Omitirin, a young Yoruba priestess who is captured by Fulani bandits and sold into slavery, fights to return to her family. A ruthless warlord plots for more power and glory, and a heartbroken English missionary hopes for redemption in the dark African heartland. It is 1826, and the British have arrived. As their paths cross, all three struggle to make sense of their lives and this one article of faith, while the old Oyo empire collapses around them.

A gorgeous, riveting, and heartbreaking coming of age novel that explores the stories of slavery, faith, adventure and filial piety on the African side of the Atlantic slave trade. A Triumph of African storytelling that combines great historical research with a compelling imagination to deliver an important message about Africa's heritage art.


86,800 words


WhereThe Waters Recede (Rotimi Olaniyan)

  • Chapter One


    Akindele Village, The Harmattan Season, 1821.


    I could feel the dry wind as it squeezed moisture from my skin. It meant that the Asa were fast approaching. Ma'mi had always told me that the birds were sent by their keeper, Oya, the goddess of the tumultuous dry winds, and the harbinger of the dry season. She sent them to warn us of the coming illnesses that descended with the departure of the rains. So, we could prepare ourselves. Yet, in my father's household, we all prayed for the coming of the season because it beckoned the start of the burning of old things.

    Ba’mi, always said that a good farmer had to nourish the land back with the burnt offering of the last season's foliage. That way Olodumare, our creator and the king of all the heavens and the earth would be pleased and instruct Orisha Oko, the god of the diligent farmer to allow the rains to fall in the new season. When the rains came, the tender crops would be suckled to maturity and a season of dryness would give way to a season of plenty. It was the way the world was created, and the order that the pantheon of our Orishas gave to the way we lived.

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