In a squalid ancient city on the edge of a desert (based on descriptions of the African Sahara’s Empty Quarter,) a weary, thrill-seeking thief named Omari sets his home on fire to start anew and cover his many crimes. When the entire city is unintentionally destroyed by the flames, the cornered thief tells the displaced people a lie about a better place to which only he can lead them, across the desert. With the help of an aged, mysterious woman who knows a better place actually does exist, they set out. The disparate people must come together to fight their way through bandits, storms, epidemics, and more. As a result of Omari's involvement with Saba, a fiercely independent woman who is out to break him in the pay of a merchant whom he has offended, his ability to lead - his very life - is jeopardized.
"I just loved this book! Omari felt like a real person, unlike the "normal" storybook hero. All the other characters really evolve during the journey, as the challenges they face daily change them.
Another big, big bonus for me was the presence of so many strong female characters. The women in this book are actively involved in the shaping of the story. They really do make a difference when it counts most.
This book is highly recommended to anyone looking for an epic adventure, a tale of friendship, love and betrayals with a touch of magical realism."
"An extraordinarily entertaining read, Omari and the People documents author Stephen Whitfield as a truly gifted storyteller with an impressive ability to create memorable characters and then embed them into a complexly woven and engaging novel from beginning to end. Very highly recommended."