Your audiobook is waiting…

She Would Be King

A Novel
Narrated by: Wayétu Moore
Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (236 ratings)
Regular price: $29.99
$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

0:00

Publisher's Summary

A novel of exhilarating range, magical realism, and history - a dazzling retelling of Liberia’s formation

Wayétu Moore’s powerful debut novel, She Would Be King, reimagines the dramatic story of Liberia’s early years through three unforgettable characters who share an uncommon bond. Gbessa, exiled from the West African village of Lai, is starved, bitten by a viper, and left for dead, but still she survives. June Dey, raised on a plantation in Virginia, hides his unusual strength until a confrontation with the overseer forces him to flee. Norman Aragon, the child of a white British colonizer and a Maroon slave from Jamaica, can fade from sight when the earth calls him. When the three meet in the settlement of Monrovia, their gifts help them salvage the tense relationship between the African American settlers and the indigenous tribes, as a new nation forms around them.

Moore’s intermingling of history and magical realism finds voice not just in these three characters but also in the fleeting spirit of the wind, who embodies an ancient wisdom. “If she was not a woman”, the wind says of Gbessa, “she would be king.” In this vibrant story of the African diaspora, Moore, a talented storyteller and a daring writer, illuminates with radiant and exacting prose the tumultuous roots of a country inextricably bound to the United States. She Would Be King is a novel of profound depth set against a vast canvas and a transcendent debut from a major new author.

©2018 Wayétu Moore (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"[Narrator Wayétu] Moore's soothing, restive, and contemplative tones give listeners a sense of the mystical realm of spirits while allowing us to envision the complex threads of the narrative. Her delivery adds to listeners' desire to see if the three characters will find freedom as their new country seeks to be liberated from the shadow of American influence." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    151
  • 4 Stars
    59
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    159
  • 4 Stars
    37
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    130
  • 4 Stars
    62
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    5
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Story All Should Hear

Tears, sadness, joy, boldness and pride surfaced within me as I heard the story unfold through the author! Brilliant, captivating and at times overwhelming! Didn't want the story to end!

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Beautiful example of magical realism.

I am a high school English teacher and am constantly vetting new titles for my classroom. She Would Be King was a beautiful tale than spans both place and time to connect a group of special people in need of many things, but mostly the simple knowledge that they are not alone. Each story builds the readers personal connection to the painfully real characters and envokes a sense of wonder and pride in the people they evolve into. There are few enough instances of things that would be questionable in the classroom that with a little censoring, this could be taught and loved by generations to come.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

movie?

I need this to be a movie or miniseries. I have not been so excited about a book in a long time

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wowza- It’s like if Neil Gaiman and Toni Morrison had a baby!

So, I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this. I’m not entirely sure that I “liked” it, it was definitely spellbinding, riveting, moving, confusing and thought provoking. I’m not gonna say it was pleasant though. So much grief and heartbreak, though it ended on a hopeful note *I think*.
It’s been a LONG time since I’ve wished that a book was a series, I really would love to know what happens next to these characters.
Just as commentary, I think the complete lack of positive father characters is worth noting. I’m not sure what it means, but it’s obvious. And there is a part of me that feels like the fact that the African’s NEEDED supernatural power to survive is heartbreaking. Like somehow that diminishes the very real and incredible strength of their humanity. Almost as if we need supernatural Good to overcome our completely human Bad. That may be the most depressing thought of the book.

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator is so entertaining!!

I don't typically read this genre, but people kept telling me to give it a try.

The story started off very whacko for me BUT the narrator does accents for each character - and they are GOOD! This kept me listening. Book 1 is the background and it's kinda coo-coo IMO but very interesting. Then, as I got to book 2 it all started to connect, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would love to see this a movie (to see the whacko stuff come to life) and a sequel because the ending left me wanting more.

Overall, I'd say read it! You'll enjoy it.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I didn't want it to end.

The storytelling is amazing but I was just caught up in thinking though and learning more deeply about Liberia's history. Wow.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing!

Thoroughly enjoyed this story! Great writing and storytelling! Makes me want to do research on Liberia and it’s beginning!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

good book

great story great context. got a broader spectrum of Liberian history that illustrates blending of the African, African-American, and Afro-Caribbean identities that made up Liberia in the middle of the 1800s.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I don’t get why everyone loves this

I tried. I really tried. I found the story confusing. I do not think the magical realism added to the story - in fact I felt it detracted. I kept thinking I missed something and rewinding and alas - I had not.

28 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing story

A Fascinating tale of history, wonder, perseverance and discovery. A wonderful story. I loved it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-09-19

Slow Start

I found this a hard book to get into but stuck with it and it did improve. Personally, I think the magical realism genre is better as a physical book than an audiobook. Overall, there were a few interesting themes but quite forgettable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-06-19

my favourite book

Such a beautiful story, performance and character development - this book is epic. Highly highly highly recommend!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-23-18

she would be king

she would be king: This is written with an almost musical poetic style contrasting with the starkly brutal story. often dark I found this story ultimately hopeful.