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Zulu Hart by Saul David
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Jul 23, 11

bookshelves: historical-fiction

"The first in a series of books about the Zulu War, this is also the first fictional book that Saul David has written. While he may be a good historian (never having read his works, I don't know), I have to say: I'm not so sure about his ability to write good fiction.

Not that there's anything wrong with his knowledge of the battle(s) of Islandwhana and Rorke's Drift (there isn't, and I'm sure he knows more about it than me) - that part of the book isn't actually too bad - rather, that he seemed to be too clumsy in how he manoeuvred his characters into position to be involved in those battles. I've never been too fond of the use of the amazing coincidence device! I also wasn't keen on the fact that the characters seemed to feel the need to explain to each other things that they should already know, even if the reader doesn't. You know, like one military officer describing to another how to perform a fighting retreat by ranks (one rank firing while the other covers them)?

There's two main love interests in the book, but only one of them seems fully realised or in place properly: the other added almost as an afterthought, and the conclusion of that one seems pretty weak.

Like another reviewer, I'd have to say that while this certainly wasn't the worse book I'v ever read, it's a long way from being the best, or even the best 'new' book I've read this year (that would have to be Angus Donald's "Outlaw"). Quite glad that I got it as part of a 1/2 price offer: would be less impressed if I'd had to pay full price for it!"
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Alexandra I agree wholeheartedly.


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