The thrilling Sahara adventure series continues in this gripping third installment, “The Scarlet Riders”. Captain D’Arlan, an officer in the French Foreign Legion, sets out across the sweltering Sahara desert with a small contingent of soldiers. Their mission is to present a loyal elderly Arab chief named El Abbas with a medal on his 70th birthday, honoring his decades of friendship with the Legion.

However, en route, they witness a perplexing and ominous scene. A caravan of Arab men, women, and children is attacked by soldiers dressed in Legion uniforms. The caravan is gunned down mercilessly, leaving D’Arlan shocked and baffled. Who are these imposters abducting innocents while posing as Legion? What sinister plot is underway in the desert sands? Pressing onward to the El Wadak Oasis settlement, D’Arlan hopes old ally El Abbas can shed light on the mystery. But on arrival, they are met with rage and blame. El Abbas has been murdered. He is nailed to a cross, supposedly by the French Legion who also kidnapped the young people of the tribe. Utterly confused by the false accusations against the Legion, D’Arlan decides to spend the night and get to the bottom of this. But during the night, he and his men are ambushed and taken captive by the same false Legion soldiers from the caravan attack.

They find themselves prisoners in a secret desert tent camp, run by a German named Heinz Dietrich. There, D’Arlan’s men are hypnotized and brainwashed by Dietrich’s henchman, Helmuth. Now under mind control, they are coerced into training a clandestine Arab army in using advanced weaponry, to aid the beautiful Dulac warrior princess El Karima in a rebellion against the Legion. El Karima arrives and takes the hypnotized men away to her stronghold, except for Teuns Stegmann, whom she is besotted with. Imprisoned at El Karima’s palace, clever Italian soldier Vittorio Petacci secretly breaks her spell over Stegmann and tells him of their impending execution. Stegmann plots a daring escape and sabotages the weapons training. Pursued into the desert by Dietrich’s men and El Karima’s army, they stumble upon an astonishing discovery in a cave.

Meanwhile, the Legion’s Fort Dini Salam is besieged by twenty thousand vengeful Arabs, believing they were betrayed. Vastly outnumbered, Colonel Le Clerq faces impossible odds trying to defend against the onslaught. Refused reinforcements and surrounded, Le Clerq prepares for a fight until the last man. Just as annihilation seems imminent, the approaching Arab cavalry suddenly makes a mystifying maneuver. From the bleak sands, salvation emerges for the valiant Legion in their sandstone bastion. But is it too late to turn the tide of battle?

Will D’Arlan and his brave soldiers escape the desert and expose the truth? Can they thwart Dietrich and El Karima’s insidious plot against the Legion? “The Scarlet Riders” by the author Meiring Fouche once again deliver pulse-pounding action and diabolical intrigue in the scorching Sahara sun.


  • Pieter Haasbroek
    10 Apr 2023

    Dr. Frans Alwyn Venter (27 November 1916 - 8 July 1997) grew up in difficult times. The periods when he farmed, it was mainly during the depression years and he had to endure various droughts on top of that. However, these tough years gave him the maturity and determination to come up with his wonderful stories, which are still highly in demand today and will continue to be. Nothing was easy in his life, and he had to work very hard to make it a success. He was not someone who had time for nonsense. As a kind of a loner, he did not have much regard for all kinds of groups. He nevertheless had a great appreciation and respect for nature, his language, his people, his history, and especially his fellow man. It was always a pleasure and delight for him, when he met someone, to first strike up a quick conversation with the person, to get to know the person better rather than being interested in what the person could do for him. Truly a remarkable and very rare trait that commands respect and admiration. F.A. Venter was undoubtedly a phenomenal writer, whose equal is difficult to find. His field of writing was broad and each of his books is difficult to put down before one has even finished reading it. He wrote only a few books under his name. Other pseudonyms he used for his books were Meiring Fouche, Marius de Jongh, Elske te Water, and Rene Stegman. However, he wrote most of his books under the pseudonym Meiring Fouche and quickly reached great heights, especially with his four “Trek” books, Offerland, Gelofte Land, Geknelde Land, and Bedoelde Land. His book Man van Cirene is widely regarded as the most popular and was translated into several languages shortly after its publication. In total, F.A. Venter wrote more than ninety softcover books and more than forty hardcover books! He also wrote several short stories for magazines and newspapers and his books are still in demand and extremely popular with young and old. What made him so unique as a writer was the fact that with his writing style, he had the exceptional ability to conjure up a whole story in your head with one sentence or a few sentences that you could associate with or see play out in your mind’s eye. You only need to read the first one or two paragraphs of any of his books to be immediately captivated and held captive in the given story until you have read the last page of the book. Together with excellent descriptions of all his stories, with the fewest words possible, it makes the reader look forward to reading his next book. In this Sahara Adventure series, you meet Teuns Stegmann, an extremely brave, clever, and talented South African. His brother’s fighter plane was shot down over the mighty Sahara Desert by a German pilot during World War II. Desert Arabs captured him and later killed him before he could escape. To avenge his brother’s death, Teuns then left his beautiful wine farm in the Hex River Valley in South Africa and joined the French Foreign Legion in North Africa. There he quickly made great friends with a Pole, an Italian, an Englishman, and a German. Together, the five of them had to face the mighty Sahara desert with all its dangers that lurked around every corner. If it’s not the Arabs threatening their lives, it’s some crazy professor who wants to use secret gas to wipe out their Foreign Legion soldiers. With one exciting and action-packed adventure after another coming their way, it is Teuns Stegmann’s brilliant mind and incredible bravery that repeatedly save them from trouble. This series of forty books in the Sahara Adventure series, written by F.A. Venter under the pseudonym Meiring Fouche, will stay with you forever. It is without a doubt a Sahara series of stories without equality that both young and old can enjoy. So, if you like stories that are top-notch and set in the mighty and deadly Sahara desert, then this series is just for you. It is so well-written that you will want to take it out of your story bookcase every five years to reread and enjoy it all over again. With a warm cup of coffee or a glass of wine in hand, there is nothing that beats this series for action and adventure!