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Zulu Heart
by Steven Barnes

Category: Fiction / Historical
480 pages; ISBN: 0446531227

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


In A.H 1294 (equivalent to A.D. 1877), Ethiopian nobleman Kai is married and raising a family on his Bilalistan (equivalent to Southern USA) plantation. He liberated his loyal slave, white Irishman Aidan with the freedman residing in a community of former slaves. However, though an ocean away, the events in the African motherland impact those settled in the colonies as Ethiopia and Egypt seem on the brink of civil war.

Kai shouts for peace, but only places himself and his extended family in danger from those who want him silent so that war can occur. He enlists Aidan to learn what really is happening in Africa. Aidan returns to slavery in order to serve as a mole at the Egyptian court. The plan is to provide information to Kai so he can act on what he learns. However, both walk precariously as the world they know seems destined to explode into a deadly civil war.

This sequel to the terrific alternate history tale, LION’S BLOOD continues the stories of Kai and Aidan. Once again Steven Barnes provides a deep rich tale that will leave the audience in awe of his talent that makes the African colonization of the New World seem so real. Kai and Aidan are delightful characters willing to risk all they cherish to do the right thing though what that is remains difficult to fathom. ZULU HEART proves that Mr. Barnes is the equivalent to an alternate dimension history professor as he makes his realm seem so excitingly delightfully real.

Harriet Klausner


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