James Proteus in The Glasgow Herald calls the book a “darkly fascinating examination of the contrast between childhood innocence and a totalitarian regime. “

The review is not online, but here is a longer quote:

The novel is constructed in short chapters that operate as self-contained stories, but with the mystery and tragedy of Djata’s missing father the constant theme. The book’s painful appeal is that the boys’ adventures are enjoyable, even amusing on the surface, partly due to the sardonic misobservations of the child – “it had been a lot warmer ever since that atomic powerplant accident we weren’t allowed to talk about” – and partly because it is just fun to see boys being boys; hunting for treasure, sneaking into cinemas, and thinking about girls. But below the surface always remains our awareness that this innocence cannot survive the regime and that there will be no happy ending. 


Djata’s is a convincing and powerful voice and The White King a moving insight into a bizarre, tragic period of Europe’s history.