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Brutal Valour: The Tragedy of Isandlwana

The Anglo-Zulu War, Book 1
Narrated by: Jonathan Waters
Series: The Anglo-Zulu War, Book 1
Length: 15 hrs and 36 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It is December 1878, and war looms on the horizon in South Africa. British high commissioner Sir Henry Bartle-Frere seeks to dismantle the powerful neighboring kingdom of the Zulus and uses an incursion along the disputed border as his justification for war. He issues an impossible ultimatum to the Zulu king, Cetshwayo, demanding he disband his armies and pay massive reparations. With a heavy heart, the king prepares his nation for war against their former allies.

Leading the invasion is Lieutenant General Sir Frederic Thesiger, Baron Chelmsford, a highly experienced officer fresh off a decisive triumph over the neighboring Xhosa tribes. He and Frere are convinced that a quick victory over the Zulus will negate any repercussions from the home government for launching what is, in essence, an illegal war.

Recently arrived to South Africa are newly recruited privates Arthur Wilkinson and Richard Lowe, members of C Company, 1/24th Regiment of Foot under the venerable Captain Reginald Younghusband. Eager for adventure, they are prepared to do their duty both for the empire and for their friends.

As Frere's ultimatum expires, the army of British redcoats and allied African auxiliaries crosses the uMzinyathi River at Rorke's Drift into Zululand. Ten days later the British and Zulus will meet their destiny at the base of a mountain called Isandlwana.

©2016 James M. Mace (P)2017 James M. Mace

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Profile Image for Margaret
  • Margaret
  • 24-11-2017

Wonderful glimpse into history

I love well researched and well written historical fiction and this book is exactly that. How much of the personality, behavior and opinions of the characters is true to history... I don't know. What I do know is, that each character was written in a truly believable manner that was engaging and kept me on the edge of my earbuds wanting to know how their role, in this part of history, would unfold. The story was written with glimpses into the actions and beliefs/ motivations of many characters.
The story was told through the people on both sides of the conflict. The details describing the harsh conditions and battles were enough for me to feel for those involved and get a sense of the tragic affair without being too overly gory.
I have never seen any of the movies or learned much about the Anglo-Zulu wars.

I want to listen to the next book! I would definitely read/ listen to another by this author.

The narrator did a wonderful job with the voices and bringing life to the story. I am not an expert on the Zulu language but I think he did a great job pronouncing the Zulu words and names and phrases. He spoke them without stumbling or hesitation which made them sound all the more correct.

I was given this free, review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • les sutherland
  • 10-07-2018

Truth in Fiction?

So believable that one might think the dialogue was from the mouths of those soldiers and officers of the Queens army. The vast research which must’ve taken course by Mace is overwhelming to consider. However, all accounts of this greatest defeat in the Victorian army, which I have studied prove up Mace’s outstanding representation.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer nutbutter
  • 11-12-2017

great story

great story about some truly heroic deeds an men. War is never a pretty thing,never like tv. But men can aspire to some awe inspiring moments at such times. This book ,I think captured it greatly

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary Karowski
  • 12-11-2017

The Zulu war brought to life

I grew up a fan of history and of the wars that shaped our world. One of my favorite movies as a child and as an adult was Zulu, Michael Caine’s first movie (he played Bromhead). A tale of the battle for Rorke’s drift. This story is book 1 is the Zulu war a historical fiction that takes you and puts you right there into the hearts and minds of the British, the Zulu and the other native and settlers of the era and area. It covers the event leading up to and the subsequent disaster that was the battle of Islandawana, the precursor to the battle of Rorke’s drift. The story lends a gritty realism to the facts of the battle and truly connects you to the players that shaped the war into what it was. Highly recommend and can’t wait for the rest of the series. Many hours of great entertainment. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Nick H.
  • Nick H.
  • 18-05-2019

incredible story of Heroism

I have never read about this period of history surrounding the British war in South Africa. Incredible story telling and suspense. Can't wait for the next one

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Nomi
  • 21-11-2017

👍🏻

This was a fascinating book. I knew nothing of this historically speaking so now I’ll have to learn more. Very interesting. Well written with characters that held my interest. I definitely enjoyed this one. The narration was well done. Great performance.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Pete
  • Pete
  • 27-07-2019

I gave it 11 hours

I am not a quitter when it comes to listening to books but after 11 hours I had to give up on this one. the begining had me interested but man, this author just could not get me to stay engaged.

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Profile Image for Tyler Beal
  • Tyler Beal
  • 06-04-2017

Excellent Rendition

Excellent rendition of a brutal event. The historical accuracy was spot on and Mace filled in the gaps wonderfully with his own narrative, bringing the characters on both sides of this conflict to life. Context was laid nicely and the battle itself was very well done. Waters' did a fine job narrating as well, deftly navigating the accents and names. Anxiously awaiting part two...

1 of 2 people found this review helpful