The Shadow King
Set during Mussolini's 1935 invasion of Ethiopia, The Shadow King takes us back to the first real conflict of World War II, casting light on the women soldiers who were left out of the historical record. At its heart is orphaned maid Hirut, who finds herself tumbling into a new world of thefts and violations, of betrayals and overwhelming rage. What follows is a heartrending and unputdownable exploration of what it means to be a woman at war.
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Capacious.... adopts the register of myth to shape an epic of nationhood and resistance.
Unforgettable.... [A] propulsive read that captures a historical moment from a fresh perspective.
In haunting and beautiful prose, Mengiste shines a light on those whose lives are not often heralded.
Ambitious and illuminating.--Elizabeth Sile
A beautiful and thoughtful epic.--Francesca Capossela
Stunning.... [Mengiste] produced a work of fiction that is epic in reach, with brilliant borrowings from the forms of classic tragedy.... The book is impossible to put down or put out of mind.
The Shadow King exposes a brutal chapter in Ethiopia's history and urges readers to listen for the untold stories of war, especially those of women.--Katie Noah Gibson