In the West African village of Lai, red-haired Gbessa is cursed at birth and exiled on suspicion of being a witch. Bitten by a viper and left for dead, she nevertheless survives. Born into slavery on a plantation in Virginia, June Dey hides his unusual strength until a confrontation forces him to flee. And in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, Norman Aragon, the child of a white British coloniser and a Maroon slave, can fade from sight at will, just as his mother could.
Gbessa, misunderstood by her own people, finds a new life with a group of African American settlers in the colony of Monrovia, and when she meets June Dey and Norman Aragon, it isn’t long before they realise that they are all cursed – or, perhaps, uniquely gifted. Together they protect the weak and vulnerable, but only Gbessa can salvage the tense relationship between the settlers and the indigenous tribes.
In her transcendent debut, Wayétu Moore illuminates the tumultuous roots of Liberia. A spectacular blend of history and magical realism, She Would be King is a novel of profound depths from a major new author.