The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste
A beautifully written and utterly captivating novel about female strength and the power of belief, set during Mussolini's 1935 invasion of Ethiopia, The Shadow King casts a light on the women soldiers who were written out of history.
With the threat of Mussolini's army looming, recently orphaned Hirut struggles to adapt to her new life as a maid in Kidane and his wife Aster's household. Kidane, an officer in Emperor Haile Selassie's army, rushes to mobilise his strongest men before the Italians invade. Meanwhile, Mussolini's hundreds of thousands of Italian soldiers march on Ethiopia expecting an easy victory.
As the war begins in earnest, Hirut, Aster, and the other women long to do more than care for the wounded and bury the dead. When Emperor Haile Selassie goes into exile and Ethiopia quickly loses hope, it is Hirut who offers a plan to maintain morale. She helps disguise a gentle peasant as the emperor and soon becomes his guard, inspiring other women to take up arms. But how could she have predicted her own personal war, still to come, as a prisoner of one of Italy's most vicious officers?
The Shadow King is a gorgeously crafted and unputdownable exploration of female power, with Hirut as the fierce, original, and brilliant voice at its heart. In incandescent, lyrical prose, Maaza Mengiste breathes life into complicated characters on both sides of the battle line, shaping a heartrending, indelible exploration of what it means to be a woman at war.
Format: Paperback | 448 pages
Dimensions (cm): 21.2 x 13.5 x 3.1 | 550g
Publication Date: 07 Jan 2020
Publication City/Country: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Illustrations note: b&w illustrations
Edition Number: 1
A book that has been read but is in good condition. Very minimal damage to the cover including very minor scuff marks and creasing along the edges, but no holes or tears. The majority of pages are undamaged with very, very minimal creasing but no tearing. No pencil underlining of text, no highlighting of text, no writing in margins. No missing pages.