THE LIONESS by Michael Horbach

THE LIONESS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An African energy-and-idiocy potboiler that harks back to the golden days of Stuart Cloete and Congo Song, the 1943 classic whose heroine had sex with her pet gorilla. Virginia, an English girl in Zululand whose parents are slain in a native uprising, is thereafter haunted by a possessed lioness (is it the spirit of her mother which has entered the lioness?) that somehow remains three years old over a 15-year period. Virginia loses her virginity to white trader Frank, who loves her and leaves her. Next she finds herself in a camp sack with teacher Hans, who is old enough to be her father's father. But Hans is killed when a British camp is wiped out by maddened Zulus (this is 1875), and he dies, legless, in her arms. Next it's young Prince Louis, son of Napoleon III, whom she teaches sex in a sisterly way in an icy cabin, but he too is savaged to death by Zulus. Then comes the Zulu prince Ingwe, who tries to rape goldenhaired, goldeneyed Virginia when he comes across her swimming naked in a jungle pool; she kicks him where it hurts and escapes, but he vows revenge and kidnaps and takes her home to his village for repeated rapings. Again she escapes, but now she's pregnant, and still haunted throughout all these escapades by the howling lioness (which has survived many death wounds and even beheading). Big question: if the lioness is mommy, who is daddy?

Pub Date: April 17th, 1978
Publisher: Lippincott