The Sorcerer’s Drum is a thrilling coming-of-age novel set in North and West Africa at the turn of the nineteenth century. The hero is born into a feuding royal family that has been exiled as punishment for nurturing threatening ambitions. An uncle, who is a sorcerer, chooses the infant boy to be instrument of revenge against the guild of sorcerers that banished him. To achieve this malicious aim, he teaches the young prince the society’s magical and psychological crafts. Because of that destiny-his F-the growing prince must manage many trials, marvelous adventures and exciting escapades before he is captured by slavers and forced into the trust and travails of a Caribbean-bound slave-laden ship.
The story makes insightful use of the mythologies of several West African peoples, and does so from an appealing perspective that employs the storytelling traditions of the region’s cultures. With fascinating details of exotic practices and mores, this novel is imaginative, layered, and wise.
Praise for "Secrets"
"James’s prose combines island lilt and savvy minimalism…"Secrets" is dense with revelations and trials that cannot even be hinted a without ruining the pleasure of this…almost urgently female odyssey." - "The New Yorker"
Praise for "Jumping Ship and Other Stories"
"A warm and gifted raconteur." - "The New York Times"
"Images of raw life, of vicious activity both in nature and in man, intermix the two environments into one swirling vortex." - "The Washington Post"