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Reviewed by Lucinda E Clarke for Readers' Favorite
The Zimbabwe Falcon by David Maring is a historical novel based in the time of the push northwards from the Cape in South Africa to realize Cecil Rhodes’ dream of securing for Britain a swathe through Africa to Cairo. We meet the Howard girls as they arrive by sea at the Cape and then continue north to Messina, the interior, where their parents have secured land. In time, both girls meet young men who are closely connected to Rhodes, Jameson, Selous and other leaders of the time. They are involved in the Matabele Wars, when the Ndebele people rose up against the white settlers and also practiced genocide against the Shona.
I was attracted by the title, The Zimbabwe Falcon, as I love books about Africa and I’ve seen one of the remaining stone birds at the ruins of Great Zimbabwe. The story of the early settlers is told from the point of view of the English, the Afrikaners, French Huguenots and an African, Joswa Kimbo, a member of the Lemba tribe. Their fortunes are interwoven against the backdrop of the early days of the colonization of Rhodesia and the Boer War in South Africa. I loved the book, although there were a lot of battle scenes in the latter part and I would have preferred more information about those characters I had grown to love. I think the author has done a lot of research into the place and period and incorporated this well into the story, such as Rhodes ordering the delivery of one of the falcons to Groote Schuur. Well worth reading.