“On the continent of Uhuru in the grasslands of the Sesu, Inkosi Dingane is granted his wish. His great Wife Shani finally a child, a possible heir to his growing empire. But the ancestors have plans of their own. Shani bears him meji, twin boys, an abomination amongst the Sesu but a blessing to Shani’s people, the Mawena.
Thus begins the story of two brothers destined to transform their world. One brother, Ndoro, fights for his place among the Sesu hoping to shed the stigma of abomination. The other, Obaseki, grows into a man among his mother’s people, struggling with a gift that alienates him from his family. Both are forced to seek their destiny alone, traveling through teeming savannah, mysterious forests, haunted cliff lands and torrid deserts, fulfilling a prophesy that will change them and their world forever.” (From publisher’s website.)
Read the Book Rating Scale.
- Realism: 7. The world created by Davis is very vivid, with detailed cultures and ceremonies. The characters come off as a bit archetypical; the evil medicine man, the over-protective mother. However, as the story progresses, some of the characters become fleshed out and more interesting.
- Enjoyment: 7. Davis does a great job of pacing the book. There is enough description and details to immerse the reader in the world without bogging down the action. The addition of a glossary of terms is beneficial, as the book uses terms perhaps unfamiliar to the reader, although I felt it could have been expanded. Also, a map of the world would have been helpful. I wasn’t able to visualize the distance between cities and empires.
- Entertainment: 9. I read this book in a day; I couldn’t put it down. The lives of the twins, who are separated at birth, and their individual growth and hardships had me hooked from the beginning. Although separated twins is a common element in literature, Davis injects it with a large dose of originality; the story feels completely new. There is enough twists and surprises to keep me focused on finding out what’s next, instead of anticipating events.
- Impact: 7. The different cultures, with their own diverse traditions and customs, and setting are different than any other I have read in fantasy. The uniqueness of the world and style of storytelling are inspirational.
Meji: Book One is a entertaining book, one that I highly recommend reading.
Order Meji: Book One by Milton J. Davis here.
Read the review of Meji: Book Two here.