Sherel Ott : Princess Janai and the Warrior Maidens of Quinu: The Cities of Tonga and Tongiawhich
About Adventures of Princess Janai and the Warrior Maidens of Quinu: The Cities of Tonga and Tongia
All Janai wants is to be just like everyone else. Being the Princess and having to try out for the Warrior Maidens is just part of her problems. She has the present Warrior leader unhappy with the fact that she is trying out, because that means her time is almost up and she enjoys her “status” too much to give it up without a fight. Not to mention someone just froze two of her guards into living statues with the fabled Mist Flowers of Tonga. Now she and a small group of warriors must travel to a forbidden city and obtain the antidote before the two guards are lost forever…all in 24 hours. Is she capable? Will she make it in time?
Sherel is the author of Princess Janai and the Warrior Maidens of Quinu: The Cities of Tonga and Tongiawhich is the first book of an adventure series for middle grade girls. Creating a society or world where everyone follows the rules and gets along is quite an accomplishment. However, the lessons learned within this book teach young teens, young children and adults the importance of loyalty, trust, understanding and cooperation but family values of a different nature. Each character has her own unique style and personality and each one her own agenda. Princess Janai is 12 years old and has set out on a path that most children her age would not even know how to handle or where to begin. With her trusty companion Moonbeam and her loyal followers that will protect her against all odds, Janai learns many hard lessons in life and at times will fight for her own. The author states that this book is unique to all African-American cast placed in a matriarchal society. But, it could be any children and any race as you hear the voices of so many, learn their stories, endure their victories and defeats as they join together to find their true identities and the life lessons that most will find invaluable. Jania as many others want to become a Warrior Maiden. This is just the start of her problems as someone wants her to fail at all costs. A match that begins the story between her and a girl named Serlina, sets the stage for what will send Janai on a journey to other lands, meeting some magical and nonmagcial people and hopefully will able to complete her mission before it’s too late.
Within this novel there are two separate stories that unfold at the same time. With Janai and her group having to find the antidote to free her two guards that have been encased or engulfed in a mist causing them to be unable to move or react, the end result would be a journey that will take them to another land where more lessons will be learned. The possible reason for the journey might be the outcome of a challenge between her and Serlina who both vie for the top position as Warrior Maiden only one would prevail on top. The Goddess Ariana would protect her from harm but Serlina was bent on getting even with Janai for humiliating her. When Janai attempts to go back into her room she is stopped by her guards fearing someone has been there, removed items and taken action against her guards.
Someone had removed things from her room and now Janai and a part would have only four hours to enter another city, find the Royal Gardens and the antidote to release the guards. Lady Ashwan, Claire, Janai and Moonbeam would go on a journey that would take them inside the minds of many from the past and teach lessons to them in the present. The Princess and her group traveled past objects and designs that caught Janai’s eyes. Voices heard within Moonbeam’s head guiding the party they hoped in the right direction. The description of the walls, the corridor and the palace helps readers see and experience the journey along with the Princess and her group. The fabled Mist Flowers of Tonga the culprit and their journey to the forbidden city to obtain the antidote would bring them in danger but if they do not succeed the guards would be lost forever. Challenges come from the start as someone questions whether Janai is capable of rising to the task at hand and a confrontation between two that are close to her ensues. Claire vs Lady Ashwan and the end result will surprise readers as Claire takes a step and makes a statement that would change the odds she hoped in her favor. She stated that she would protect Janai until her dying breath! The challenges continues and Claire would get her wish but some of the time it seems that the characters were competing for Janai’s approval, being the top one in her favor and forgetting the importance of the mission. As Lady Ashwan gets her approval in a different way and things appear to settle down.
Entering Tongia they would be welcomed by a surprise: High Priestess Jinjura who Moonbeam thought was a myth. The author then continues with how Jinjura and her sister Goddess Ariana were separated and how they each came into their own powers. The history behind how they survived, the friendships they made add to the story but what is quite remarkable is that the people within domains are just like people today vying for power, position, trying to undercut others and some even causing wars.
When Jinjura realized when she awakened from an induced sleep that she was no longer with her sister, called for her but could not connect she became distraught. But, another connection and friendship would help her through as she meet a Gildaline named Parrchina who became her close friend and protector. Relating to her that the people of her world took her from her world because they were jealous of her and her sister. Sounds like people today. The story continues and then an attacks occur and she learns about her new world becoming closer with Parrchina. But, the author continues with the rest of the story as she explains how the sisters finally connect and how Ariana makes them both apart of her life for good. Added in we next learn about the fall of Tongia and the display of hatred and jealousies among the different groups of people that live there. We learn more about those with magical powers and those without. We hear the choices that are given for those that wish to leave and start over somewhere else, what happens if they decide to leave and the rules for those who stay.
The author allows readers to understand the reasons why the two sisters are so close and need that telepathic connection but when their story is finally told Janai and her group have to find a way back home. Afraid that they won’t make it back within the time limit set as Ciara voices her concerns JinJara promises that she will make it happen and of course the match between Serlina and Janai has to take place. Will they make it back in time? If they do what will be the outcome of the match between these two Warrior Princesses? Why does Serlina want revenge and what is next for Janai and just how far will Serlina go to take her down? Find out when author Sherel Ott continues with the next adventure. For those that need a more visual understanding of the characters she includes great illustrations of the places they visit, characters and the cover says it all. Looking forward to the next book.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews / mj magazine
About Sherel Ott:
An eclectic collector of animation movies, Sherel Ott is a writer of fantasy and romance stories. One day while watching an animated movie, she noticed that there weren’t a lot of movies or books with girls of color in leading roles…as heroines, adventurers or with strong moral characters and wondered… Where were the influential leaders, doctors, lawyers or royalty of color? Why weren’t there any strong black female characters where a girl of color could be proud of her skin color and the type of person representing and say … “I want to be like her!” Wanting something more for her own nieces to look up to and strive to emulate, other than what girls of color were currently being portrayed as or should settle for is how her book initially took form. She wanted to show that there are black princesses, warriors, adventurers of all walks of life. That she should be and can be recognized for what she does and who her true self is, not be prejudged by what color her skin was.
As a fan of all fantasy, magical, mystical, celestial and other worldly creatures, Sherel began reading sci-fi/fantasy stories at a young age.
“I have always been a sci-fi and fantasy type of person. I always felt as a child that I belonged in those types of worlds rather than here. Reading them had always been my way of escaping from my shyness as a child.” Sherel Ott. She had started collecting fairies of all types and now has a mini collection of collectible faery ornament to decorate her Christmas tree every year.
Sherel creates her stories first by writing them out and then typing them on the computer. She feels she gets her inspiration greatest when she writes and from nature itself. She strives to present her stories in a way that anyone can relate and identify with no matter how old or young…with a little fun, a little action/adventure, yet with a hidden message. Writing since the age of 14, her first published book–Adventures of Princess Janai and the Warrior Maidens of Quinu: The Cities of Tonga and Tongia — brings a story of strong African American females. It’s an adventure series particularly geared towards girls, although boys will also find it an enjoyable read.
When Sherel is not writing, she is working as a full-time Family Nurse Practitioner and has been so for the past 17 years. She presently resides in Felton, DE.
Facebook: Sherel Ott Author
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