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Zulu Heart returns to the 19th Century of Steven Barnes's justly acclaimed novel Lion's Blood, a brilliant alternate history in which black Africans have colonized the New World with white Europeans as their slaves.
As Zulu Heart opens, New World nobleman Kai ibn Jallaleddin is a senator of New Djibouti, an envied plantation owner, and a loving family man. His ex-slave and friend, the Irishman Aidan O'Dere, is on the Ouachita frontier, helping other ex-slaves build a settlement for themselves. But ex-slaves are always at risk, and an angry mob threatens Aidan, his family, and his entire village with slaughter or re-enslavement. Meanwhile, Kai is entangled in intrigues among not only his fellow senators, but the lords of Egypt and Abyssinia, who have sinister plans for the New World colonies. Pharaoh takes Kai's sister hostage to manipulate Kai, even as Aidan discovers his twin sister, lost since childhood, is the property of a powerful foe of New Djibouti. Aidan has a slight possibility of rescuing his beloved sister, and of helping Kai thwart his enemies, but the only chance of achieving these near-impossible goals requires that Aidan go undercover--a slave once more. --Cynthia Ward [via]