Publication Date: February 25, 2013
Madu is a young African warrior-in-training who craves the approval of his stepfather. Tom is a young English boy on a slave ship that has gone hunting for their next human cargo. Two tribes are at war, as the tribe opposing Madu’s makes a deal with the English to give their prisoners into the slave trade. Madu is confused and frightened when he is taken as a prisoner to the slave ship. When the tables are turned will Tom and Madu be able to form a friendship which will have them survive?
[easyazon-link asin=”1482343479″ locale=”us”]Nobody’s Slave[/easyazon-link] is based on true historical events. [easyazon-link asin=”1482343479″ locale=”us”]Nobody’s Slave[/easyazon-link] is a very authentic book. Madu’s portion of the story line has a tone reminiscent of the master of African Literature, Chinua Achebe. Madu’s mother was a Sumba woman captured in battle and married to a warrior in the tribe. Unknown to anyone at the time of their marriage, she’s pregnant with Madu. Because of this stigma and craving his stepfather’s approval, Madu goes above and beyond. At the start of the novel, he and his friend Temba are trying to kill a leopard for their warrior training but they want to go a step further. Everyone traps the leopard using a goat, but they want to keep their goat. In that magic moment, the two boys are worried about nothing more than impressing their fellow villagers.
Tom’s story line feels less inspired. Maybe it’s because he’s so familiar to us. Maybe it’s because he makes the rationalizations we know were made at that time. He has doubts about the rightness of taking slaves but he’s easily convinced that this is what must be done. Even in the scene where Tom suffers a great personal loss, he seems to just move on to the next thing. Complicating Tom’s story line are real life historical figures, John Hawkins and Francis Drake. Tom is cast in the role of Drake’s cousin accompanying him on an expedition that took place presumably in the 1560s. Perhaps there is a freedom with Madu’s story line that the author didn’t experience when writing Tom as this author does seem to be one that strives for authenticity?
The first part of [easyazon-link asin=”1482343479″ locale=”us”]Nobody’s Slave[/easyazon-link] is a nail-biting experience. We know that Madu isn’t being baked for consumption in the hold of the ship, but everything down in the ship is new to him. His fellow slaves and Madu make assumptions about the “red-faces” based on what they’ve heard, which seem natural but the reader knows not to be true. The ending slows down considerably and is perhaps preachy for the modern audience. Madu, in the end, is the real focus of the novel and drives the plot; he is a fascinating character to read.[easyazon-link asin=”1482343479″ locale=”us”]Nobody’s Slave[/easyazon-link] is a good novel for readers who enjoy historical fiction and it won the Best Kindle Award 2014. Tim Vicary is an author who very clearly loves history and does his best to present events in an entertaining manner. Pick this one up today.
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