Author: Gareth Williams (Queens' 1984)
Publisher: The Conrad Press
Serving Shaka is a dramatic evocation of Zulu nation building, immersing the reader in vivid battle scenes, poignant relationships and tense political machinations. Having masterminded Napoleon Bonaparte's escape from St Helena with his friend Emile Beraud in Needing Napoleon, history teacher Richard Davey now finds himself stranded on the African coast. Richard and Emile encounter Shaka Zulu, a leader even more ruthless and ambitious than the former French emperor. Richard's secret, that he is from the future, is revealed; Bonaparte seeks to outmanoeuvre Shaka; and Emile joins the nascent Zulu army. Buffeted by the birth pangs of nation-building, Richard tries to exert his influence and retain his sense of self, relying on half-remembered lectures from two hundred years in the future.