I must state here that I do know Timbuktu is real. I also know where it is – roughly, anyway – on a map of Africa. It’s placing it in the right country I wouldn’t have been able to do. I’m sorry. Will try to remember it’s in Mali from now on.
Someone who really knows his Africa is Stephen Davies. A story like Blood & Ink wouldn’t work if the author didn’t. If you disobey Stephen and read the foreword, you’ll learn that this novel is set in 2012 when there was a military coup in Mali. If you look at the news now, you’ll learn that there is recent unrest as well. I think it’s very brave of Stephen to have set his story at such a recent time with real events, including one real character.
But it works, and Blood & Ink is just as good, probably better…
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