cover image Queen of Zazzau

Queen of Zazzau

J.S. Emuakpor. Afrocentric, $16.99 trade paper (460p) ISBN 978-1-946595-06-5

Emuakpor celebrates a 16th-century West African queen in a splendid historical fantasy rooted in love, family, and destiny. Amina, daughter and heir to Zazzau’s Queen Bakwa, lives under an oracle’s bloody prediction that she will be “the cause of war and untold death.” It’s a prophecy so dire that Amina’s future as queen is in doubt. Heeding an ancient river god’s warning, Amina rushes to save Zazzau from invaders and prove herself. When a rival king threatens Zazzau’s sovereignty, a vengeful Amina gives herself to Dafaru, the god of war, in exchange for victory. The personal costs are steep, but Bakwa, fearing the prophecy, deliberately left Amina untrained in the politics of war, and she knows no other way to defend her country. Amina suffers painful setbacks before learning to thrive in both a male-dominated world and a relationship with a temperamental god. Emuakpor craftily weaves fascinating characters, facts, and folklore together into a riveting adventure steeped in African culture. Amina is strong-willed, often naive, yet refreshingly intelligent. Readers will enjoy discovering whether Amina’s choices avert or seal her prophesied fate. (BookLife)