The reading of books and stories is a wonderful way to take yourself off to another time and place, losing yourself in the magic of ancient lands, different people and magical tales. It is also a way to learn new information (especially for children as they don’t know that they are necessarily learning something). Saviour Pirotta is an excellent author of children’s junior fiction historical adventure books and I loved reading the four book Wolfsong Series that takes the reader back to the Stoneage for an adventure that travels the world. Now that that series has finished, we can embark on another adventure series that takes us back to another time and place that is packed with magic and mystery – Ancient Egypt, a country that is home to deserts, pyramids, and gods!
The Heart Scarab is the first book in The Nile Adventures series, a children’s historical fiction adventure story.
The year is 1269BCE in Ancient Egypt, the 10th year rule of Ramesses II. Renni and Mahu are brothers, completely different from each other. Renni is the youngest and is an apprentice painter who paints hieroglyphs in tombs in The Valley of the Kings. Mahu just wants to make quick money. Mahu hatches a plot to rob the tomb of a long-dead general in The Valley of Kings and persuades Renni to help him so they can help their mother. Renni reluctantly agrees and enters the tomb, stealing a heart scarab from the general’s sarcophagus. Once the heart scarab is removed, a chain of events is set into motion, where magic and dead spirits come to play, events that will have disastrous effects for Renni and Mahu if they do not return the heart scarab. But the heart scarab has gone missing, and they need to find it before Anubis, the god of death, comes to collect their souls!
Overall, The Heart Scarab is an excellent fast-paced adventure story for children. Saviour Pirotta is an excellent writer of historical fiction that is entertaining and packed with facts entwined within a magical and engaging story.
With magic and mystery, pyramids and gods, and set in the beautifully descriptive setting of Ancient Egypt featuring a very diverse set of characters that will appeal to all genders, The Heart Scarab is a book that children will love to read and will not be able to put down. Whilst it is a story of adventure and magic it also focuses on right and wrong, learning from your mistakes and setting them right and the importance of responsibility.
It is a fictional story that has been very well researched to add in accurate historical elements surrounding the culture and life, as well as the gods, of the Ancient Egyptians.
The Heart Scarab is a fast, fun and enjoyable read that is full of facts, adventure, magic and good moral messages. The first in a new series and it is off to a brilliant start (the second in the series, The Crocodile Curse, is out in August 2022). It would also make an excellent book to support classroom and curriculum studies.
RRP: £6.99 (Paperback)