Wednesday, August 1, 2018

[Book] She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore


Book Cover (from publisher)

This is divided into two books, THE THREE and SHE WOULD BE KING.  A quote from the Author's Note (before the book even begins):
{Gbessa is pronounced "Bessah"}
The first book is the story of three characters, each from different places and backgrounds.  Gbessa is exiled from her African village as a witch.  June escapes slavery from a plantation in Virginia.  Norman escapes his scientist father in Jamaica.  This follows each of their journeys up to their first meeting.  The second book pulls them apart again, as they each journey to the American colony at Monrovia.

All of the book and dialog is presented in English, though the characters are not always speaking English.  Whenever a character is speaking a non-English language, the words are shown in a unique dialect, where each is unique to the language being presented.  In the beginning, with only the first language presented, this was difficult to read.  When other non-English languages started showing up, though, I came to appreciate the effort the author took to create readable dialects that were both new and distinct from each-other.  This helped me easily recognize who could understand what dialog.

This book is in the Alt-History category, as some characters have super-human powers.  This book made me curious enough about Monrovia and Liberia that I did a bit of reading of the history.  Many of the surnames used in the book are surnames from Liberian history, though (I've not done enough reading to verify the timelines) I suspect that the names were plucked from throughout early Liberian history.

If you enjoy Alt-History with a whisper of super-powers, I highly recommend this.  If you are uncomfortable with the brutality of American and European history where it collides with Africa, then this is going to be outside your comfort zone, but I still recommend it.

Alt-History/Fantasy
Planned Release: 11 Sept 2018
Hardcover, 312 pages


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