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By: Alfred Wallner

Makeda’s Ring – Part 1

Pages: 540 Ratings: 5.0
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For Markus the choice was stark:

- Leave Austria, the homeland he both loved and hated.

- Flee from Lizzy, never more than a pale substitute for Laura, the love of his life, shattered to pieces by a bomb.

- Flee a country still overshadowed by the aftermath of Nazism.

- Make for Ethiopia, that land of all mysteries, magical and captivating, sombre and dangerous, luminous and healing. There, as he sets out to fulfil Laura’s dream of finding her uncle’s grave, Markus is forced to face his deepest fears and experience the highs and lows of every emotion, through the fascinating power of a single object.

A ring.

A simple ring, on the finger of an Ethiopian princess, which will lead him on his quest, bring him the answers.

And the words which already haunt his memories. Makeda, Makeda’s Ring.

Born in Austria, Alfred Wallner grew up in Ethiopia where his father worked as a doctor. There he learned to speak, read and write in 7 languages and acquired a fascination for the history and the legends of that African country.

After studying Medicine for a year in Parma, he changed to Literature and became a teacher of Modern Languages in Ewell and Brighton. Moving to Ibiza, he started a small hotel and a building enterprise, and by extension he mastered the three-dimensional art of wood sculpting, holding many exhibitions in Switzerland.

Alfred’s experiences of Dessie, where he was allowed to accompany his father on medical visits, inspired him to finally become a writer. Remembering the tales of shiftas, men devouring hyenas and foul smelling sheitans are just some of the impressions brought to life in his novels. Rich stories of adventure and romance.

His first publication, a translation of his father’s, Three Months in a Gestapo Prison, was published in 2011. Alfred is currently working on his tenth novel.

Customer Reviews
2 reviews
2 reviews
  • Nigel Hamway

    This is a remarkable book. Remarkable in its scope, its language, its ambition. It is part one of what may become a series, and part two will follow soon.

    The author deftly manipulates a large cast of characters over a broad story with many interweaving strands. These all relate to the narrator, an Austrian doctor fleeing his native land for Ethiopia. The story is set in the late 1940s and Mark Wörther is escaping the loss of his fiancée in an air raid, the aftermath of a Gestapo death sentence, and the lack of denazification in post war Austria. His ostensible quest is to find the grave of his fiancée’s uncle, but this is the framework on which a Dickensian array of characters and plots develops.

    At the centre is the emotional development of Wörther, told through his varyingly unsatisfactory relationships with three very different women. He is damaged and his quest for Makeda’s ring is a metaphor for his search to become whole.

    But the story flows around this, with glorious descriptions of Ethiopia, the food, women, expats, and the many scrapes he gets into. Everything Wörther does seems to suck him further into a net of interrelated problems.

    The book ends with some progress, but the antagonist is still at large and most plot strands are unresolved. Bring on part two!

  • Carey Freeman

    A powerful story of a young doctor trying to find his true self. Using the power of sensory images, this book evokes emotions as well as the mind on multiple levels. The descriptive writing draws the reader into the story giving a vivid and rich picture of Ethiopia, its food, people and culture. The protagonist’s journey is intertwined with five captivating women along with mythos drawn from the fabled Queen of Sheba’s ring. An enchanting story and well worth the read.

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