The Power to Prevail in a Tumultuous World


Sikander is the story of a Pakistani youth raised in a comfortable upper-middle class family in the region of Peshawar. He loves America from a distance and dreams of one day visiting the country. But Sikander’s dream is disrupted as reality settles into his realm: Sikander inadvertently reveals a family secret, and he is drawn into a heated family conflict, which results in his hasty retreat from home. Shortly thereafter, a group of mujahideen fighters offer Sikander the opportunity to join their ranks and combat Soviet forces in an effort to liberate the nation of Afghanistan from Soviet oppression. Sikander agrees, and so begins his incredible journey of self-discovery through the conflict of war, the tragedy of loss, and the confusion of our tumultuous and chaotic world. After war-time experience that leaves him wiser and more worthy of respect, he returns to his family and settles back in his native land. Though Sikander expects a reprieve from conflict, the events of 9/11 leave him once again in uncertain and foreign territory. Now Sikander’s dream of visiting America is becoming a nightmare. And the story is only just beginning for Sikander…
The novel Sikander by M. Salahuddin Khan is a well-crafted, eloquent work and Khan’s introduction to the realm of novel-writing. It details the life and struggles of Sikander and, as a whole, represents a bildungsroman-style approach to a story that is relevant for our own time of religion-based and regional conflicts. Khan’s first novel is woven with the details and intricacies that make life thrilling, overwhelming, strangely satisfying. and altogether terrifying. Sikander is, simply put, a thorough and remarkably well-written book.
Of course, Khan has a great passion for the written word, as is evidenced by the text of the book, and which is also demonstrated by his previous experience with the field of writing: he has served as the publisher for the “highly-regarded” Islamica magazine, and he is held in high esteem by his peers at the online writing community as a writer whose work is always worthy of reading.
A book of this sort can be recommended to anyone in our current age, given its potency and present relevance, but fans of coming-of-age novels, stories that involve the culture and character of the Middle East and Pakistan (specifically), or exciting, yet well-grounded works of biographical fiction will genuinely appreciate everything that Khan has to offer in Sikander.