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Nov 14 09 1:38 AM

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Not a bad book this. I rather enjoyed it and at half price it wasn't a bad buy. A rough plot synopsis is that George Hart the bastard son of an English Aristocrat and a half Maltese actress has been put through the English School system and Sandhurst. He's given a place in the Household Cavalry however after he's kicked out, he decides to go to Africa and his mother admits he's Half Zulu. He turns up in Natal and ends up embroiled in the Events at Islandlwanda and Rourkes Drift.
The battle scenes are fun and well written and the backgrounds authentic. Saul David is a noted historian and it shows here. The plots fairly good and the characters are reasonably well done. It does however suffer from 2 flaws. One is the fact that he's obviously written by a modern historian who can see both sides of the argument and their both well and earnestly represented here, I can't help but feel that very few people of the time would consider both sides, instead having a rather "them and us" perception of the matter. I also feel he's probably gone out of his way to do that and it makes the novel more clumsy. More irritatingly to me however is that George Hart is represented as the linch-pin behind the preparation of the defence of Rourkes Drift devaluing both the officers in command there. This shows the normal problem with Historical fiction that the authors want their characters to be at the centre of events rather than out at the periphery. I would however recommend this book as good light reading and an interesting way to get a casual understanding of the causes of the Anglo-Zulu war and Natal society. All in all this book is mildly not highly recommended.