Amina is heir apparent to the throne of Zazzau and must prove she is worthy of the crown. As foreign invaders close in on them, she is all that stands between her people and destruction. Caught in a web of prophecies, she must defend Zazzau, but cannot do so if she wants to prevent the future that was foretold. She did not seek war yet it finds her. Unwilling to be the plaything of gods or men and determined to take control of her own destiny, she tracks down the god of war himself. But has her destiny already been written? Can she choose her own fate? And can she protect her kingdom, no matter what price she must ultimately pay? Because, gods always want something in return.
Queen of Zazzau is an Historical Fantasy that takes place in precolonial West Africa. It chronicles the life of one of the most famous W. African queens, Amina of Zazzau (or Zaria). At 139,000 words, the novel features several W. African historical figures and a pantheon of W. African gods. The story is told in first-person and gives the reader an intimate look at some of the lifestyles and cultures–many of which are still alive today–of medieval W. Africa.
One of the men with the hate-filled eyes stepped forward. “You make jest at the expense of our great sovereign.”
This one was tall. Taller than me, taller even than Jaruma. The dark robes draping him from head to toe shadowed but did not conceal his features. All my rage, my disgust, I leveled on the man in a single look. He met me, contempt for contempt.
No one word could describe what the Nupe were to me. They were a pebble in my shoe, weevils in my grain, body lice, malcontents, rabble-rousers, schemers, and agitators.
I didn’t hide my derision. “It was no jest, I assure you. Had I known that Tsoede’s word was less than shit, I would have finished what the Oyo king began. I’ll soon rectify that.” My eyes swept across all eight Nupemen and, again, lingered on the tall one. “I will crush Tsoede. I will dismantle your cities and sell your people to any bidders. And I’ll be well rid of you.” As I spoke the last word, I faced the emissary.
He took two hasty steps back, jostling the men behind him.
“You and your swine may leave my court.” Spinning on my heels, I marched to my chair.
“My Queen?” The waziri gave me a hard look.
The men backed away from the throne.
“Let them go.” Louder, I warned, “Whoever waylays these men will answer to me.”
There were disgruntled mutterings among my officers, but none dared challenge the edict. The eight made their way out of the pavilion.
About the Author
J.S. Emuakpor was born and raised in West Africa. She is a married mother of four, a scientist, and owner of Afrocentric Books. She currently lives in North Carolina and is very much allergic to it. Most of her writing draws upon the spiritual beliefs of the ancestors who frequently whisper in her ear and on the superstitions that she refuses to relinquish.