Lion's Game, Master of Mali #1
Diata, the descendant of a deposed king, makes his way from the Sahara to the great city of Timbuktu. Looking for a way to Malis capital, Diata intends to enter a tournament whose winner is remored to become the next general of the empire. While many seek the glory and nobility that comes with being Mali's general, Diata's only concern is avenging his late ancestor.
Kirkus "An intriguing, confident first entry in what promises to be a riveting historical series." Full review