Book Tour: The Anglo-Zulu War

**These
books contain graphic violence and language not suitable for younger
audiences or sensitive readers!**
Brutal Valour: The Tragedy of Isandlwana
The Anglo-Zulu War Book 1
by James Mace
Genre: Historical Fiction
505 pages
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 neighbouring 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 neighbouring 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.
Crucible of Honour: The Battle of Rorke’s Drift
The Anglo-Zulu War Book 2
420 pages
It is January of 1879. While three columns of British soldiers and their
African allies cross the uMzinyathi River to commence the invasion of
the Zulu Kingdom, a handful of redcoats from B Company, 2/24th
Regiment are left to guard the centre column’s supply depot at
Rorke’s Drift.
On the morning of 22 January, the main camp at Isandlwana, just ten
miles to the east, comes under attack from the entire Zulu army and
is utterly destroyed. Four thousand warriors from King Cetshwayo’s
elite Undi Corps remained in reserve and were denied any chance to
take part in the fighting. Led by Prince Dabulamanzi, they disobey
the king’s orders and cross into British Natal, seeking their share
in triumph and spoils. They soon converge on Rorke’s Drift; an easy
prize, with its paltry force of 150 redcoats to be readily swept aside.
Upon hearing of the disaster at Isandlwana, and with retreat impossible,
the tiny British garrison readies to receive the coming onslaught.
Leading them is Lieutenant John Chard, a newly-arrived engineer
officer with no actual combat experience. Aiding him is B Company’s
previously undistinguished officer commanding, Lieutenant Gonville
Bromhead, along with 24-year old Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne, and a
retired soldier-turned civilian volunteer named James Dalton.
Unbeknownst to either the British or the Zulus, half of the centre column,
under Lord Chelmsford’s direct command, was not even at Isandlwana, but
fifteen miles further east, at Mangeni Falls. However, with a huge
Zulu force of over twenty-thousand warriors between them and the
drift, their ammunition and ration stores taken or destroyed, and an
impossible distance to cover, Chelmsford’s battered column cannot
possibly come to the depot’s aid, and must look to their own
survival. The defenders of Rorke’s Drift stand alone.
James Mace is a life-long historian and the author of twenty books,
including seven Ancient History best-sellers, and two South African
History best-sellers. He penned the initial draft of his first novel,
“Soldier of Rome: The Legionary”, as a cathartic means of
escapism while serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq from 2004 to 2005.
His works span numerous eras, from Ancient Rome to the British Empire.
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