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Reported originally on January first for late February publication, this was moved up to this publication as Book-of-the-Month selection for August, which will increase its popularity. ""A wholly new vein for the creator of Captain Hornblower, in a story of primitive people of central Africa, a century ago, when tribes were ruled by fear and worship of a man-god, when superstition blocked progress, and civilization as we know it had left them untouched. This is the story of Loa, the god-king, brother to the sun and moon, served by his people; and of Musini, his chief wife, and Lanu, his favorite son. To Loa and his people came swift peril from without -- destruction to his village, death or slavery to his people. Loa fell from his high estate when he was made prisoner by the warring tribes acting for the slavers -- and is rescued by Musini and Lanu, who had hidden and escaped. Then comes the perilous return through the forest, with Lanu daring to break precedents, even to using a canoe and savoring fish. But- back in the shattered village, with its tiny handful of his people still surviving, Loa is again a god -- but to Lanu and his new-born twin sons, new privileges are given, and they grow up to be warlike, aggressive leaders, who conquer what-for central Africa- was a tiny empire. This piqued the cupidity of Talbot, representative of the acquisitive Leopold II of Belgium in the Independent State of the Congo. And so- at life's close- Lao fell again, with his sons -- and Europe moved in on his kingdom....A story told with Forester's gift of narrative and of conveying a sense of place and time. Its popularity is unlikely to measure up to his earlier romantic adventure novels, for it seems hard to sell the public on novels with this sort of background. But his name (and now the book club choice) provides impetus.

Pub Date: Aug. 12th, 1948
Publisher: Little, Brown