Best friends, Karabo and Isla are drawn into age-old family feuds and ancient legends when the mysterious William joins the school at half term. Karabo finds herself drawn into a plot that involves not only William, but also Isla’s long-time crush Mzi Khumalo – Dayeton College’s dream head boy.
As ancient battles reveal themselves in a smoke-filled sangoma hut, Karabo and Isla are on a mission to interpret the messages of the ancestors, and uncover why William and Mzi’s families are pitted against each other, as they navigating their way through rugby derbies, holidays, the end of year school dance and exams.
Libertalia is a melting pot of pirate dreams, African legend and mystery that takes four very different young people on a journey of friendship and adventure.
- Genre : Middle Grade / Fantasy
- Paperback : 164 pages
- ISBN : 0620836318 (ISBN13: 9780620836319)
- Publisher : National Library of South Africa (NLSA)
- Author : Melina Lewis
- Buy it on Amazon
* SPOILER ALERT * SPOILER ALERT * SPOILER ALERT*
I received a free copy of this book directly from the author in exchange for an honest review! Thank you!
I love discovering new authors! Or, in this case, the author found me, lol.
After agreeing to read her book, I just happened to find a physical copy lying outside my front door, one day, with “For Jacques” written on a sticky note attached to the book – it was the funniest thing ever!
Libertalia follows the story of 4 teenagers, whose lives are thrown together when they all witness a vision purposely shown them by a Sangoma.
SANGOMA: noun – (in southern Africa) a traditional healer or diviner.
Even though they’re separate and unique, it seems destiny has woven their fates together in a melting pot of weirdness!
Written for a younger audience, Melina’s writing is clear and easy to read; no flowery script, no big, confusing words – the writing just flows nicely from start to end. The timing is perfect, keeping the pace of the story at a steady rate, unfolding the story just right.
The plot isn’t too complex, with twists and turns that are unnecessary and tedious, without being boring or predictable, but there are enough to make it interesting.
Also, the title may be alluding to this being a series, but we will have to wait and see.
I’m not sure about which places are fictitious or not, but Melina does mix the real with the made-up; there are so many dorpies (villages) strewn around this country, it is impossible to remember every single name…
It is clear, however, that the author has done enough research to ensure factual representation of African culture and religious beliefs; trust me, I have 2 Xhosa housemates, along with my brother and I who are are white, and the conversations are epic – to the point where they get louder and louder and everyone’s screaming and 3 people are googling at the same time… They are my go to people when it comes to African culture.
Melina has created four average rich kids, high-schoolers at an elite private school, each with their own personalities and secrets, including sneaker fetishes.
Being such a short book, there is just the right amount of character growth without the need for back stories and development; they are well written and well represented, I think.
Libertalia (Lost Fortunes) is nice, quick read for everyone; entertaining and a little instructive, great for young and old alike.
Melina has a few other books out as well; have you read any of her work? What do you think about Libertalia? Would you like to read it or maybe gift it to your children or nephews or cousins? Do let us know in the comments below; we’d love to hear all about it!
As usual, sharing is caring! Until next time…