Telemakos is the grandson of two noble men: Kidane, member of the parliament in the African kingdom of Aksum, and Artos, the fallen High King of Britain. Telemakos is also an exceptional listener and tracker, resolute and inventive in his ability to discover and retain information. Now his aunt Goewin, the British ambassador to Aksum, needs his skill. Plague has come to Britain, and threatens Aksum. Disguised, Telemakos must travel to the city of Afar where salt — the currency of sixth century Africa — is mined, and discover the traitor who has ignored the emperor’s command, spreading plague with the salt from port to port. This challenge will take all of Telemakos’s skill, strength, and courage — because otherwise it will cost him his life.
The Sunbird is the third in Elizabeth E. Wein’s ongoing Arthurian/Aksumite cycle. Its striking, spare language, riveting plot, and all-too-human characters are unforgettable.