Enemy Circles review, by Yakubu Adamu Geshere

Last Updated on May 22, 2022 by Memorila

Enemy Circles is full of suspense, intrigues, espionages and counter espionages that brought down nations while binding two hearts together

Enemy Circles started by correcting the wrong notion that Fulani herdsmen are aimless wanderers in the bush. They know where everyone else is and have a re-union time and place for all members to meet every year. Jomo was the first to arrive at the re-union camp and was told by the second person that he is betrothed to one Bonaji, whom he did not know as at then. This is to say that the Fulani arrange the marriage of their children.

This casual opening did nothing to betray the suspense, intrigues, espionages and counter espionages that were to follow. As Jomo anxiously waited for the arrival of the other clans so that he can see his future bride, it was not to be. By a sad twist of fate, God chose that material time to make the Songhai Empire ripe enough for an invasion by the Moors. The war dashed all Jomo’s hopes of seeing his fiancée at the re-union camp, but he was to meet her later at the Moorish Palace, where they were both war captives.

The bulk of the story in Enemy Circles gave the details of the events leading to, and the actual war between the Songhai Empire and the attacking Moors. The war itself was not prolonged because the Moors have a new magical weapon that spits fire and kills from afar, the gun.

Surprisingly, it was not the gun that won the war for the Moors at Tondiba, but palace politics within the Council of the Songhai Empire. This is a sad reminder of how people who claim to love you can foolishly cause your ruin and their own destruction through bad counsel and selfish interests.

Wazir Gabda won the war for the Moors against his own people due to his envy of the success of the Songhai military commander in the small encounter at the Salt Mines of Taghaza. The commander defeated the Moors in spite of their guns. So Gabda also wants to be relevant in the scheme of things, and the best way to achieve that is by making his own proposal about how to fight the war (in opposition to that of the military commander) even though he knows nothing about wars. This led to the downfall of the Songhai Empire and his own doom too.

In an effort to get alliances to fight the war, Songhai approached the Hausa Kingdoms and Agadez. These Kingdoms were paying allegiance to Songhai, and so King Baguji of Kano saw an opportunity to get full independence in return for the military support he would give.

Furthermore, King Baguji also saw an opportunity to invade the other neighboring Hausa kingdoms, since no one can call him to order now that Songhai is vulnerable. He sent soldiers who invaded Daura and Katsina Kingdoms, only for the soldiers to come back to Kano and discover that Baguji has been defeated at home in Kano by the main Katsina army. Katsina was aware of his moves and was more than ready for him. What a surprise!

But surprises will never end in Enemy Circles. Instead of Bonajo, Jomo’s fiancée, to feel honoured to be the King’s concubine, she felt offended and disgraced. While the Queen herself and other concubines were envious of her and planning to kill her, she was busy planning how to run away from what she termed official prostitution. What a paradox!

It is below her dignity to be the King’s concubine; to be married to her kinsman is far more honourable.

This is the very time that God chose to let her meet her proposed husband, under very strange and conflicting circumstances. The writer was very fair in making all those who plotted to kill Bonajo meet their own doom, because those who plan evil need to be punished, to act as a deterrent to others.

However, the book, Enemy Circles came to an end rather abruptly, in an inconclusive manner as regards the fate of the Marrakech Palace in the Maghrib Kingdom of the Moors. After Jomo set the Palace on gun powder fire, did the rest of the town also burn in the inferno? Did the Moorish king also died in the engulfing fire? Did Jomo become the new Moorish King? Why not?

The author has displayed a rare knowledge of palace politics and the innermost dialogues between members of the ruling royal family, by capturing the intimate discussions between kings and their children.

The author is most likely a prince himself to have this in-depth insight into how the ruling class prepares their children for leadership, irrespective of the gender of the child. Both the Agadez King and the Songhai Emperor have female children with whom they discuss issues of governance and military war strategies. The genuine interests and concerns of these princesses in the issues affecting their lands cannot be reported in better details than these by most authors not of royal blood.


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