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The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste: Bookmark in Spalding's Book of the Week.




ETHIOPIA. 1935.

With the threat of Mussolini's army looming, recently orphaned Hirut struggles to adapt to her new life as a maid. Her new employer, Kidane, an officer in Emperor Haile Selassie's army, rushes to mobilise his strongest men before the Italians invade.

Hirut 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.

The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste. Bookmark in Spalding's Book of the Week. (42366553)
The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste. Bookmark in Spalding's Book of the Week. (42366553)

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 'un-put-downable' exploration of female power, and what it means to be a woman at war.

Pick up this Thursday's Spalding Guardian (on sale September 24) for a 20% off voucher towards The Shadow King (RRP £9.99). The voucher is redeemable at Bookmark in The Crescent, Spalding, until Wednesday, September 30.)



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