“Wayetu Moore is an inspiration . . . her book is a gift” Imbolo Mbue “The book is unforgettable . . . irresistibly evocative and fierce. She Would Be King is a masterfully wrought alternate history of magical black resistance” Star Tribune “This novel dazzles with beauty and transcendent, transformative humanity” Sarah Jessica Parker 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 survives to discover a new life with a group of African American settlers in the colony of Monrovia. Then Gbessa meets two extraordinary others; June Dey – a man of unusual strength, born into slavery on a plantation in Virginia – and Norman Aragon, the child of a white British coloniser and a Maroon slave from the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, who can fade from sight at will. Soon all three realise that they are 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, Wayetu Moore illuminates the tumultuous roots of Liberia, blending history and magical realism in a profound tale of resistance and humanity.