Daughter of the Sky

Daughter of the Sky

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Michelle Diener

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  • Publisher: Michelle Diener
  • Format: Paperback | 342 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 214mm x 24mm | 480g
  • Publication date: 8 March 2013
  • ISBN 10: 0987417622
  • ISBN 13: 9780987417626
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 736,169

Product description

The Victorian Empire has declared war on the Zulus if they don't accede to their outrageous demands. The clock is ticking down to the appointed hour. With no idea why the British are marching three massive columns of men and guns towards them, one Zulu general is prepared to take an impossible risk. But the life he's gambling with isn't his own . . . The sole survivor of a shipwreck off the Zululand coast, 15 year-old Elizabeth Jones is taken in by the Zulus, the people of the sky. Six years later, her white skin becomes useful to the Zulu army as they try to work out why the Victorian Empire has pointed their war-machine at the Zulu nation. Elizabeth is suddenly Zululand's most important spy. While infiltrating the British camp, Elizabeth's disguise as a young soldier is uncovered almost immediately by Captain Jack Burdell. However, he believes the tale she spins of searching for a missing brother and shields her from discovery, allowing her to bunk in his tent and giving her a job as his batman. Burdell is war-weary and disillusioned - no longer willing to follow regulations at all costs. But as Elizabeth and Jack explore their growing attraction to each other, the two armies move towards their inevitable clash. Elizabeth is torn between the guilt of betrayal and her fierce loyalty to her Zulu family, and when Zulu and British meet on the battlefield, both she and Jack find their hearts and their lives caught in the crossfire.

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Author information

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction and fantasy. Her Susanna Horenbout and John Parker series, set in the court of Henry VIII, includes IN A TREACHEROUS COURT and KEEPER OF THE KING'S SECRETS & IN DEFENSE OF THE QUEEN. She is also the author of historical novels THE EMPEROR'S CONSPIRACY and BANQUET OF LIES, set during the Napoleonic Wars in London. Her fantasy novels include MISTRESS OF THE WIND and THE GOLDEN APPLE. Michelle was born in London, grew up in South Africa, and now lives in Australia with her husband and two children.

Customer reviews

By Stephanie Verhaegen 03 Nov 2013 5

First of all, I got this book months and months ago, back in March I think, and once again I'm pretty much hitting myself on the head for not reading it sooner. Someone needs to remind me to not ever let a Michelle Diener book wait this long. With that said, we can get on to talking about the book...

When Elizabeth Jones gets rescued from a shipwreck and taken in by the Zulus, she thought to have left her life in England behind her, being content with her life as a Zulu. Six years later, however the Victorian Empire invades Zululand and has declared war. When Elizabeth, now known as Inyoni 'bird', is asked to either infiltrate and spy in the British camp or leave because her white skin could cause too much trouble, she doesn't hesitate to help the Zulus and disguises herself as a soldier. It isn't long before she's discovered by Captain Jack Burdell but he agreed to keep her secret because he believes she's looking for her brother. In doing so, he allows her to sleep in his tent. Elizabeth needing to make a choice is torn between loyalty to her home and fellow Zulus and her feelings for Jack. When Elizabeth and Jack's attraction to each other grows and turns into something more, things get intense and far more dangerous than ever as the British and Zulu army move closer and closer to each other.

I've read all of Michelle Diener's books now and everyone who knows me just a little bit knows that she's one of my favorite authors. I've always said that The Emperor's Conspiracy is my favorite book by her but... dare I say, this might be changed now... Yes! Although I still love The Emperor's Conspiracy, I loved Daughter of the Sky even more. You can tell that writing this book meant a lot to Michelle and reading it meant a lot to me because it was such an incredible book. The whole story was amazing and I just fell in love with the Zulu culture.
I must admit that I've never been interested in this kind of history. I usually always go for the history of Egypt or Victorian England, The Tudors, that kind of thing but this book let me see how this kind of history is pretty great to read about, too. I didn't know a thing about the Zulus and I was impressed by how proud, loyal and noble they were. Really amazing!

The characters Michelle creates are so great to read about. She always manages to write them in a way that's likable, not boring and pretty kick-ass. Elizabeth definitely was one of them. Her devotion for the Zulus, her intregrity towards them and her love for her Zulu family was unbelievably incredible to read about. I don't know, it gripped me by my heart. It really did.
Jack Burdell was a whole other character. Very different from Elizabeth and the Zulus but so amazing. I loved him. I love how he was intrigued by Elizabeth's more wild side which came from her being a Zulu though he didn't know that at first. Their attraction to each other was almost instantly and so sizzling.
I was also very fond of Elizabeth's Zulu brother, Lindani. I loved how much he wanted to protect Elizabeth and try to rescue her from the British camp when the fighting was starting. What happened there, broke my heart and I had so much trouble not to let go of a few tears. But even with that heartbreak the story was really beautiful.

As for the overal story, I obviously loved it and I love how Michelle tries to include real historical facts (as you can read in the afterword). I always enjoy these kind of things. Anything historical I almost want to inhale. Anyway... this was both an entertaining and wonderful to read as a fictional book but it also gives historical facts, some true, some a little spun for the story's sake but it was so, so great!

Beautiful, gripping, heart-wrenching at times, Daughter of the Sky by Michelle Diener is one of the best books both by this author and all-time for me, personally. I loved getting to know and explore the Zulu culture and the historical facts. I won't ever forget this amazing story and characters and am startled by how I still can be impressed by an author where I've read quite a few books from but there you go. A lot of love for this book and it has definitely more than earned five stars!

By Kimberly Roy 16 Apr 2013 5

Daughter of the Sky was my first read by historical fiction author Michelle Diener and I'm very pleased to say that it was a wonderful introduction to her writing style and I'm really glad I signed up for the tour for this book.

I've often felt that historical fiction set in Africa is an underused theme so that coupled with the fact that I've long been wanting to give this author a try is was prompted me to want to read Daughter of the Sky, plus my obsession with Africa may have a wee part in that as well. I was a little unsure of how the author would portray the people and the land but I was impressed with how the novel turned out.

I was hooked on Elizabeth's story as soon as I started the book and spent an entire night staying up and reading it. The way the author was able to evoke such strong emotions from me for the characters in the book surprised me because it happened so fast.

Elizabeth had to deal with so many hardships in her young life after being shipwrecked off the coast of Africa and left in the care of the Zulu people feeling as though she were always alone except for the few who came to accept her as one of them. She was smart, strong and funny and I loved how devoted she was to the people she loved.

Jack was an enigma at first. I didn't like him right away but he did come to grow on me as I saw the tenderness in him when he dealt with Elizabeth. However he, just like Elizabeth was being pulled in two directions and their loyalties to each other, their countries and the people they love are tested.

Fraught with daring adventures, drama and a taking place in the African bush Daughter of the Sky was a fast paced historical novel that drew me in and made me care about the characters. I could tell that the author did research on the period in question and it showed. I liked that the side characters weren't just used as props helping support the setting but had personalities as well. I sincerely hope that Michelle Diener writes another historical fiction novel set in Africa soon.

Overall, I loved Daughter of the Sky and thought that it was a fantastic read. It was a wonderful but to introduce me to a new author and I can't wait to read more by Michelle Diener. I highly recommend this novel to fans of historical fiction that are set in exotic locations.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.