Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Emperor's Babe - Reading It

A couple weeks back, my friend, fellow poet, and lover of words, Rasta Mage posted this book, The Emperor's Babe on a FaceBook group page. Well, seeing I was online I decided to take a gander on Amazon and I was hooked. The concept was interesting and the whole book is in poem form!! I almost swooned from excitement.

Yes, excitement because it showed the possibilities that exist for poets who are interested in writing books. I'm planning on creating a book out of the Dark Warrior series and this is a push for me to do so.

The books description reads:
Bernardine Evaristo’s tale of forbidden love in bustling third-century London is an intoxicating cocktail of poetry, history, and fiction. Feisty, precocious Zuleika, daughter of Sudanese immigrants-made-good and restless teenage bride of a rich Roman businessman, craves passion and excitement. When she begins an affair with the emperor, Septimius Severus, she knows her life will never be the same. Streetwise, seductive, and lyrical, with a lively, affecting heroine, The Emperor's Babe is a strikingly imaginative historical novel-in-verse.
 About the writer/poet:
 Bernardine was born in Woolwich, south east London, the fourth of eight children, to an English mother and Nigerian father. Her father was a welder and local councillor and her mother a schoolteacher. She was educated at Eltham Hill Girls Grammar School and the Rose Bruford College of Speech & Drama, and spent her teenage years acting at Greenwich Young People’s Theatre.

To learn more visit her site,

So far The Emperor's Babe has me captivated. There is a pull/tug where as you are in the past, but the feel is so modern. I will be honest, I haven't read the whole book. It's like a fine wine that I want to savour. I hadn't seen the book when I told Rasta Mage to hold a copy for me at the bookstore where he works, but I was happy to see it was a good size book. I had already read about a fifth of the book in one sitting, and I am happy with the purchase.

I wouldn't say that the narrator, Zuleika, is related-able or someone you want as your best friend. I would more likely say she is real, she doesn't fit into one particular mold and doesn't try to. Even when she has been made into a "lady" she still clings to the life she knows and this is one of the things I like from an author. When they can show the muddy nature of being a person, a real person and can through the story give the reader a choice of loving or hating them. The most important thing is accepting them enough to keep reading.

Would I recommend The Emperor's Babe ? Yes and no.

Yes, if you are the type of person who can embrace reading a story in verse form, and see this is a novel and quirky idea of writing a novel.

No, if you rather read paragraphs and heavy chapters.

Yes, if you like to see history revisited in a funky, unusual way.

No, if you are a history buff and don't like anyone messing with history.

Hopefully this will be the first of many book reviews, I'm an avid reader and there are a few books that I really love and would like to share. If there are any books that you think I should read, leave a comment below and I will give it a go. Till then happy reading and writing.

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