Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms


Publication Date: 1 Feb. 2022
Format: Paperback / softback

ISBN 9781526646859

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    Percy Jackson meets Black Panther—this blockbuster middle-grade adventure is perfect for fans of Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds and Wilbur Smith’s Cloudburst.

    Cameron Battle grew up reading The Book of Chidani, cherishing stories about the fabled kingdom that cut itself off from the world to save the Igbo people from danger. Passed down over generations, the Book is Cameron’s only connection to his parents, who disappeared one fateful night two years ago.

    Ever since, his grandmother has kept the Book locked away, but it calls to Cameron. When he and his best friends, Zion and Aliyah, decide to open it again, they are magically transported to Chidani. 

    Instead of a land of beauty and wonder, they find a kingdom in extreme danger, as the queen’s sister seeks to destroy the barrier between worlds. The people of Chidani have been waiting for the last Descendant to return and save them—Is Cameron ready to be the hero they need?

    Inspired by West African and Igbo history and mythology, this adventure-filled fantasy introduces readers to Cameron Battle as he begins his journey to greatness.

    Information

    Book Type: Junior Chapter
    Age Group: 9 years +
    Traffic Lights: Amber
    Class Novel: No
    Good Reads Rating: 4.5/5
    Literary Rating: 4.5/5

    Review

    Cameron Battle can trace his ancestry back to the West Coast of Africa and the mysterious Kingdom of Chidani. 

    During the era of the slave trade, Chidani was protected by powerful magic after the Queen appealed to their gods to protect them. Initially though, many people were enslaved and sent to the Americas—Cameron’s ancestor among them. 

    This ancestor was in possession of a special book, which was subsequently passed down through the generations to Cameron’s mother—and eventually it would be passed to him.

    The book, which is supposedly fictional, chronicles Chidani’s history. It is infused with powerful magic which only a true Descendent can unlock and updates the land’s history as it continues.

    While Cameron is showing the book to his friends Zion and Aaliyah, they are all transported from Atlanta to Chidani. There, they find the land in turmoil—the Queen has been overthrown by her sister, and she needs the help of Cam and his friends’ to regain her throne. 

    The trio must undertake extensive training and go on a dangerous quest to save the realm. Twists, betrayal, failure and division plague their path, but the heroes remain a strong triumvirate and support one another to the end.

    A fun adventure and an interesting read. The West African and Igbo influences on this book are apparent in the history, description and mythology of the fictional Chidani, and the author’s own-voices perspective shapes the themes of legacy and heritage present throughout. 

    The tension between Cam and Zion over the inclusion of Aaliyah into their friend group will be familiar to young readers, as will their occasional disagreements, but overall their friendship remains strong. Fast-moving and action-packed, the classic hero’s journey storyline will be enjoyable to lovers of Percy Jackson and Morrigan Crow

    Overall, a strong first book in an exciting new series.

    Themes

    adventure, slavery, ancestry, West Africa, Igbo, family, legacy, magic, mythology, self-belief, friendship, quest

    Content Notes

    1. References to and appearances of demons and gods from Chidani mythology throughout. Thank god (p. 25). Magic depicted throughout. 2. The publicity around the book makes mention of LGBTQ+ themes, but there doesn’t seem to be any.

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