The Emperor's Son

Vamba Sherif’s The Emperor’s Son is a gripping tale of Zaiwulo, a young prodigy dispatched to the ancient city of Musadu to train under the tutelage of Talata, a renowned sage of the legendary Haidarah family. In his new surroundings, the young Zaiwulo finds himself entangled in a web of intrigue surrounding Emperor Samori, the formidable leader whom the French have dubbed “the Black Napoleon.” As Zaiwulo matures into a formidable soldier, fighting alongside the Emperor, his quest for truth intensifies, leading him on a daring adventure that ultimately brings him face-to-face with his own origins. Set against the backdrop of political upheaval and historical tumult, The Emperor’s Son is a riveting historical saga of loyalty, the pursuit of identity, the complexities of leadership, and the enduring quest for truth in a constantly evolving world.





$ 25.00 USD

Praise and reviews

Vamba Sherif’s, The Emperor’s Son is a captivating narrative about tumultuous wars and doomed alliances that is as rich in fervor as it is imaginative in reconstructing the adventurous life and times of the fabled Mande emperor, Samori Touré. In this beautifully wrought book, Sherif creates characters—imbued with the full range of human strengths and failings—who inhabit and take us along on heart-stopping journeys of life and death

Momoh Sekou Dudu, author of Harrowing December

The Emperor's Son is lush, immediate and brilliantly conceived. Vamba's prose challenges both writers and readers of world literature to be more thoughtful, more generous, more true to themselves

Wayétu Moore, author of She Would be King

The Emperor’s Son is a bold, richly imagined and ambitious piece of historical fiction, drawing on a number of fascinating factual events to produce an evocative portrayal of a vibrant, prosperous West African empire in the nineteenth century at the cusp of the French and English colonial invasions. The region’s cultures, traditions and their economic and political civilizations are powerfully rendered through clear themes of war, love, loss, family, identity, abandonment and sacrifice, while the life and exploits of your protagonist provide a compelling central focus for your plot. The women, particularly Ma-Sona, Massah, Sarankenyi and Naminata were a strong force and they, along with Demba and Talata were memorable characters amongst a diverse and colourful cast

Vimbai Shire

About the author

Vamba Sherif is a novelist, essayist, speaker, book and film critic. He’s a lecturer in African Literature at Leiden University. His work has appeared in many languages, including Dutch, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish, and the Indian Malayalam. He has also published essays, stories, film reviews, columns and opinion pieces in The New York Times, the German Kulturaustausch, African Writing, Trouw, Volkskrant, NRC and ZAM-Magazine, among many others. With Ebissé Rouw, he compiled Black: Afro-European literature in the Netherlands and Belgium, a unique anthology of Afro-European experience in the Low Countries. About his work the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung wrote: 'Vamba Sherif creates whirlpools of Shakespearean intensity

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