The Obsidian Mask
The first book in an exciting trilogy for the whole family
A distraught, young Mesopotamian Princess vows to honor her gravely wounded mother’s memory. The city is under constant attack from a neighboring King intent on securing their water supplies during a devastating drought.
The Princess has a death mask crafted for her mother from an ancient piece of obsidian, and has it inlaid with the precious stones passed down her to family from generation to generation. It is then sealed in the tomb with the Queen, where it remains undisturbed for over five thousand years…
The Obsidian Mask is a present day adventure involving four young teenagers. Natasha, is fifteen, very pensive and intuitive. She flies from London to the Middle East with her thirteen year-old brother, Alex, to join their mother for the Easter Holidays, where she is working on a ‘dig’ for an international team of archaeologists in the Mesopotamian desert.
However, almost as soon as they arrive in Medinabad, and head into the desert, things don’t go quite as smoothly as expected.
The team has recently discovered the remains of a palace and the tomb of an ancient Mesopotamian Queen, which they are in the delicate process of uncovering. Until its discovery, the Queen was thought to be merely a legend, so Marcello, the director of the dig, is ecstatic at finding it; it is the pinnacle of his long career. The tomb contains many skeletons and amazing artifacts, but nothing more fabulous for Marcello, his team and even for history itself, than the incredible, priceless death-mask, that covers her skull.
However, Natasha instinctively dislikes Marcello, and has trouble disguising the fact, when she realizes has interests in her mother. She is jealous and resentful towards him, and make matters worse, she is thrown together with his two children, who have also recently arrived to visit their father at the dig. Natasha instantly dislikes them on principle; Lorenzo is also fifteen, crisp, polite, well spoken and immaculate, and Gabriella, his sister, is almost thirteen, bored, very spoilt and irritatingly winy. But despite Natasha’s reluctance to liking the family, Marcello confides in her while showing her the amazing tomb of the ancient Queen, and she very slowly begins to warm towards the middle-aged Italian.
Yanni, an enthusiastic, good-looking nineteen year-old Polish volunteer, having detected Natasha’s resentment towards Marcello, takes her under his wing. As well as showing her the workings of the dig, he helps Natasha get over her selfish feelings towards her mother, by telling her a story of his own. This personal attention leads Natasha to develop feelings of a very different kind towards this young man.
Quite unexpectedly, just as things were looking up for Natasha, the four teens are kidnapped and thrown into a very dangerous and frightening situation, and their trip rapidly turns into more of a nightmare than a holiday. They are forced into a situation that will not only test their physical strength, but their mental strength too, and as Natasha finds out, she should never judge a book by its cover...
As well as being an exciting family adventure, the book is insightful, tender, and very thought provoking. The reader experiences the changing sentiments and thoughts of a teenager, who comes to realize how selfish and pre-judgmental she has been. The reader also learns a little ancient history, and experiences the excitement and importance of uncovering an ancient site along with the characters in the story.
In this first book, the teenager's characters are developed and opportunities are left open for their subsequent adventures involving them in different locations around the world.
Book two, Secrets Of The River, is based in northern Italy in the beautiful Trebbia river valley, and the third book, The Irish Queen Of Algiers, follows the four adventurers to north Africa.
Check out the Obsidian Mask facebook page too! Lots of interesting posts on archaeology for you to explore...
Just heard now the Kildonan School in NY, along with The Princess Helena College in the UK, will be stocking The Obsidian Mask in their library! How cool is that!
Eco-Libris: Plant a Tree for Every Book you Read!
Caroline is so glad to be part of this great Eco- Libris green cause. Every copy of THE OBSIDIAN MASK will have a green Eco-Libris sticker on the cover to show her support for planting trees and helping the environment. See the Eco-Libris fb page.
This group is for those who love books, but also care about trees and the environmental impacts of cutting them down for paper.
Read what other readers have said about THE OBSIDIAN MASK in NEWS!