Diouf presents a remarkably even account of the lives and context of Mansa Musa, Asantehene Osei Tutu, and Ndata Yalla Mbodj of Waalo. . .
Moreover, her presentation of the lives of these famous West Africans is contextual and appealing. The author intertwines cultural and economic descriptions of Mali with Musa's pilgrimage to Mecca, evenhandedly interposes traditional and economic explanations for the location of Kumasi, and allows us to see Ndate Yalla as a leader caught between French and Moorish power. Each of the monarchs is presented as complex (and in Osei Tutu's case, somewhat troublesome) individuals. Finally, Kings and Queens of West Africa represents a modern text in its use of a multitude of techniques to help young readers. Chief amongst these are a bibliography of texts and websites, highlighted words accompanying an accurate glossary, and sideboards illuminating cultural and personal tidbits.