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The Hour of the Oryx — A Review

The Hour of the Oryx is the third book in the Moon of Masarrah saga by Author Farah Zaman. From her website's bio, as a young girl, Farah spent many hours with her head buried in books of mystery, intrigue and adventure. The inevitable outcome was picking up pen and paper to create her own stories and poems, which she enjoyed sharing with family, friends and classmates alike. Farah has spent most of her life working with words, something that she loves doing. One of her greatest treats to herself is curling up with a good book and getting lost in it. Her love of reading coupled with her love of writing gave Farah the impetus to start her journey as an author. Farah presently lives in New York with her family.

Book Summary :It all began with a mysterious book. One day it was found and by night it was gone. Who stole it and why? A trail of blood is the only clue left behind. Adam Horani, his sister Layla and their friends Zaid and Zahra, are frequent visitors at the Dar-as-Sakinah Orphanage. When they set out to investigate a shocking murder, the teenagers soon realize there’s more to the mystery than meets the eye. From the disturbing sketch of a mute boy to the chilling discovery in the underground vaults, they’re stunned at the villainy coming to light. Determined to see that justice is served, the teenagers leave no stone unturned in their search for the truth. As the forces of evil cooks up a macabre plot, a deadly clash looms on the horizon. Will the young sleuths emerge victorious? Or are they on a collision course with disaster? The Hour of the Oryx is the exciting third book in The Moon of Masarrah Series.

The Hour of the Oryx takes place in an orphanage in a city where our teenagers and heroines are vacationing while Doctor Horani and his wife are on a work/charity trip with all the children. The book is set as a school story. It is also very reminiscent of HP and the Goblet of Fire with the school games and the distant magical schools visiting for amical games. However, Zaman uses Islamic history for her plot to make it more relatable to Muslim readers by using the historic solidarity forged between the Meccans and the Medinans by the Messenger—peace be upon him and may Allah be pleased with all of Ansars and the Sahabas, aameen.

To resume the review, in this series, Adam Horani takes the lead while the rest of the teenagers act as supporting characters. Our brave tween sleuths are then thrown in another adventure when they are told about a teacher who was stabbed about three months before their arrival at the orphanage over a rare book of poetry. Teachers and students alike are all suspects. To incite the involvement of the teenagers, the police has no lead to give closure to the niece of the victim. So our young detectives gladly step in the role, careful not to tip off their parents who will forbid it on the account that the teenagers are once again engaging in deadly pursuits. Moreover, in this magical and suspenseful tale, The teenagers even use the Four Quls as protection "spells" as they snoop around spooky places believed to be hunted by ghosts aka djinns in Muslim vernacular.

The Hour of the Oryx also deals with jealousy and the human thirst for worldly gains that Shaytan is happy to provide mankind in return for his worship; a thing Allah warns against at length in the Quran. Shaytan is a declared enemy to us and such ill-gotten worldly gains are a terrible merchandise. The book also talks about the rewards of being charitable and helpful.

Overall, The Hour of the Oryx is an exciting mystery tale with some subtle dark notes which keep the reader intrigued until the end. Well done.

Find it on Amazon here.

Our Rating: 5/5

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