This is Elizabeth Laird’s latest novel and it’s excellent as you would expect.  The story is based on actual events in Abyssinia and England and tells of Alamayu whose father dies in a battle with British troops.  The young prince is taken to England where he is befriended by Queen Victoria and sent to Rugby.  The events are seen through Alamayu’s eyes as he lies in bed in the school sickbay. 

Interestingly there are no chapter divisions, something I thought I was going to be annoyed by.  The book is split into sections and I think this has the effect of keeping the reader going on.  The sections are generally quite short and I, at least, kept thinking that I would read just one more until I realised I was almost at the end of the book!  Much of the action is seen in retrospect which allows for comment on events.

I’m not specially interested in African history and I probably wouldn’t have read this had it not been written by Elizabeth Laird.  And that would have been a mistake as this is an engrossing, poignant story.

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