Shaka Rising - Luke W. Molver (Paperback)

A Legend of the Warrior Prince

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Product Details

21 Sep 2018
Content Source
South African
Supply Source
South Africa


Luke Molver (Illustrator)
Luke W. Molver
Luke W. Molver (Illustrator)
Luke Molver
Mason O'connor
Mason O'connor (Contributor)
Mbongeni Malaba (Foreward By)
A Legend of the Warrior Prince
Story Press Africa
African Graphic Novel
Number of Pages
229 x 165mm


A charismatic young warrior prince emerges from exile to usurp the old order and forge a new, mighty Zulu kingdom. A 2019 Children’s Africana Book Awards Honor Book for Older Readers.

Juvenile Non-Fiction

General Subject
Juvenile Grades 7-9 Ages 12-14
BIC Classification 1
Comic strip fiction / graphic novels (Children's / Teenage)
BIC Classification 2
Educational: History
BIC Classification 3
History & the past: general interest (Children's / Teenage)
Library Subject 1
Graphic novels
Library Subject 2
Cartoons and comics
Library Subject 3
Zulu (African people)
Dewey Classification

Author Bio

Luke Molver, author and illustrator: Luke Molver has always known that his life would be fuelled by storytelling. He studied Fine Art and Graphic Design at the Durban University of Technology and works as a freelance illustrator and comic book creator in Cape Town, South Africa. He has produced a number of comic books and his work has been published in a variety of graphic anthologies including the Laugh It Off annual, Velocity, Mamba Comix and GrafLit: Graveyard Literature.

Review Quotes

"The men and women in this story are shown with admirable nuance, as the principal actors in their own lives and era rather than as moving parts in a modern-day morality play. A sequel is planned for this first installment of Shaka's story, which itself marks the launch of a welcome historical graphic-novel series set in Africa." Meghan Cox Gurdon, Wall Street Journal--Meghan Cox Gurdon "Wall Street Journal " "The art by Molver is simply breathtaking. Altogether, this book elevates the narrative surrounding this legend, as we not only get to see a boy become a man but one who draws power from his people." "[T]he intrigue of the story and the intensity of the character are well fleshed-out. This is a tale comics has heretofore not done justice to, and it's handsomely presented here." --Booklist "The story moves briskly, and the language is vivid and dramatic. [...] [Shaka Rising] is worth adding to collections" -- School Library Journal "Shaka Rising is a groundbreaking graphic novel. It belongs on school and home shelves. And the hope is that the series to follow will be equally professional, educational, and entertaining." New York Journal of Books Shaka Zulu rises to power amid great regional turmoil to defend his people against the tide of the expanding European-backed slave trade.

Gogo, an elder, opens by announcing that the story of Shaka is the "story that is part of all of our is in the clay of our our blood and our bones." In this series opener, Shaka, the son of Zulu chief Senzanghakona, struggles with his brother Sigujana over the succession and is eventually forced into exile. Shaka recovers under the leadership of northern neighbor King Dingiswayo, and his skills in battle earn him the reputation of a wise and accomplished warrior. Yet as tribes vie to control new territories and imprison soldiers for eventual European trade, he recognizes that he must return home and assume his responsibility to lead the Zulu. This graphic novel admirably allows its hero to retain flaws and scars that keep him squarely in the realm of the human. Molver's clean panels also emphasize this, advancing the story in well-paced sequences that balance action with calm. In an era when the stories of colonial exploitation and European enslavement overdetermine how global audiences encounter African stories, Molver and O'Connor forthrightly center this tale on the struggles among the indigenous tribes and nations as they seek to maintain their lands and lifeways while still acknowledging that they, too, have a confluence with the "dark days." Several pages of backmatter offer historical and cultural context, a glossary, discussion questions, and a pronunciation guide.

A worthy introduction that offers a young Anglophone audience entry into a legend of Africa without the annoyance of overtranslation and with refreshingly three-dimensional characters. --Kirkus