• Crucible of Honour: The Battle of Rorke's Drift

  • The Anglo-Zulu War, Book 2
  • By: James Mace
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Waters
  • Length: 12 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (73 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It is January of 1879. While three columns of British soldiers and their African allies cross the Uminyathi River to commence the invasion of the Zulu Kingdom, a handful of redcoats from B Company, 2/24th Regiment are left to guard the centre column's supply depot at Rorke's Drift.

On the morning of 22 January, the main camp at Isandlwana, just 10 miles to the east, comes under attack from the entire Zulu army and is utterly destroyed. Four thousand warriors from King Cetshwayo's elite Undi Corps remained in reserve and were denied any chance to take part in the fighting. Led by Prince Dabulamanzi, they disobey the king's orders and cross into British Natal, seeking their share in triumph and spoils. They soon converge on Rorke's Drift; an easy prize, with its paltry force of 150 redcoats to be readily swept aside.

Upon hearing of the disaster at Isandlwana, and with retreat impossible, the tiny British garrison readies to receive the coming onslaught. Leading them is Lieutenant John Chard, a newly-arrived engineer officer with no actual combat experience. Aiding him is B Company's previously undistinguished officer commanding, Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead, along with 24-year old Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne, and a retired soldier-turned civilian volunteer named James Dalton.

Unbeknownst to either the British or the Zulus, half of the center column, under Lord Chelmsford's direct command, was not even at Isandlwana, but 15 miles further east, at Mangeni Falls. However, with a huge Zulu force of over 20,000 warriors between them and the drift, their ammunition and ration stores taken or destroyed, and an impossible distance to cover, Chelmsford's battered column cannot possibly come to the depot's aid, and must look to their own survival. The defenders of Rorke's Drift stand alone.

©2017 James Mace (P)2017 James Mace

What listeners say about Crucible of Honour: The Battle of Rorke's Drift

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ANGLO-ZULU War History Story Line is OUTSTANDING!

I’ve enjoyed this 2nd Book “Crucible of Honor” on The Battle of Rorke’s Drift as much if not more then the 1st Book “Brutal Valor” The Tragedy 0f Isandlwana. I couldn’t put the Book down.

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent Book

I have read several books on Rorke’s Drift and watched the movie Zulu. This book encapsulates not only the battle but also the aftermath of Islandwana on both sides Zulu and British. I have all the books in this series and based on listening to the first two highly recommend them for their historical narrative. You really get to know the men involved in this war

3 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

As I have been on many of these Anglo-Zulu War Battlefields as a guide, I thoroughly enjoyed this rendition. It’s so good to get a fresh perspective on these battles.

Well done to both author and narrator. I’m pleased to report that this book has been amended and no longer refers to crocodiles as alligators!

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One of the finest works of historical fiction I’ve ever read or listened to.

One of the finest works of historical fiction I’ve ever read or listened to. This is a splendid book. If you have watched Zulu or been interested in Rouke’s Drift, you’ll love this. This is how historical fiction is done.

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Great Book and Performance

Loved the book and performance, informative and entertaining. One of the best audio books I've heard. Highly Recommended If your interested in the subject matter.

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The Colonial British

I think the reader tried a little too hard. The book was worthwhile but I can't give it higher ratings.
I think the author failed to adequately speak to the over riding theme of his work. The insanity of the situation.
The soldiers at Rourke's Drift were nothing if not courageous. But the inept colonial British Military were the reason they were there!

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superb

Crucible of Honour. The Battle of Rorke's Drift
A superb blend of historical event and fictional dialogue.
It is a truly captivating listen. with excellent narration.
I cannot recommend this audio book highly enough I am looking forward to the next in the series.
I received a free copy of this audio book at my own request and voluntarily left this honest review.

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James Mace, master story teller

brilliant! really enjoyed listening to every minute of the story. well researched and well narrated.

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Excellence in writing

This series of books is one of the best I’ve ever read. It tells of courage, courage between two people who fight. I love this book is well written exciting courageous. I recommend this book to anyone who loves books.

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  • Andrew
  • 04-17-19

Great Book

Great story of the famous battle at Rourkes Drift. The only downside is the strange narrator. His accents are very good for the various characters but he has a strange way of saying words when he uses his own voice. very distracting.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gareth
  • 08-30-18

Good story

Excellent account of the battle but overall it was spoiled to an extent by poor narration.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Richard
  • 02-27-19

Great Historic Story

Visceral, slightly let down by mispronunciations of military jargon! However, worth a listen, even if we know the outcome!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-12-18

True Valour

Although book 1 of this series (Brutal Valour: The Tragedy of Isandlwana), tells the story of the brave stand made during that battle, it is also a story of incompetance and poor leadership.

Not so at Rorkes Drift where leadership and bravery were of the highest order, and although 11 Victoria Crosses were awarded, the highest number for any single action, it would appear that even more were deserved.

This book was well written and researched by James Mace, and well read by Jonathon Waters , although I still have some criticism of his pronunciation of British ranks/names.

1 person found this helpful

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  • daniel c.
  • 12-24-17

awesome read

A really well written story based on an actual event.
He puts you right there shoulder to shoulder with the lads on the battlefield. can't wait for the nxt one

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ian
  • 06-12-22

Better than the film Zulu

I've seen the film Zulu loads of time and enjoyed it very much.
This book is giving me a new insight into this famouse battle and the men who took part it the permance is good I and makes you feel as if you are there with them

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  • Ann Sandell
  • 05-28-22

Brillant

VERY GOOD, 2nd time listened to it , will be starting the 3rd title next

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  • Phil Wain
  • 01-29-22

As you would want.

Enjoyed this follow on to the first book. History told as a story almost. Some voices a bit irritating but you can’t really fault an excellent book.

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  • JAMES GOLD
  • 10-06-20

I felt I was there

I enjoyed every minute of the story,i thought it was well narrated and captivating

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  • Fly-GT
  • 07-19-22

Enjoyed this

The pronounciations of the native names is not right but the story is good and narrator makes up for it with his different voices.

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  • paul
  • 01-28-22

Rorke's drift

Great story overall and very well researched also great reading by Jonathan Waters.
Highly recommended

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  • George G
  • 01-29-21

Great History

great book that makes you feel like you were there. Excellent narrative to a great story

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  • Michael Ryan
  • 07-29-18

An entertaining listen.

The first movie my father took me to see at the cinema was Zulu. Ever since then, the battle of Roukes Drift has held a fascination for me. The movie also fired in me a lifelong love of narrative filmmaking. When writing a book of this size it is not easy to get the dialogue right, and some dialogue does fall a little flat but the few times this happens does not take away from the overall entertaining qualities of James Mace's work. Even if you don't know anything about the Anglo-Zulu War, I highly recommend this book.