Tewodros The KingEthiopia’s triumph in the British invasion of 1868


Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA



Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA


“Ethiopia has been a big part of my life and it has played a much bigger and greater part in the life of the world than many realise. Ravi Faiia’s brilliant new novel Tewodros The King reimagines the story, solidly based in historical fact, of the Ethiopian emperor Tewodros II and his extraordinary confrontation with the might of Victorian Britain at the peak of its imperial power. There could be only one winner in such an uneven conflict, but it is the Africans who are the real heroes of this gripping, fast-moving, cleverly-nuanced story of courage, conviction and hope in desperate times.”

-Graham Hancock


The written record contains a full and detailed account of the British Empire’s punitive expedition to rescue British subjects taken hostage by Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia, resulting in his suicide and the destruction of his capital in 1868. The way the story is typically told reflects some of the dominant themes of a colonialist mindset; juxtaposing technologically backwards and morally bankrupt Africans against the civilized and respectable Europeans who also happen to come away with plenty of commendations, medals and loot.

The stories that don’t get told as much in history, or even in fiction, are those where Africans take center stage as the cultured, sophisticated heroes that they are – witness the great success of a movie like Black Panther, remarkable for its exceptionalism. Ravi Faiia’s reimagination of the Tewodros story gives Ethiopia the recognition it deserves as a real-life Wakanda, never colonized by Europe, with rich and powerful traditions stretching back to Biblical times.

Tewodros The King follows the journey of a young prince who shows that there are qualities greater than brute force, and legacies greater than individual achievement. As he navigates the non-stop adventure of forging an empire and clashing with the greatest military power on earth, those who seek to change Ethiopia are instead changed by it.

  • Tewodros The King, 2020-06-01
  • Tewodros The King: Ethiopia’s triumph in the British invasion of 1868

Ravi Faiia is of Italian and Indian descent but lived in both Ethiopia and England as a child. He studied international relations at Stanford University before his postgraduate work at Harvard Law School, where his thesis in comparative constitutional law focused on Ethiopia. During his thesis research he came across a footnote that referenced and reminded him of Napier’s elephants, planting the seed of his debut novel, Tewodros The King, in his mind. There it remained throughout his corporate law career, when he was involved in the dynamics of shareholders and business acquisitions rather than geopolitics and nation-states. Eventually, the book and the process of writing grew into an escape from the present day and from the corporate grind, that he hopes others, as readers, can share in enjoying.

5 thoughts on “Tewodros The King: Ethiopia’s triumph in the British invasion of 1868”

  1. Marianne says:

    So, was Ethiopia colonised by Italy at some point? Or just Libia and Eritrea?

    1. Ravi Faiia says:

      Hi Marianne,

      Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1936, claiming it as part of their East African colonies, until Ethiopia was liberated in World War II – however I believe Ethiopians would view this as an occupation rather than a colonization.


  2. Valerie Bourque says:

    Will be a wonderful read. Congratulations

    1. Ravi Faiia says:

      Thank you Valerie!

  3. Timothy Ness says:

    What a great project! Nice to see such exciting work.

Comments are closed.