Friday, January 11, 2008
Good reading: Lion's Blood by Steven Barnes
It's hard to find quality black orienated black sci fi/ fabtasy novels out there, but they are out there.
One of my favorite authors is Steven Barnes, and my favorite work of his is the first in a series of novels that reverses history on it's head.
Check the review:
From Publishers Weekly
"If you would not fear the lion, you must be a lion yourself," notes an old Swahili proverb, and it's that fearlessness that gives Barnes's moving epic its strength and power. What if the captives on those long ago slave ships had been predominantly white and the slave owners predominantly black and brown? This alternative historical novel dares to dissect the differences and similarities between Muslim and Christian ethics, no easy task in these troubling times. By focusing on two engaging main characters, Irish Christian Aidan O'Dere, unwilling slave, and African Muslim, Kai ibn Jallaleddin ibn Rashid, uneasy master, Barnes manages to achieve extraordinary balance and insight into both worlds with unflinching honesty as these two become friends against the odds. Greedy white Northmen catch and sell into slavery the young O'Dere and his family, who arrive in the New World in 1863 (or 1279 Higira time). But instead of the United States, they encounter a divided Bilalstan, ruled by Zulus, Arabs, Aztecs, Vikings and Indians still unable to choose peace over war. As O'Dere strives to find his way to freedom and Rashid strives to figure out whether freedom is just a dream, their lives connect on a battlefield both metaphorical and physical. Interwoven subplots enhance the vivid characterizations, adding romance, Sufi mysticism and philosophical musings regarding martial arts, religion, family and power.
What gets me is the attention to details and customs of the various African tribes and how they would fit in the New World, I read it through in a day, that good for me.