“The Shadow King is a beautiful and devastating work; of women holding together a world ripping itself apart. They will slip into your dreams and overtake your memories”


This story , based on fact, is about the Italian invasion of Ethiopia at the very beginning of WW2. The story mainly involves 2 persons. Ettorre is an Italian photographer attached to an Italian group of invaders. The other character is Hirut, who as a young girl looses her parents. She ends up in the household of a man named Kidane, an officer in the Ethiopian army and his wife Aster
Kidane is off to fight the invaders, but the woman want to fight also. Hirut has her own gun that her father gave her and she wants to be a soldier.

In Ethiopia in this war for their country the woman will actively participate in the fighting. The things that happen to Hirut, things that lead her to fight and to continue to exist even after capture by the Italian army where she runs into Ettorre are vividly told. The courage of the Ethiopians is brought forward in an exciting, well written narrative. Hirut is a terrific character and the amount of crosses she has to bear seems almost impossible to do.
One of the better books of the year. Highly recommended.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 24th January 2020

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Richard Franco