The Prince Who Walked With Lions by Elizabeth Laird
  

The Prince Who Walked With Lions

Written by Elizabeth Laird

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Award-winning Elizabeth Laird has an exceptional gift for telling stories that bring both other times and other countries to life. Son of a warmongering Abyssinian King, Alamayu grows up watching his father spilling the blood of his own people and his enemies. He sees his father take on the might of the British army – and lose. Now just a boy being tormented in a boarding school in England, Alamayu has to draw on all his strength to recapture some of his pride in his past as well. Has he got the qualities to be brave and noble? A stirring book which does not shy away from the savagery of former times.

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Synopsis

The Prince Who Walked With Lions by Elizabeth Laird

A sweeping epic about a prince torn from his mountain home. Based on a true story.

The British Army is circling the stronghold of the King of Abyssinia. Under orders from Queen Victoria, its mission is to rescue the British Envoy, held prisoner. Watching with terror and awe is the king's young son, Alamayu. He knows that his father is as brave as a lion, but how on earth can he and his warriors stand against the well-equipped foreigners? As battle rages, everything that Alamayu fears comes to pass. The fighting is cruel and efficient. By the time it is over, Alamayu is left without parents, throne or friends. In a misguided attempt to care for him, the British take Alamayu to England. There he is befriended by the queen herself and enrolled in Rugby College to become a 'proper' English gentleman. What the English see as an honour is, to this lonely Ethiopian prince, a horror. This is Alamayu's story, seen through his eyes: the battle, the journey to England and the trauma of an English public school as he comes to terms with the hand that fate has dealt him and tries to build a new life.

About the Author

Elizabeth Laird

Elizabeth Laird was born in New Zealand of Scottish parents. She trained as an English language teacher, and her first job was in Addis Ababa. She has always retained a strong interest in Ethiopia, and his written several books set there, including CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlisted The Fastest Boy in the World. Later, while she was working in London, she was invited by the British Council to teach a summer school in India. The flight from Bombay to Bhopal was bumpy, and she was horribly airsick. The man in the next seat looked after her with great kindness. His name was David McDowall, and he made a deep impression on her. They married a year later. That was forty-two years ago, and they’ve been looking after each other ever since.

David was working in Iraq for the British Council at the time of their marriage, so that’s where they started their married life. They travelled widely, down to the Marshes and up into Kurdistan, where Elizabeth would later set Kiss the Dust. After a stint in London, David started working for the United Nations. They moved to Beirut, along with their first son. A fierce civil war was in progress, which formed the backdrop for her novel Oranges in No Man’s Land. After a year, the situation became too dangerous, and they were evacuated to Vienna, where their second son was born.

Returning to London, they decided to try to earn their living as writers, and took in bed and breakfast for a while to make ends meet. When the children were old enough, Elizabeth began to travel again. She returned many times to Ethiopia, but also visited Palestine, running workshops for writers in Gaza and the West Bank, and visiting several refugee camps. These experiences inspired A Little Piece of Ground. Indignation at the invasion of Iraq sparked Crusade, a historical novel set during a previous disastrous attempt to conquer a Middle Eastern country a thousand years earlier.

The plight of refugees as a result of the Syrian war deeply affected Elizabeth. She was invited by the Norwegian Refugee Council to run writers’ workshops in two Syrian refugee camps just across the border into Jordan. Spending time in Amman, and meeting other refugee families, she put those voices and experiences together into Welcome to Nowhere.

Inspired often by her travels, Elizabeth has also written novels set in the UK, and several historical novels as well. She has won the Children’s Book Award, been shortlisted six times for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, as well as every other major children’s book award.

Photo: © Anne Mortensen

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Book Info

Format

Hardback
304 pages

Author

Elizabeth Laird
More books by Elizabeth Laird

Author's Website

www.elizabethlaird.co.uk/

Publisher

Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Publication date

1st March 2012

ISBN

9780230752436

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