3 out of 4 stars
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Zimbabwe Falcon is a historical fiction book set in the land between the great Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers and is written by David Maring.
The close of the 19th century is fast approaching, and the region between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers is dominated by the fierce Ndebele tribe. The region is home to the ruins of a great civilization known as the Great Zimbabwe. Cecil Rhodes, a great businessman, earmarks this historically rich region as the perfect place to establish a British colony. This would serve as the first step in extending British rule within the African interior. In 1890, Rhodes organizes the British Rhodesian Pioneers to march to the region and establish a settlement. The conflicts that arise are nothing short of epic as the region is home to a number of different ethnic groups.
Zimbabwe Falcon opens aboard the "King George" on a voyage to what was once known as the "Dark Continent", Africa. On board, we are introduced to a few of the lead characters. We meet sisters, Stacey and Grace Howard, who are on this voyage to reunite with their parents who had to leave them behind in Ireland years earlier in their attempt to seek a life of prosperity in Africa. We then meet Kinsey Marshell, a young man with dreams of establishing a flourishing mercantile business. All three end up settling in the new Rhodesian colony. Kinsey and Stacey even join the British Rhodesian Pioneers. This allows readers to follow the events that made history from a very human vantage point. We get to share in the high hopes, the sense of adventure, danger, and thrill felt by the pioneers and settlers.
Zimbabwe Falcon has an assortment of characters, all from differing ethnic backgrounds. We take an in-depth look at the thinking, motivations, and feelings of these characters who include Dutchmen, Afrikaners, British, Lemba, Shona, and Ndebele to mention a few. It was interesting to see how each character thought their ethnic group's mission was the will of God, despite some of these missions being almost irreconcilable with each other.
If you love history, then Zimbabwe Falcon is surely for you. Aside from the characters already mentioned, it contains notable historic characters such as Cecil Rhodes, Fred Russell Burnham, Lobengula, and Frederick Selous. It also covers a number of wars in the region, with the plot spanning over 30 years of history from 1888 to 1923. As you can imagine, it needs to be quite a lengthy book to cover all that content. However, I assure you, the content makes up for this as it is enjoyable to read.
Based on just the content of the book, Zimbabwe Falcon deserves 4 stars. Unfortunately, it contains quite a few spelling errors. Thus, I rate it 3 out of 4 stars. If you love a good historical fiction book, then you will love Zimbabwe Falcon.
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