Review: Shaka Rising: A Legend of the Warrior Prince
I remember one of the first epic miniseries I saw when I was a child, and the one that had me captivated for hours, was Shaka Zulu. The miniseries had me and my family in front the television, night after night, as we saw the making of a legend. This being made by Hollywood, of course, they need to add some fantastic elements to it. They had a witch, an oedipal relationship between Shaka and his mother and a prophecy of him ascending the throne.
Years later, with the advent of genealogy companies, many people wanted to know where their ancestors came from, especially people of color. I cannot remember anyone who wanted to know if their family was Zulu. This was all due to the miniseries, but it makes you wonder what the Hollywood told leave out. In Luke W. Molver and Mason O’Connor’s Shaka Rising, a meticulously researched book, which tells of Shaka, as a young Prince.
We meet Shaka, as a young boy, and his mother, not being the favored wife, is relegated to secondary status. This treatment never deterred Shaka, as we find out how astute he was and how turbulent the treaty between the tribes were at the time. As he grows older, him and Sigajuna, the son of the favored wife, fight for control, one that ends in death. By book’s end, Shaka starts to show his military prowess and natural leadership ability as the Zulus fight the Ndwandwe, who enjoy the spoils of slavery.
Overall, a story I thought I knew everything about becomes even more enlightening, as new facts become uncovered in this powerful origin story. The story by Molver and O’Connor is engaging, sweeping and the perfect underdog story. The art by Molver is simply breathtaking. Altogether, this book elevates the narrative surrounding this legend, as we not only get to see a boy become a man but one who draws power form his people.
Story: Luke W. Molver and Mason O’Connor Art: Luke W. Molver
Story: 9.4 Art: 9.1 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy