The Spirit Tree is a safari to the snow of Kilimanjaro, a guide to the mechanics of coffee farming and a valuable lesson on African magic.
Born in Yorkshire, William's passion for Africa began with a three week holiday to South Africa. After eleven years he moved north and east to work in Kenya and Tanzania.
He is now settled close to his family dividing his time between Liverpool and North Devon - returning often to Tanzania to visit friends and write stories about the people and culture he loves.
The Spirit Tree spans a four year period following the lives of two boys, Noah and Nuhu, who are related by blood, united by tradition but separated by time. Living on the slopes of Kilimanjaro they become drawn into the shadows on the peripheries of their culture and discover a place where nothing is at it first appears, the mundane becomes magical even dangerous and no one, no one can be trusted.
1845 the ancestor: Nuhu in the process of becoming a man is trapping into choosing between conscription into the King’s militia or an apprenticeship with the shaman. He rejects both. The shaman - empowered by an ancient evil calling themselves the Legion – takes this personally.
Nuhu runs for his life, equipped with a copper tipped spear and pursued by one of the shaman’s conscripts. Nuhu’s only help comes from the occasional appearance of a dead friend with a bad attitude who informs him that his only hope is to search the grass plains for the elders of Meru as they alone hold the key to overcoming the evil controlling the shaman.
1995 - 1999: Noah’s soul mate is the enigmatic Grace; the love of his life. However, he is frustrated as Grace’s ambitions and her fathers disapproval of Noah leave her unwilling to commit to anything more than friendship.
Noah is forced by circumstances to seek out the help of his estranged and decidedly shady Uncle Juma whose increasingly meddling ways seem to have dark links with the past.
After the suspicious death of Noah’s mentor on the hill called Breakfast and an accidental friendship with an eccentric ex-pat asking too many questions The Legion re-emerges to finish off the line of Nuhu once and for all.
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