Telesa – The Covenant Keeper by Lani Wendt Young
Leila returns to the land of her birth in search of family and instead discovers she is heir to a fiery elemental birthright…all while navigating through the drama of a new high school with the help of her new best friend “Simone daahling” – a boy with flawless makeup and the catwalk style of Kate Moss. She is introduced to the national sport of rugby and meets an irritating boy that would be much easier to hate if he didn’t have chipped emerald eyes that are always laughing at her and a glorious golden smile. (The glistening, bronzed abs and Pacific warrior tattoos don’t help either.) There’s hate, love, jealousy, volcanoes and lots of delicious Samoan food in Leila’s coming-of-age journey as she realizes that ancient Pacific myths of elemental spirit women Telesa, contain more truth than fiction. Secrets are revealed and things get blown up as Leila must choose between sisterhood and the boy she loves. Can their love stand against the Covenant Keeper?
There are many different kinds of love. All of them require sacrifice. Who will give everything for the one they love?
A thriller-romance with a difference. If you enjoyed Twilight, then you will be enthralled by Telesa as it blends the richness (and humor) of Pacific mythology into a contemporary young adult love story that will stay with you long after you have turned the final page.
” Tired of vampires and werewolves? TELESA has a supernatural element but a unique one… Like Air Benders and X-Men combined. Way cool. The Telesa women are an environmental terrorist group that wield their elemental powers with a fierce beauty and devastating impact…”
Nafanua regarded me with pity in her eyes. “Leila, this is a part of you. This is who you are. I’m sorry, your powers are not going to go away, no matter how much you may want them to.”
I was hostile. “How the hell do you know that?”
Nafanua did not speak. She stood and walked the few steps out the open front doors and down the verandah steps. I followed her, confused as to her intentions. Almost lazily, she beckoned with her right hand and out of a blank blue sky, thunder clapped loud enough to make me jump. Another hand flicked gracefully and white light jagged, crackled and hissed as lightning seared the ground beside her. I gripped the verandah rails for support, my mind struggling to accept what I was seeing. Nafanua spun in a soft circle and the lightning burned out a path around her. When the circle was complete she stopped and stepped out of the smoke, brushing a stray piece of cindered grass off her skirt. She looked straight at me.
“I know because I am telesā. And you are my daughter. I am matagi. Storm. Air. Wind. Lightning. You are fanua. Earth. Blessed with earth’s fire. And your gift is not going to go away, no matter what you do or where you live. It’s part of who you are and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you can get the help you need to make sure that you don’t hurt anyone. Unless you want to that is.” She half smiled and walked slowly towards me. I slid to sit on the wooden step.
The morning sunlight danced over the garden and a blue kingfisher sat on the wood railing and regarded me with dark eyes. It was supposed to be another day in paradise. Yesterday I had kissed a beautiful boy that a girl like me could only dream about. Today, here I was, watching the woman who was my mother call down lightning from the sky and burn circles of fire in the grass.
I started reading Telesa not knowing anything about Samoa and by the time I was finished I was in love! In love with the Samoa culture and mythology that Lani Wendt Young brought to life in this wonderful book.
Telesa has everything a YA book needs. There is humor, suspense, romance and all of it takes place in what has to be one of the most beautiful settings I have read about in a long time. The Samoa mythology is unique and anyone who loves Paranormal stories is going to love this.
The characters are fantastic and realistic. Leila is a teen trying to find her place this world after her father dies. She goes to Samoa, the land of her dead mother, in hopes of finding out more about her heritage. The people she meets and what she learns about herself is a story you won’t want to put down!
I was born and raised in Samoa. I went to university in the USA and New Zealand, studying English Literature, Women’s Studies and Education. Back in Samoa I worked as a secondary school English teacher for 7 years and did lots of writing in between for the local newspaper and for myself. My short fiction has been published in Samoa, NZ, Australia and the UK. My collection of short stories “Sleepless in Samoa” won the 2011 USP Press Fiction Award. I also write stories for children that are used in primary school reading programs. In 2009 I was commissioned by Hans Joe Keil to research and write the narrative non-fiction book ‘Pacific Tsunami Galu Afi’. The book was funded by the Australian Govt Aid program and all book sale profits go back to tsunami survivors who were interviewed for the record. My book ‘TELESA The Covenant Keeper’ is the first in a YA urban fantasy series and it was launched in Oct 2011. I’m married to Darren Young (who is probably the most patient and most hottest man alive) and we have five children ranging in age from 4 to 16yrs. We are now based in New Zealand but get to go home to Samoa enough to keep me brown. (and broke.) I blog about the misadventures of a (slightly demented) Domestic Goddess over at Sleepless in Samoa.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*