Saviour Pirotta is a writer of children’s historical adventure books and I absolutely loved reading The Wolfsong series. In February 2022, he released the first book in The Nile Adventures series, The Heart Scarab, a children’s historical adventure taking the reader back to the year 1269BCE in Ancient Egypt. It is everything that a children’s junior title should be, a chapter book filled with adventure, fun, thrills and even packed with facts about Ancient Egypt and its people so the reader gets to learn something new too. It is an excellent read and a great start to the series. 6 months later (August 2022), the second adventurous instalment, The Crocodile Curse, continues with the adventures through the land of pyramids with its magic, mystery and all-powerful gods.
Brothers Renni and Mahu, with their friend Princess Balaal, are enjoying the summer after escaping with their lives trying to retrieve and return a stolen heart scarab from the tomb of General Tatia. Now they are back for another adventure in the deserts of Ancient Egypt.
Since returning the stolen heart scarab back to its rightful owner and defeating the powerful magician and vizier, Paser, Renni has been getting on with his job as an apprentice artist who paints pictures in tombs. When the Pharaoh stops his work for a month, Princess Balaal persuades him to go on another adventure up the flooded Nile to Shedet, aka Crocodile City. Upon arrival, they fast realise that everything is not what it seems, and an old enemy is at work for reasons they must find out and stop if they can.
Overall, The Crocodile Curse is an excellent chapter book for junior readers (aged 7 and upwards). A fast-paced historical adventure that continues the story of the three young adventurers living in Ancient Egypt. A children’s chapter book that not only delivers a good and exciting story for it young readers but one that also teaches them a bit of history around an ancient civilisation, packed with snippets of facts woven into the story about Egyptian gods, the way of life of the Ancient Egyptians and things like why ancient Egyptians wore so much eye make-up (not just for beauty but also as a form of sun protection).
This time we see Renni, Mahu and Balaal, with the help of new friends in the form of the Pharoah’s son Prince Khaem and even a strange ibis bird, take on the evil vizier Paser again in the race for a mummified crocodile, and Renni and his friends are about to put their lives on the line once again to do the right thing.
Saviour Pirotta writes beautifully, and his descriptions of Ancient Egypt are perfect, you could almost be there standing next to Renni and his friends (just watch out for the crocodiles). And to help visualise the story further, it has some beautifully drawn illustrations to go along with the text that have been created by Jo Lindley.
The story has plenty of adventure and thrills, magic and mystery, pyramids, tombs, temples, gods and excitement from the first page to the last. Junior readers will be enthralled by the story. The characters are very diverse, and the strong make-up of the main protagonists will appeal to all readers.
It is a fictional story that has been very well researched to add in some real accurate historical elements surrounding the culture and life, as well as the gods, customs and traditions of the Ancient Egyptians. A book where readers will learn whilst being entertained.
At the back of the book is also a glossary and authors notes that help to explain some of the unfamiliar terms and words used throughout the story (Mut is mother, Black Land is what the Ancient Egyptians used to call their country etc.). It also explains more about some of the Ancient Egyptian gods as well as locations used in the book.
The Crocodile Curse is a fast-paced, fun and enjoyable read that is full of adventure, magic, excitement, thrills and lots of historical knowledge that makes good reading.
I can’t wait to read what’s in store in the third book in The Nile Adventure series, The Jackal’s Graveyard.
RRP: £6.99 (Paperback)