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The Ship of Shadows by Maria Kuzniar

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

Set sail across treacherous seas, run the rooftops of beautiful Seville and navigate the fierce Moroccan desert by starlight in this dazzling debut that will have you utterly entranced from the first page!

Aleja longs away her days in her family's dusty tavern in Seville, dreaming of distant, exotic lands and believing in the kind of magic that she's only ever read about in books. But her life is suddenly changed forever when adventure comes for her in the form of a mysterious, fabled vessel called the Ship of Shadows. Crewed by a band of ruthless female pirates, with cabin walls dripping with magical secrets, the ship has sailed right out of a legend.

Quick to board its shadowy deck, Aleja begins to realize that the sea holds more secrets than she ever could have imagined. As the crew desperately seek a long lost city, the deadly depths and pitch-black magic are stirring, and it's going to take copious amounts of courage, confidence and cake (!) to discover what they are risking everything to find.

Thrilling fast-paced and beautifully narrated, The Ship of Shadows will whisk you from your armchair and take you on an unforgettable adventure to the furthest reaches of your dreams and imagination. But in between the magic and danger, The Ship of Shadows is a tale rich in culture, diversity and female empowerment. Each character is uniquely fleshed out, bringing forth a mixed representation of incredibly sharp and strong females, which both young girls and boys will inspire to.

Skilfully rooted in Greek mythology and vibrant Middle Eastern folk tales, Maria Kuzniar is a new and exciting force to be reckoned with! Her distinct voice and immersive writing is a worthy match to the likes of Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Abi Elphinstone. Like many no doubt, I cannot wait for the next swashbuckling instalment, but until then, this is definitely a book I'll be rereading and dreaming of for a long time to come.



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