Gallant heroes, beautiful queens, evil priests, lost empires and empires regained, sex, torture, and swordplay--overblown. Indiana Jones adventure set in 19th-century Africa. In the legendary kingdom of Gondar in the Abyssinian Mountains of the Moon, the young Empress Rachel escapes capture and death when her land is taken over by the evil, grasping head priest, Salama. She flees with the help of escaped slave Toomi, princess of the neighboring land of Malinda, now seeking her twin brother, Mamkinga, from whom she was separated 11 years before when they were captured by slavers. Meanwhile, Mamkinga, finally free after leading a rebellion on a slave ship headed for Rio, is near death, adrift off the coast of Africa. A young Scot, Jamie Oran, along with his friends--Wolf, the young Marxist; and Farquarson, the impoverished, dissolute young Scottish laird--plan to join an expedition searching for the Nile's source, when they spot Mamkinga's ship. Jamie nurses Mamkinga back to health, gets jaundice, and then Mamkinga nurses Jamie back to health. Brothers now, they search for Toomi, and find her with the Empress Rachel. Together, the band of royalty and adventurers retake Malinda and Gondar. Simple, cartoonish stuff--were it not for constant rape and the ghastly tortures Luard has thought up, this would come across as YA material. Undemanding reading; perhaps a bit of fun for the undemanding reader.