“ An extraordinary achievement, mirroring an exceptional life, Sienna Brown's debut is breathtaking. Rich and lyrical, it pulses with determination, with hope, and with truth. ”
“ What gives one man the right to own another is the question at the heart of this beautiful meditation on love, loss and liberty through the voice of one who lived it, William Buchanan, lifelong Jamaican rebel forced to become Australian settler. In Sienna Brown’s compelling first novel, Will’s voice is so true, his personality so engaging, his wonder at both the evil and beauty of the world so compelling, his lifelong adventures so heroic, we want to cheer him at every turn. Master of my Fate is a brave and historically grounded addition to the growing body of works examining history through the consciousness of the enslaved. ”
“ Sienna Brown's Master of My Fate is a confident and ambitious debut. ”
Maxine Beneba Clarke
“ Based on a true story and written by Brown with compassion and creativity, this tale of William Buchanon's life from slavery to freedom is at once heartbreaking and inspiring. His dawning understanding of being a "chattel" to another man and his rise against this leads him to face his demons and find a hard-won freedom. Powerful and affecting. ”
Sylvia, Better Read Than Dead
“ Stripping someone of their humanity because of the colour of their skin, because they have a criminal record, because they were born into the wrong family – as much as Master of My Fate is a book about the past, its themes are disturbingly relevant. So, too, is fighting back. ”
Elizabeth Flux, The Guardian
May 7, 2019
Random House Australia
May 7, 2019
Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au
Prologue Colony of NSW, 1851
I wake with a start. Been dreaming. Dreaming bout a light that shine bright, strong, hot, even though all round is a cool, shadowy darkness. A light that call to me. Softly, softly, if only I can reach it. Touch it. Pull it out of the darkness and keep it safe. I reach out for that light as if still in the dream, but it start to fade and I wake to a body that feel heavy. Heavy as lead, and me clothes, me skin is wet, and I cannot even seem to lift me head. If only the wetness going turn into light and I can dream again. I feel round with me hands to discover rough cotton sheets and they too is wet, filled up with sweat.Continue Reading
This novel about one man’s journey to become his own master, from slavery in Jamaica, through to eventual freedom in colonial New South Wales, is perfect for book clubs.
The author discusses the research and inspiration behind her historical fiction novel, Master Of My Fate.