"...a fascinating re-creation of a little-known incident of the Great War, an engrossing exploration of the ethics of war, and a meticulous evocation of the African landscape." - Michiel Heyns, Sunday Independent
Book ID 928
Wende, Hamilton The Kings Shilling, 2005
Page Number: Back cover
There are two kinds of wars: one is external, a public war for all the world to witness; the other intensely private, glimpsed at by only a few.
When Lieutenant Michael Fuller signed up to be part of the war, leaving behind a passionate yet vulnerable relationship, he had no idea that his experience would take him beyond the guns and bombs, deep into the heart of the human spirit.
It is 1916 on the German East African frontier - surrounded by the beauty and oppressing heat of the African savanna with its guardian, Kilimanjaro, towering above the skyline, a war of words and prejudices flares up - these are early days for South African and Rhodesian regiments to be camping with men from the King's African Rifles and the Indian Baluchis. Private battles are waged as officers use the war to further their careers or cloak their pasts and a Boer War hero's son carries the weight of his father's reputation with him before he's even taken his first life.
After a devastating defeat, Fuller, two men from the King's African Rifles, a Baluchi officer and Captain Carter are called to embark on a secret mission deep into enemy territory and the African bush. To survive these men are drawn into each other's struggles with both seen and unseen enemies and made to chose between duty and compassion.