Those Who Would Be King delivers a story full of twists and turns, highlighting the battle between good and evil.


The Description

Publication Date: July 11, 2023

This powerful novel—full of tantalizing twists and turns, powerful heroes and heinous villains—is set in the fictional, impoverished African country of Maleziland and explores the corruption of power, the legacy of colonialism, and the putative integration of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa. 

King Mabanda controls his country with a violent, omnipotent fist. The king’s son, Mandebala, is a tyrant-in-training who has grown up with the opulence and privilege of an uber-wealthy prince. But when the king meets Shigeku, the only captive survivor of a border war with a neighboring nation, the prisoner tells of switching his own brother at birth with the king’s actual son.
​     The king immediately extricates his true heir, Mateyo, from the slums to the palace to take his rightful place as the prince of Maleziland, while the loathsome Mandebala is thrown out and forced to live in the nearby shantytown. The benevolent new prince experiences the trappings and privileges of wealth and power, and ultimately embarks upon a plan that will improve the lives of his people and country. Meanwhile, the true brothers, Shigeku and Mandebala, plot, with the keen support of the Catholic Church, to over

The Review

Two male babies born on the same day, each on a path set by birth. One would grow up as the pampered son of a king, while the other lived in a shanty.

Author Brent Ludwig uses the fictional impoverished African country of Maleziland as the backdrop for Those Who Would Be King. He incorporates a baby swap into the story, which isn’t revealed until the boys are teens.

King Mabanda lives a life of excess and privilege while his subjects barely survive. He absolutely dotes on his son, Mandebala. When he discovers his true heir is living in poverty, the king brings Mateyo to the palace and tosses Mandebala away.

It’s a culture shock for both teens, yet the way they react to the change is much different. While Mateyo uses his past experience to create a plan to benefit all residents, Mandebala conspires to overthrow the regime.

There’s an interesting conclusion to be drawn regarding the nature vs. nurture philosophical debate using the story’s main characters as examples. It’s also worth noting that while King Mabanda uses force and intimidation to get his way, Mateyo embraces a much kinder disposition. Even though Mandebala wasn’t the king’s biological son, he mirrored many of the same negative personality traits.

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About The AuthorBrent J. Ludwig is a reformed lawyer who currently runs his own boutique headhunting firm in Calgary and Vancouver, Canada. Brent practiced M&A law in Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary, but did not let it stifle his love for storytelling and writing, first inspired while completing his undergraduate degree at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick. As a “mining brat” child, Brent’s family moved virtually every year to remote towns, nurturing his broad, pan-Canadian outlook and an equally endearing and embarrassing small-town personality.

Brent currently lives in Calgary and spends his spare time cooking, drinking wine, and chasing soccer balls while coaching and shuttling three active children. He has a keen sense of interest in developing nations and trying to help as many people as possible by leveraging his writing and finance talents. Brent hopes that this book is the first of many.



Amy Wilson
Amy Wilson
My name is Amy W., and I am a book addict. I will never forget the day I came home from junior high school to find my mom waiting for me with one of the Harlequin novels from my stash. As she was gearing up for the "you shouldn't be reading this" lecture, I told her the characters get married in the end. I'm just glad she didn't find the Bertrice Small book hidden in my closet. I have diverse reading tastes, evident by the wide array of genres on my Kindle. As I made the transition to an e-reader, I found myself worrying that something could happen to it. As a result, I am now the proud owner of four Kindles -- all different kinds, but plenty of back-ups! "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets high marks on my favorites list -- not for character development or dialogue (definitely not!), but because it blazed new ground for those of us who believe provocative fiction is more than just an explicit cover. Sylvia Day, Lexie Blake, and Kristin Hannah are some of my favorite authors. Speaking of diverse tastes, I also enjoy Dean Koontz, Iris Johansen, and J.A. Konrath. I’m always ready to discover new-to-me authors, especially when I toss in a palate cleanser that is much different than what I would normally read. Give me something with a well-defined storyline, add some suspense (or spice), and I am a happy reader. Give me a happily ever after, and I am downright giddy.


  1. Thanks for your thoughts on my novel, Amy. It’s an honor to have received 5 stars from you, and it’s a pleasure to entertain readers with my stories. Now I have to finish writing book 2 in the series. ~BJL


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Those Who Would Be King delivers a story full of twists and turns, highlighting the battle between good and evil.5-STAR REVIEW: THOSE WHO WOULD BE KING: THE PEOPLE'S PRINCE by Brent J. Ludwig