Cover Image: The Burning Land

The Burning Land

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Member Reviews

I so wished to like and devour this book; unfortunately, it was just too political and complicated for me to persevere with. 

It has been writtten with an immennse amount of knowledge and fact, but this was just not my type of book, although I thought it would be. 

Don't let this put you off though, as I am sure that it deserves the 4 and 5 star reviews from readers.

This would not deter me from reading any other books written by George Alagiah, this one was just not for me!
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The Burning Land is a well written and researched book set in South Africa..
George Alagiah writes passionately about the history of Africa and the move from apartheid to self determination with all it’s challenges.
The story follows the lives of the ultra rich Motlantshe family. Josiah, Priscilla and Lesedi. Josiah has forgotten his ideals and hopes for a fairer society for all but Priscilla hasn’t. Their son is seen as a symbol for a new beginning and when he is murdered repercussions are felt across the country.
Lindi  Seaton, a white woman born in S.A. returns from London and along with Kagiso Rapabane work together to try and solve Lesedi’s murder. They uncover corruption, danger and lies along the way.
A complex and challenging read.
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The depth of knowledge the author has about Africa is evident throughout. Superbly written, not my usual style of book yet I whipped through this as it’s a real page turner encompassing racism, grief and love, so many emotions, a fantastic read.
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This was so compelling, so well written,I can't believe I hadn't read Alagiah's books before. I was utterly transported to Africa, right into the conspiracies and casual violence that occur, totally caught up in this as though it was something really happening. Cracking stuff.
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I liked this one and learned a lot about the society and setting of this novel . It was a fast paced good read .
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South Africa is erupting, there’s sabotage, burnings, anger and increasing xenophobia towards migrant Mozambicans. The issues centres around land sales and much of the agitation is linked to The Land Collective who are fighting to win back the land sold to foreign companies. When Lesedi Motlantshe who personifies the new South Africa, is murdered in the province of Mpumalanga, who is responsible for his murder and why is added to the growing list of the countries problems. His murder sparks further mob violence and chaos. Lesedi is the son of Josiah Motlantshe a very influential, powerful billionaire who wields great influence in South Africa. It seems as if the country has lost sight of the ideals of the ANC movement of Mandela and others and has exchanged one master for a similar one. Childhood friends Lindi Seaton who works for a London based conflict resolution charity South Trust and Kagiso Rapabane who works for a South African charity Soil of Africa combine together to uncover why Lesedi was killed and how deep into SA government and others the land corruption goes. 

This is a fascinating political thriller of high calibre which looks at a changing South Africa although some problems remain the same. There are still too few ‘haves’ and too many ‘have nots’. It questions whether much has changed in reality for the multitude. As a taxi driver tells Lindi the agitators all want to be rich, drive BMW’s and not work. It looks at how power corrupts and creates a dangerous atmosphere which is very evident as Lindi who is white (born in South Africa) tries to move around the country to try to find answers. She is an excellent character and I like how she stands up for what she thinks is right as does as does Kagiso. My only negative is that there are a lot of characters to get your head round and it takes  a while to establish who is who.  The novel is very well written and depicts the country and it’s people  so vividly it is easy to picture and it has an authentic feel. I like how at its heart it’s a murder mystery which is entangled in a complex web of politics and amassing a fortune. 

Overall, this is an intelligent, well written  political thriller which gives a good insight into South Africa and a lot of its is absolutely fascinating and keeps you interested. The author George Alagiah is a very well respected BBC journalist and frequent presenter of the news. He has the credentials therefore to produce a book of this kind. Recommended to fans of this genre.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Black Thorn for the copy.
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