
as the devotion this couple feels for one another. This reader anxiously awaits
the third book in this trilogy, Castles in the Sand, to discover where
Anwar and Amber’s predestined love carries them.
Reviewed by Denise M. Clark
November 14, 2001 for the Road to Romance