From the back cover:
A Desert of Broken Dreams...
In the ENDLESS SANDS myth comes alive, and darkness is a salvation from an eternally scorching sun. Against that lie the dangers of a desert land filled with religious strife and political turmoil. Cities are the only shelter against the empty desert, and water equals power.
Ree Soesbee's utterly original fictional culture of the Endless Sands draws on a combination of ancient Morocco, Middle-Eastern Persia and Antioch, and the lands of mystery outlined in the ancient tales of the Badiya people. Cities are dominated by the strong, and the weak must do whatever they can in order to survive. It is a harsh world, but if you can master it, it can be paradise.