Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Review - Telesa: The Covenant Keeper by Lani Wendt Young

At the moment the YA market is crying out for diverse books by diverse authors, and yet, here is an amazing YA series set in Samoa and written by a Samoan author which appears to have slipped through the net and I can’t begin to imagine why.

The series has been self published, but I have to say the quality of the product is very professional. I also loved the story, the characters and the blend of Samoan mythology. I’ve never been to Samoa but I have been to Fiji so I do have a sense of Pacific island culture, but this book took me in further and I loved that – discovering the people and their legends.

There is a definite nod towards the American market. The main character, although Samoan born has lived most of her life in the US and so she comments on some aspects of Samoan life, such as the boys playing rugby (well of course they do – it’s Samoa) from an American perspective.

There’s a lot to love about this book. The mythology was fascinating and totally new and fresh to me. The characters were engaging and I could feel the pull of their passions. And it even has a bit of geology in it – the icing on the cake for a geo-nerd like me!

I do think it’s a shame that the mainstream markets in the UK and US have missed out on this one. It deserves a wider audience. Samoa may be on the other side of the world but we need more books from different countries and cultures – and isn’t that what this recent push for diverse books is supposed to be about?

This has to be one of the best YA books I’ve come across. I’ve only read the first in the series so far but the rest are on my kindle waiting their turn. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Here are links to Lani Wendt Young’s Amazon pages
In the UK
In the US
And her blog – Sleepless in Samoa