We rejoin Marc Royce, hero extraordinaire of Lion of Babylon, now in a refugee camp in Kenya under the guise of bringing supplies from a private company by the name of Lodestone. His mission there is to find the missing brother of a medical assistant working in the hospital tent of the camp. First he must gain the favor of the young refined tribal chief Philip and the friendship of Charles who translates for him and provides the diplomatic and basic managerial duties of this particular camp.
Strange things are happening here with the displacement of many tribes from the land they have owned for eons but with no papered proof. Pseudo United Nations' soldiers route the people from their homes and take over their land, sending them to refugee camps. Amidst the chaos, a volcanic eruption spews ash around the camps and rumbles like a wild animal.
Kitra, the Israeli medical assistant whose brother Serge has disappeared after investigating a confiscated village, lashes out at Marc, having learned not to trust "outsiders". Marc remains steadfast in establishing the people's trust even when he is moved to Nairobi where he meets two other men who are also covertly investigating their employer Lodestone to find if they're connected to whatever is going on with the land grabbing.
As with Lion of Babylon, Davis includes historical information about Africa and respectful insights to the different tribes and their customs and beliefs. Undergirding all the negotiating, planning, and figuring out who can be trusted and what exactly is going on, the peace of Christ rules the young visionary Chief Philip, the elders of his tribe, Philip's uncle and multiple tribal leaders previously at war with each other around Nairobi, pushed to gang-ruled slums on the outskirts of the city. Marc's own faith is strengthened by the wise young leader and the dignity of Charles and his countrymen as they fight through impossible conditions to discover why they're being victimized and by whom.
The significance of the novel's title leads to the solution of what's happening with the land and leads Marc and his ragtag army into a Jericho-like battle they can't afford to lose for the survival of Kitra, her brother, multiple tribes, and the overall balance of power. With a diverse cast of carefully constructed characters, Davis Bunn creates an intriguing story capturing some of the majesty and much of the cruelty in a country gone mad with greed and shifting allegiances.
Just a few minor complaints which will most likely go unnoticed by his readers: the lack of contractions (i.e. I do not, it did not, would not, etc.) which can make the writing sound stilted and formal; the overuse of some typical clichés for the hero's attraction to Kitra and some other particular points.
I applaud the final scene because for this story to have ended any other way would've felt contrived and unfitting for our admirable protagonist Marc Royce.
Father, you've given Davis multiple opportunities to share the gospel in story form. I pray you would continue to give him the stories you want him to tell, to use those many places your directions have taken him. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.