Part V Summary: The Return of Sundiata

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One day in Mema, Sundiata's sister Kolonkan sees a woman selling baobab leaves, a type of produce available only from Mali. She speaks to the woman, who is in fact one of the Malinke searching for Sundiata. Sogolon and Sundiata receive an embassy of notables from the court of Mali, learning of Soumaoro's depredations against their homeland. Sundiata vows to join the army of Fakoli to help defeat Soumaoro. The next morning, Sogolon dies. Sundiata leaves to join Fakoli, despite the protests of the king of Mema, who had considered Sundiata his heir.

Sundiata begins his march on Soumaoro by defeating the troops under the command of Soumaoro's son. Later he met Soumaoro's own troops, and though Sundiata and Fakoli's other allies fight well, they cannot take Soumaoro himself, for he has magical abilities and can vanish at will. Little by little, the allies drive back Soumaoro's troops, but he eludes them.

Reunited in battle with his griot, Balla Fasseke, Sundiata learns that Soumaoro's evil power can be destroyed if he is shot with an arrow tipped with a magical rooster's claw. During the next battle, Sundiata grazes Soumaoro with the magic weapon, depleting his powers enough so that he can be driven from the battlefield, though not killed. The victorious troops then march on Soumaoro's town of Sosso, take the fortified city, and find that the king's fetishes had lost their power. The Sorcerer King has been conquered.

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