Generations ago, ships from Egypt and Ethiopia sailed west to the New World, bearing African colonists and savage European slaves. But the settlers in the proud young land of Bilalistan are not free from the conflicts of the motherland...
Multiple award-nominee Steven Barnes returns to the brilliantly envisioned world of his acclaimed novel Lion's Blood--in which Carthage destroyed Rome and all the complexities and wonders of African civilization have flourished, dominant and unchallenged. Depicting profound evocations of African traditions and Irish-European cultures, Barnes presents a unique, insightful epic of American speculative fiction...
The year is 1294--or, to Christians, 1877. Egypt's Pharaoh threatens war against Ethiopia's Empress and plans to embroil the New World in his cause. While the Northern colonists, under the command of the Caliph, are subjects of the Pharaoh, Southern revolutionaries are loyal to the Empress.
Caught in the center of the storm is Kai ibn Rashid, married to the Empress's niece and lord of a vast Southern estate. A senator who only wants peace, Kai finds himself opposed to the Pharaoh's wara position that may cost him dearly as assassins target his family. Meanwhile, the New World's other major power, the unpredictable Zulu nation, has pressed Kai to accept their princess, the exquisite niece of Shaka Zulu, as his second wife. Tantalized by her beauty, Kai also fears that the princess is a spy with lethal plans.
Now in desperate need of help, Kai summons a childhood friend, the freed slave Aidan O'Dere, to go on a deadly mission. Aidan's reward is information to save his long-lost sister, Nessa, and safe passage home. Yet to succeed, Aidan must willingly submit himself to the greatest degradation he has ever known--being forced to take up once more the cruel yoke of slavery.
With war looming and betrayal threatening on every side, failure will mean execution for Kai and Aidan. But will success cost even more? For by challenging the will of the Pharaoh, Kai could be signing his family's death warrants. And by aiding the South, Aidan could be keeping millions of whites in bondage.
Locus - 3/2003
...more adventure, intrigue, and romance into a vibrant world that is so utterly believable, so vivid and sensual, that it makes reality itself seem like the imagined realm.
[An] ambitious and absorbing sequel..... the magnificent abundance of detail of this alternate world carries the day, with considerable assistance from skilled characterization leaning to the romantic side.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
My new favorite book.
Rated of 5
by Xioung Chan Zing Hung Mai
this book stincs i didnt lik it
With his first novel written in the present, Gibson carries his perceptions of technology, globalization, and terrorism into a new century. Suspenseful, wry, and elegantly written, this is his most ambitious and broadly appealing novel to date.
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