Shioni of Sheba: The Enchanted Castle by Marc Secchia

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Title: Shioni of Sheba: The Enchanted Castle
Author: Marc Secchia
Paperback: 196 pages
Released Date: April 23rd 2013
Published:  Amazon CreateSpace (first published February 1st 2013)
ISBN 1482348667 (ISBN13: 9781482348668)
Edition language: English
Series: Shioni of Sheba
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A king bent on conquest.
A murderous warrior tribe.
And the slave-girl who dares to stand between them!

Shioni of Sheba: The Enchanted Castle is the first book in a unique African fantasy series set in the ancient Kingdom of Sheba and is written for middle grades/secondary school reading age.

“A cracking story which catches the imagination…” “I was enthralled, each character came alive off the page”

When Shioni, slave to the Princess of Sheba, travels to the legendary Simien Mountains of Ethiopia, she encounters adventure beyond her wildest dreams. Little does she imagine the powerful forces lurking in this jagged volcanic wilderness; forces that could tear the Kingdom of Sheba apart.

Kalcha, the Wasabi leader, has prepared a deadly trap, an evil sorcery rooted within the castle the King has chosen for his fortress. Kalcha is massing her warriors and her giant hyenas, intent on annihilating the Sheban forces.

As the Wasabi attack it is left to Shioni to show the way with courage and the conviction of her heart. Can she overcome the wrath of a lion, outwit the treacherous Captain Dabir, and defuse General Getu’s inexplicable hatred? With the help of her friends Mama Nomuula, Princess Annakiya, and the fiuri Azurelle, Shioni must uncover the hidden secrets of the Enchanted Castle before Kalcha destroys all she holds dear.

Experience the myth and magic of ancient Sheba in this truly African adventure. Includes original illustrations by the Ethiopian artist Senait.

 

About the Author:

Marc is a South African-born author who lives and works in Ethiopia with his wife and 4 children, 2 dogs, a rabbit, and a variable number of marabou storks that roost on the acacia trees out back. On a good night there are also hyenas prowling along the back fence.

When he’s not writing about Africa Marc can be found travelling to remote locations. He thinks there’s nothing better than standing on a mountaintop wondering what lies over the next horizon.

Marc is currently finishing a new book calledThe Girl who Sang with Whales and planning several more books in the Shioni of Shebaseries.(less)

 

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What can I say about the Enchanted Castle. It was amazingly written and I loved it so much. It’s a fantasy for Middle Grade and think anyone out there that owns a child of 8-12 should get this. It’s a story that plays off in Ethiopia. I’ve never been there myself and the love Marc has for his home shows in this story.

It follows a princess’s slave girl called Shioni. Shioni doesn’t have an easy life, but she has the gift to speak to animals. Which was done so beautiful. She has a big momma,(not really her momma, but she is in this story like her momma) called Momma Nomuula (sorry Marc if the name is spelled wrong, I seriously aren’t good with fantasy names) who is also a slave, and the cook of the king’s court. I love the way she talks. In the beginning I thought it was seriously bad grammar from the author but realized it’s how Momma Nomuula spoke. It’s to die for. Shioni has a gift to find herself in all sorts of trouble. First when she helped out the King Of Lions. Then she found herself in a grotto with a giant snake which almost cost her, her life, and had to go back to retrieve a bottle the giant snake guards, that trapped a little human butterfly. It’s so cute. There is a wicked witch, who stole the human butterly’s powers,that wants to take over the kingdom from the King, and that’s where Shioni finds her in another big mess. Trying to help this little creature to get better. The peak of this novel is a huge battle, and it had a wonderful ending, all strings came together nicely and Marc really done a beautiful job with this. I won’t be surprise if Marc is going to win some literary awards for this.

It was just an amazing read, filled with Ethiopia and all it’s surroundings.
I truly recommend it to everyone that loves middle grade fantasy.

I wish you all the best with this series March.

Kind Wishes,

Adrienne Woods

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