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What happens when you leave everything you know behind for the man you love?
Nefari, an African princess, discovers this for herself when she falls in love with a foreign king, Raja Tanji Ranjit Singh of Sharavati, India and leaves her family behind in West Africa to become India's first black rani or queen. She has a tough time with the language and the people, who are angry with the king for making this foreign woman their queen. The biggest threat she faces is from the king's younger brother, Sanji, who secretly plots against them. Will he succeed in overthrowing the king and his new bride?
"As her dark brown skin baked in the noonday sun, her lovely dark eyes concentrating, she stood knee deep in the waters of the Ivory Coast. She had been out all morning, it being her day to do the fishing. Her mudcloth skirt tied just above her knees, her chest bare as the sweat dripped down her neck and in between her breasts. Her muscles tensed as she patiently watched the fish in the clear water beneath her, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Though not her usual fishing spot, something told her the fish were gathering in this place and relying heavily on instinct, she distanced herself from the other tribal women to this remote spot. Much to her delight, she found many fish and skillfully used her spear to capture about eight or so and thanked them for their sacrifice. Suddenly, she heard a commotion that broke her concentration.
The sound of an elephant, men yelling in a language that Nefari had never heard before. She turned around and walked back toward the shore. She placed the caught fish on her spear among the rocks and ran up from the shore to road. She marveled at the sight of a rather large elephant weighted down with a white and golden howdah with canopy and rails embedded with jewels and pearls. Beneath the howdah was a large golden fabric decorated with various jewels that hung on the elephant to its knees. Around the elephant’s legs were large gold rings. Its tusks adorned with jewels and it wore a large headpiece that made Nefari wondered if the poor creature could even see in front of him. Riding in the howdah was a man who wore a small blue and white turban wrapped tightly around his head with a peacock shaped brooch at the center. His clothing was luxurious, blue silk embroidered with silver and gold, but what intrigued Nefari the most were his piercing dark brown eyes that caught sight of her and smiled. Nefari froze where she stood, slightly shaking from head to toe.
Four men also dressed in turbans and silk garments, though not as lavish as the man who rode the elephant, were guiding the elephant. The elephant was now stalling and the men began to beat it with the narrow rods they carried. The elephant cried out again and raised its trunk in protest. Nefari’s eyes drew away from the man on the elephant to the elephant who cried out in pain. Nefari heard the elephant’s thoughts, a gift she had since birth, speaking to and understanding animals, and felt pity for her. It is a silent exchange that most humans cannot hear, but Nefari read their thoughts and in turn, the animals could hear hers.
She yelled at the men to stop beating the poor elephant, but the men did not understand her as she spoke in English. However, the man riding the elephant understood her and ordered the men to stop. The foreign king looked sternly at the sweaty, bare chested young woman who dared to give his men an order. “Who are you and why have you ordered my men to stop beating this beast?” The king demanded.
“I am Princess Nefari of the Cote d’Ivoire, daughter of the tribal chief, Muammer Al-Gaith and I will not standby and watching such cruelty to an elephant who has slowed because the calf she carries has made her weary and hungry!” Nefari shouted back defiantly."
Will it be love or duty?
Annika, an Indian princess in the small province of Sharavati, India is living a wonderful life full of adventure and riches. That is until a declaration of war from a neighboring province with a vast army causes her father, King Tanji, to seek support from the High King, the Maharaja of Rajasthan. The Maharaja, having heard of the exotic looking princess Annika, asks for her hand in marriage in exchange for lending his support to the king. The king agrees since no other offers of marriage have come for his daughter, who is part African, and feels this would be in their kingdom’s best interest as well as Annika’s, who could become India’s first Black Maharini. However, Annika is in love with her childhood playmate, Ramai, who is now captain of her father’s palace guards. Will she defy her father, risking treason for Ramai and herself or will she marry the Maharaja to save her father’s kingdom?