Review: The Enchanted Castle (Shioni of Sheba Book 1)

The Enchanted Castle

By Marc Secchia

A king bent on conquest. 
A murderous warrior tribe. 
And the slave-girl who dares to stand between them! 

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. 

Shioni of Sheba: The Enchanted Castle is the first book in a unique African fantasy series set in the ancient Kingdom of Sheba, for middle grades/secondary age readers. Experience the myth and magic of ancient Sheba in this truly African adventure. Includes original illustrations by the Ethiopian artist Senait Worku.

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My Review

I really appreciated having a fantasy set in an authentic and different world. The book has a young, capable heroine and begs you to keep reading. Some violence and peril, while handled tactfully, probably make this a 12+ read, also because of some hard to stomach bullying scenes that while compelling might be difficult for younger, sensitive readers.