Amelia, daughter of the last independent King of Danhome, King Gbehanzin, is the apple of her father's eye, loved beyond measure by her mother, and overprotected by her siblings. She searches for her place within the palace amidst conspirators and traitors to the Kingdom. Just when Amelia begins to feel at home in her role as a Princess, a well-kept secret shatters the perfect life she knows. Someone else within the palace also knows and does everything to bring the secret to light. A struggle between good and evil ensues causing Amelia to leave all that she knows and loves. She must flee Danhome with her brother, to south-western Nigeria. In a faraway land, she finds the love of a new family and God. The well-kept secret thought to have been dead and buried, resurrects with the flash of a thread of gold beads. Amelia must fight for her life and what is left of her soul. Set during the French-Danhome war of the late 1890s in Benin Republic and early 1900s in Abeokuta and Lagos, South-Western Nigeria, Thread of Gold Beads is a delicate love story, and coming of age of a young girl. It clearly depicts the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversities.
Summary & Cover taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 422 pages (Paperback)
Source: Review Copy
Available Formats: Print/E-book
Publication Date: November 7th 2012 by Three Magi Publishing
When I was first approached to be a part of the blog tour for Thread of Gold Beads by Nike Campbell-Fatoki I was ecstatic. This novel had everything I loved in it. There was romance, mystery historical fiction and the very best part about it was that it was set in my absolutely place to read about, Africa.
Set in pre-colonial times there was an exhilarating and beautifully written story about a culture in a time and location that I'm not very familiar with and I thought it was so refreshing. I know that each book has it's own unique story but I really wish there were more books like this out there.
The writing was wonderful. It was detailed without being mind numbingly so. One of the things I love most about the historical fiction genre is that the authors have to work extra hard in creating the settings for their story because much of the amount of research that the authors have to do to create a historically accurate setting as it would look completely out of place for things to appear that never happened sooner than they really do in the historical record. I think that Nike did a fantastic job about bringing the past to life in the way that she did and she definitely has me interested in reading more books set in this era.
I loved Amelia's character. She felt so real to me that when the book ended I felt as though I was losing a friend. I didn't always agree with her decisions or her thought process but I found myself rooting for her throughout the whole book because she had so much to come up against, but things that were meant to break her while they came close didn't succeed and I loved seeing her grow as a character and really come into her own.
The other characters were just as skillfully created but my favourite characters had to be the women hands down. If you're looking to read a story with push overs than this book is probably not the one for you the women in this book are strong, they're cunning, sometimes a little cutthroat but they're all strong and I thought that it was amazing to find such strong women in a book since it's rare to find so many in one tome. I thought it was excellent.
As for the overall plot, I really enjoyed the way it was executed, there was so much drama I was on the edge of my seat for the whole book because I just couldn't see what was going to happen next and I loved the fact that everything was so unexpected. It was nice to find myself surprised with a novel's unpredictability for once. Usually if I love a book, I speed right through it, in this case though I forced myself to read it slowly so I could savour it even more.
Overall, I loved Thread of Gold Beads. I think it was a wonderful debut by Nike Campbell-Fatoki and I really hope she sticks to this genre, and time period because she well and truly brought pre-colonial Africa to life for me and the richness of her writing was impressive.
I would recommend Thread of Gold Beads to fans of historical fiction who are looking for a book that offers a more exotic location as well as a side of history from a different perspective. If you love books that are both equally character and plot driven pick this one up as soon as you can.
For more information please visit Nike’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ or follow the Facebook page for the book.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.
I read this book for the following reading challenges:
2013 150+ Reading Challenge
2013 Historical Fiction Reading Challege
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