The Shadow King
With the threat of Mussolini’s army looming, recently orphaned Hirut struggles to adapt to her new life as a maid. Her new employer, Kidane, an officer in Emperor Haile Selassie’s army, rushes to mobilise his strongest men before the Italians invade.
Hirut and the other women long to do more than care for the wounded and bury the dead. When Emperor Haile Selassie goes into exile and Ethiopia quickly loses hope, it is Hirut who offers a plan to maintain morale. She helps disguise a gentle peasant as the emperor and soon becomes his guard, inspiring other women to take up arms. But how could she have predicted her own personal war, still to come, as a prisoner of one of Italy’s most vicious officers?
About the Author
Maaza Mengiste was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A Fulbright scholar and professor at Queens College, she is the author of Beneath the Lion’s Gaze and a 2018 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. She lives in New York City.
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