The Ardent Swarm

The Ardent Swarm

From an award-winning Tunisian author comes a stirring allegory about a country in the aftermath of revolution and the power of a single quest.

Sidi lives a hermetic life as a bee whisperer, tending to his beloved “girls” on the outskirts of the desolate North African village of Nawa. He wakes one morning to find that something has attacked one of his beehives, brutally killing every inhabitant. Heartbroken, he soon learns that a mysterious swarm of vicious hornets committed the mass murder—but where did they come from, and how can he stop them? If he is going to unravel this mystery and save his bees from annihilation, Sidi must venture out into the village and then brave the big city and beyond in search of answers.

Along the way, he discovers a country and a people turned upside down by their new post–Arab Spring reality as Islamic fundamentalists seek to influence votes any way they can on the eve of the country’s first democratic elections. To succeed in his quest, and find a glimmer of hope to protect all that he holds dear, Sidi will have to look further than he ever imagined.

In this brilliantly accessible modern-day parable, Yamen Manai uses a masterful blend of humor and drama to reveal what happens in a country shaken by revolutionary change after the world stops watching.

Title:The Ardent Swarm
Edition Language:English
ISBN:null
Format Type:

    The Ardent Swarm Reviews

  • Sue Kozlowski

    I read this book as part of my quest to read a book written by an author from each of the 196 countries in the world. The author of this book grew up in Tunisia.As I read about books from foreign coun...

  • Dawn Michelle

    This is an excellent [and timely] read. I will admit it was...odd? to read this alongside The Plague by Albert Camus and Les Miserable by Victor Hugo. All three are so relevant to today [and truly for...

  • Remo

    The Ardent SwarmLike a beehive, this small novel has a lot going on inside.The Ardent Swarm is both the story of the beekeeper Sidi and the story of political and cultural changes in Tunisia. Each ste...

  • Sandi

    Vraiment une expérience de lecture merveilleuse, pleine de saveurs et d'odeurs ... transportante!Perhaps that did not translate through Google as beautifully as this books gorgeous language and mood....

  • Natalie Stansby

    StunningA beautifully written book which I would absolutely recommend. The comparison between nature and humans is especially poignant and I was rooting for the bees....

  • Andreea

    This isn't a book I would normally pick up, but it turned out to have interesting commentary on religious fundamentalism, on the trappings of instating (and buying) democracy in the aftermath of a rev...

  • Joy

    Parable, allegory, oral tradition - call it what you will, The Ardent Swarm in its English translation is simply a beautiful story. The contrast between sociopolitical constructs and nature’s design...

  • Hazel-Anne

    Interesting tale about a beekeeper from North Africa and how the world changing around has consequences for his hives. While there is one 'central' character, there are threads of other character's li...

  • Josefine

    I picked this book from the January 2021 Amazon's First Reader program and I liked it much more than I thought I would. This is the type of book I rarely read, but I was intrigued by the description.T...

  • Esther King

    This book is heavily laden with metaphor and a lot of material that may not appeal to the average reader in that it does draw in a lot of cultural references that many people may not recognise. The la...