Roar of the Lion

Praise for Roar of the Lion

“… his fourth, and perhaps best African novel to date.”

- Richard Margetson, The Guestroom, ABC Radio 891

“Frank Coates’ novels are not just ripping yarns, but also full of tenderness and empathy for the characters…”

- Pittwater Life, March 2007

“… an incredible story, brilliantly told. Frank Coates’ latest novel is a blockbuster!”

- Annie Warburton, The Evening Program, ABC Radio 936

“Roar of the Lion is a big, powerful, full-blooded adventure”


Roar of the Lion

ISBN: 9780732282738
Published April 2007.

Where can I buy the book?

What could drive a man to walk across darkest Africa from the Cape to Cairo?

Could it be for love or empire; ambition or greed?

From his early days fighting for Cecil Rhodes in the Matabele war, there was no doubt that Ewart Grogan’s unwavering self-confidence uniquely equipped him to conquer a continent. After succeeding, he sets out to dominate the business world of the burgeoning new colony of British East Africa.

No challenge is too great for Grogan as he builds his fortune in timber, cattle and land with little regard for those who helped him make his start – even to forsaking the women who loved him along the way.

While Bwana Simba – the man with the cold stare of the lion – stands poised to realise his greatest victory, the Great War points its bloody finger towards Africa. The colonials prepare to do battle, with Grogan again as a leader, but this time facing his greatest ordeal — and his most wrenching choice.

Set within historical context, Roar of the Lion proves that fact can be stranger than fiction.

With the author behind the Scenes of Roar of the Lion

trek map

The route that Ewart Grogan took in 1898 – 1900. Why did he do it? There’s a number of possible answers to that question – all covered in the novel.

Being a huge fan of East African history, one name kept popping up in my research. It was Ewart Scott Grogan, a man whose powerful presence influenced British East Africa from British Protectorate to the independent nation of Kenya. In a life spanning 93 years, Grogan managed to overcome poor health to be a leader of commerce and politics in his chosen new home.

But in a life of outstanding achievements, it was one of his first conquests that stands out, and that was his remarkable journey from the Cape of Good Hope to Cairo – a trek of almost ten thousand kilometers. And he did this at the age of 24.

In today’s terms, Ewart Grogan was a chick-magnet. He was tall, well built with dashing good looks, dazzling yellow-green eyes (the natives said he had the eyes of a lion and called him bwana simba – Master Lion) and had undoubted charm.

In making his trek, he won a fist-fight with one of the Nile’s giant Dinka tribesmen, fought running battles with cannibals intent on putting him in their cooking pot, and after having his scientific instruments stolen, he held a mob of 5000 angry Watutsi warriors at bay until they returned them.

It was not only this amazing test of stamina and will that got me interested, it was the many different versions of why he did it. As usual, I found it was the story told by the women who occupied his life that revealed the man.