My Book: Zulu

Cover_AmazonNow Available as an e-book
at Amazon.com and as a trade paperback at CreateSpace

It’s a sad truth that for most of us, Africa is a bit of a hazy notion. If asked to name a dozen countries, we might hesitate for a moment and marshal our wits. To talk about 19th Century Africa in casual conversation might be to step beyond our comfort zone. That said, whether familiar or not, everyone has heard of the Zulu.

Why is that?

Of all the kingdoms of Africa south of the Sahara Desert, the Zulu made their mark by defying the British Empire at the height of their power. An iron age pastoral civilization that should have been brushed aside like dozens before and after surprised the world for six long and agonizing months, giving as good as they got before they were smashed but never humbled. Hundreds of books have been written about it, and several movies, but they’ve all been told from the British side of things. That is only half the story, and not the most interesting half.

As with my first novel, Inca, I wanted to read about this remarkable people from their own perspective. After a great deal of research, I wrote the book I wanted to read. It begins in 1866 and runs until 1882, and while most of the protagonists are fictional, the story is as true as I can make it.

Mbeki and Ingonyama are the gifted sons of the blacksmith Jama. Their adventures at the royal court of King Cetshwayo draw them into the great events of a kingdom on the cusp of a golden age. There they meet Inyati, an exiled Matabele prince, and Nandhi, the daughter of a northern baron. Their unlikely friendship promises a life of peace and plenty, but their future is darker than they could ever imagine.

You’re going to be hearing a lot about this in the weeks and months to come. I’ll keep you updated.

Best regards,

–Geoff

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