About the Book:
Publication Date: March 8, 2013
The Victorian Empire has declared war on the Zulus if they don’t accede to their outrageous demands. The clock is ticking down to the appointed hour. With no idea why the British are marching three massive columns of men and guns towards them, one Zulu general is prepared to take an impossible risk. But the life he’s gambling with isn’t his own . . .
The sole survivor of a shipwreck off the Zululand coast, 15 year-old Elizabeth Jones is taken in by the Zulus, the people of the sky. Six years later, her white skin becomes useful to the Zulu army as they try to work out why the Victorian Empire has pointed their war-machine at the Zulu nation. Elizabeth is suddenly Zululand’s most important spy.
While infiltrating the British camp, Elizabeth’s disguise as a young soldier is uncovered almost immediately by Captain Jack Burdell. However, he believes the tale she spins of searching for a missing brother and shields her from discovery, allowing her to bunk in his tent and giving her a job as his batman. Burdell is war-weary and disillusioned – no longer willing to follow regulations at all costs.
But as Elizabeth and Jack explore their growing attraction to each other, the two armies move towards their inevitable clash. Elizabeth is torn between the guilt of betrayal and her fierce loyalty to her Zulu family, and when Zulu and British meet on the battlefield, both she and Jack find their hearts and their lives caught in the crossfire.
About the Author:
Michelle Diener writes historical fiction. Her Susanna Horenbout and John Parker series starts with IN A TREACHEROUS COURT. Set in the court of Henry VIII, it features the real historical figures of artist Susanna Horenbout and Henry’s Keeper of the Palace of Westminster and Yeoman of the King’s Robes, John Parker. It was followed by KEEPER OF THE KING’S SECRETS, also featuring Susanna Horenbout and John Parker, and DANGEROUS SANCTUARY, a short story with the same characters, set between the two books, is currently available as an ebook only.
A new historical novel, set during the Napoleonic Wars in London in 1811, THE EMPEROR’S CONSPIRACY, was released on November 27th, 2012.
Michelle also contributed a short paranormal story to the ENTANGLED Anthology entitled BREAKING OUT. All the proceeds of the sale of ENTANGLED go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Michelle grew up in South Africa, and now lives in Australia with her husband and two children.
For more information on Michelle Diener’s novels, please visit the official website. You can also follow her on Twitter.
I must admit that my interest in reading this book was piqued due to my complete ignorance as to its subject matter. As I’ve mentioned ad nauseum I do like to learn as I read. You could put my knowledge of the history of any of the countries in Africa on the head of a pin.
Daughter of the Sky starts off with a page turning shipwreck where the heroine, Elizabeth is the only survivor. She is saved and taken in by the Zulus – the people of the sky. She was being returned to England after her parents had been killed in a riot in China. Killed by English soldiers so Elizabeth has no love for her home country. She learns to lover her Zulu family and when her life is threatened by English colonialism she agrees to become a spy to help her new people.
She disguises herself as a soldier and infiltrates the British army camp. While there she comes to like the men with whom she works and one officer discovers her deception. She becomes conflicted as she doesn’t want anyone to get hurt – the men she has come to know or the Zulu family she loves. But war is inevitable and there are internal issues on both sides.
I read this in one sitting, staying up late into the night to finish. It was a fascinating story woven by a writer who knows her history and knows how to bring that history to life. The characters were well developed and they were not simply good or bad. There was depth to them – with the exception of Elizabeth’s adoptive brother’s uncle. He was a bit one note but he was necessary for plot development. I loved the romance, I learned some history and I now want to know more. If you ask me there is not much more you can ask from a book.
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Disclosure: I received a free e-copy of Daughter of the Sky from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for my honest review. I received no compensation for this post.