An exciting tale of comradeship, revenge and war Read more about “Inkonkoni”
THERE has been an increased interest in historical fiction in the last few years.
Historical fiction has the benefit of supplying the historical details under
the cover of an interesting story and that makes for exciting reading. Inkonkoni
is typical of this new wave of fiction. It relates the adventures of Archic Adams
throughout Australia and South Africa in the 1870s.
Inkonkoni is the Zulu word for the divining switch used by the Zulu spiritual leader for ceremonies, where the ancestral spirits are involved. It is also used to seek out offenders against tribal rules. It is made from the tail of a wildebeest.
Archic Adams' story begins at The Grange, where his father is a farrier. The Grange is the early name for the village that eventually becomes the city of Hamilton, in Western Victoria., Archie has an interest in mathematics and through this he makes a trip to Portland, to the ship Amelia, where he learns how to use a sextant.
On this ship he meets an unscrupulous bullock wagon driver called Cornelius Blooyt, who keeps appearing in Archie's life with disastrous results.
Archie has his father's farrier's skills, but is not interested in making it his life's work. He gets a job in a Ballarat bank and studies with the hope of becoming a maths teacher.
While at the bank, Archie and his friend Tom have to deliver a payroll to one of the goldmines. They are held up by bushrangers and Tom is shot and killed.
Archic soon realises that one of the robbers is Blooyt and he vows that he will track the scoundrel down. He doesn't realise that this quest will take him across the world to the colony of South Africa, where he will be involved in the Zulu Wars as a commissioned officer in an irregular cavalry unit, the Frontier Light Horse.
Barry Abley tells a gripping story. He captures the gentility of the people of colonial Victoria, through apt use of the language of the time and paints us a realistic picture of the rawness of colonial life.
Archic Adams has an exciting time in his quest to bring Blooyt to justice.
An exciting book which will have the history buff enthralled.