“This magical story is inspired by the most haunting and least explored country in the world – Namibia – with its foggy Skeleton Coast, buried goldmines, shocking secrets and awe-inspiring sand dunes.
Spread across the face of its deserts are hundreds of miles of ‘fairy circles’: vast enough to be seen from space. They grow and die with the same lifespan as humans, yet no-one has been able to explain why or how they appear.
Then one day, three teenagers and their families arrive from different parts of the globe. Helped by bushmen, the buried possessions of a Victorian explorer, and a golden leopard, they solve the mystery of the African Circles. What will be discovered beneath the hallowed ground? And how will it change the future of the planet above it?”
What did I think?
‘Hallowed Ground’ blends folk tales, history and geography into a story about a group of teenagers who have come together through circumstance in Namibia. Targeted at a Young Adult audience there is intrigue, real life drama and relationships along with an educational element relating to this South African country. The tale of the fairy circles is fascinating (take a look on Google images for real life photos, they’re incredible!) and I’d like to think that through his book Paul Twivy will inspire his readers to want to know more about this extraordinary phenomenon. Myths and facts relating to the circles are explored as the teenagers seek to uncover the truth behind their existence. I especially loved the folk tale about the Golden Leopard shaking off its spots and creating them, although I could find no basis for this story but its exactly the kind of camp fire legend that stays with you.
For me, the beginning of the novel was a little slow. The character introductions took too long for my liking and could have perhaps been dealt with differently. There is, however, an undeniable sense of wonder and magic that shines through the pages. Along with an engaging story line, I particularly liked the way that the parent and child relationships were built up throughout.
I think this book will appeal to any young explorers out there, especially anyone who enjoys real life mysteries and cultural history.
Where can you buy a copy?
About the author:
Paul Twivy studied English at Oxford University and became one of the most famous British admen. He has written comedy and drama for the stage and radio. He edited the bestseller Change the World for a Fiver. He is married with five children. He was inspired to write Hallowed Ground by his first-hand experiences of the extraordinary landscapes and culture of Namibia.
N.B. Thank you very much to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the book tour, and to Paul Twivy for gifting me a copy of his book for the purposes of this review. All thoughts are my own. For more information please see my disclosure page.