Title: The Crocodile Curse
Written by: Saviour Pirotta
Illustrated by: Jo Lindley
Published by: Maverick
The Crocodile Curse by Saviour Pirotta is an exciting fantasy adventure seeped in Egyptian legend and a definite page-turner that will keep young readers hooked from the start. It is the second of the Nile Adventures published by Maverick and continues on shortly after the first book, The Heart Scarab ended.
As with The Heart Scarab it is written from the point of view of two very different voices: Renni a young artist apprentice who specialises in decorating tombs and temples and his elder brother, Mahu, a farmer in the Black Lands, who dreams of becoming a sailor. It was trying to achieve this dream that catapulted them into their last adventure where they had to return the heart scarab to General Tatia’s tomb to defeat the evil visier, Paser. The visier is a fantastic devious and currupt villain who the readers will be willing to fail.
On a trip with their friend, Princess Balaal, to Shedet to witness the Choosing Ceremony of the Golden One, they discover the visier is plotting to overthrow Pharoah Ramesses to seize power for himself. Renni, Mahu and Balaal have to find a way to stop him. Jo Lindley’s lovely illustrations portray the characters just as Saviour Pirotta describes them and brings the Egyptian setting to life.
I particularly liked the dynamics of the relationship between the two brothers. It was believable and realistic. They both take their responsibilities very seriously. Renni wants to make his uncle proud of his artistic abilities and since their father died it is up to Mahu to support them and their mother.
The Nile Adventures are ideal books for supporting a KS2 topic on Ancient Egypt. There is a concise Egyptian glossary at the back of each book and information about some of the Ancient Egyptian gods and places mentioned in the book, which is enhanced by the map at the beginning of each book. However, I felt the map in The Crocodile Curse could have included the Valley of the kings where chapter one opens and it would have been nice if the Ipet-Isut temple was labelled. This would help the reader to get their bearings and make comparing it to the map in The Heart Scarab easier.
A great edition to any school libray.
The Crocodile Curse is due to be released next week on the 28th August. You can buy a copy of, The Crocodile Curse by Saviour Pirotta and Jo Lindley, direct from the publisher Maverick Publishing, from your local bookshop, or you can also purchase a copy online at uk.bookshop.org, an organisation with a mission to financially support local, independent bookshops.
I would like to thank Abi Reeves at Maverick for sending me review copies of both The Heart Scarab an The Crocodile Curse. Thank you.