Bespectacled Petal's Reviews > Lion's Blood

Lion's Blood by Steven Barnes
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it was amazing

Imagine a world in which Egypt was the superpower of the world. Where, instead of white masters and black slaves, it was the other way around. In Lion’s Blood, Steven Barnes writes about such a world.

This book is based on a white slave, Aidan, and his journey throughout life. I was first introduced to him as a young boy fishing with his father in the beautiful river, the Lady, in Eire, where him and his family lived. In the middle of the night, Viking warriors with guns raided the village, killing most of the men. The few men that survived, along with women and children were sold into slavery. They had to endure a boat ride across the ocean crammed into the hold of a ship which was only meant to hold one third of them. Upon arrival at the New World of Bilalistan, they are then sold to Wakil Abu Ali, the owner of the Dar Kush estate, who view them as nothing more than property. Sounds a tad familiar, doesn’t it? Aidan eventually makes friends with the estate owner’s son, Kai. However, the estate is not as peaceful as it seems and soon there is war among the different races in the country. Can Aidan and Kai’s friendship survive?

I tried to find a way to describe how I felt about this book but I felt like no words could adequately express how much I enjoyed this book. Strangely enough, I did not enjoy it because the blacks were in charge. I enjoyed it because this author showed me that even when the situation was reversed, I found myself on the side of the oppressed, no matter the color they were. Black or white, no man deserves to be a slave.

I found myself becoming quite emotionally involved in this book. I have read enough about the history of slavery to know the depths of depravity slave masters were willing to stoop to. It felt more painful to read about it happening to characters I cared about. Whippings and rapes were described in graphic detail. Runaway slaves were viciously hunted down and slaughtered. It was horrific.

The descriptions in this book were magnificent. The emerald grove in the slaves’ garden sounded beautiful. The author was also quite skilled at describing characters. He was able to capture the Aztec warriors’ haughtiness perfectly using words alone.

This book also highlighted what a lot of people do not know. The village was raided and destroyed by men of Aidan’s own race. One of the greatest tragedies in African slavery was that many times it was fellow Africans who did the capturing and selling of weaker tribes. Although, one can argue that they were encouraged to do this by the slave masters and the promise of riches and weapons.

Not everyone may find the descriptions of their race to be appropriate. Some may get insulted. Some may find it fitting. But this is a book that should be read by whites and blacks alike. This book included a lot of detailed descriptions of violence, sexual and otherwise. There was not much profanities. This is an adult book and should not be read by younger readers.
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Reading Progress

October 10, 2019 – Started Reading
October 10, 2019 – Shelved
October 13, 2019 – Finished Reading

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