"A swashbuckler for urbane readers. His voice recalls, by turns, Michener and Clavell, Sir Richard Burton, and even Alexander Dumas …. Empires of Sand is part Beau Geste, part A Tale of Two Cities."
— The Christian Science Monitor
"Lust, greed, revenge, rage and murder, sheiks and French aristocrats; war and bloody rampages, loyalties torn and love betrayed…An old-fashioned, rip-roaring adventure."
— The San Diego Union-Tribune
"Expertly told — leaves a lasting impression."
— The Washington Post
"A thinking person’s page turner … old-fashioned in the best sense — literate, thematically ambitious, and swashbuckling at the same time."
— Stephen Pressfield, author of Gates of Fire
"This is a big book, full of incident — a kind of Count of Monte Cristo in imperial dress … There is passionate love, rich writing, a vibrant sense of place, and much research, worn lightly. This is romance at its best."
— The Boston Globe
"Takes the reader from 19th century Paris under siege to the white heat of the Sahara Desert…. Along the way are battles, intrigues, trysts, deceptions, births, deaths, and the Franco-Prussian War…. The narrative never lets go … the story hurtles towards its climax … [Ball’s] storytelling has succeeded grandly, producing a novel of epic proportions."
— The Plain Dealer, Cleveland
"This impressive debut, a mammoth tale of war, romance, treachery and coming-of-age, is set in 19th century Paris and the spectacular expanse of the Sahara … an exciting, action-packed epic that will appeal to history buffs, thrill-seekers, travel enthusiasts and romance fans."
— Publishers Weekly