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Head of Zeus
Lionheart Girl
Lionheart Girl by Yaba Badoe

African myth and magic beat in the dark heart of this fable about witchcraft, superstition, the bonds we choose and those we cannot.

Born into a family of West African witches, Sheba's terrified of her mother who is deadly dangerous. But like mother, like daughter – magic runs through her blood and Sheba discovers powers of her own.

Her touch can unravel people's innermost thoughts; their hopes, their fears – their secrets. Sheba too can shape-shift. Through the communion of ancient magic, blood and friendship, she slowly uncovers the murderous truth about her stolen childhood and steels herself for the future. She must protect the hunted from the hunter – her mother.

Praise for Lionheart Girl:

'A dark and dazzling coming-of-age novel, rich in atmosphere and magic realism' Guardian Best Books of 2021

'Lionheart Girl is deeply atmospheric, stunningly original, and sizzling with ancient myth and magic. Utterly unmissable' Sophie Anderson, The Castle of Tangled Magic

'Loved it! Yaba's best so far – a wonderful tale of magic and family' Catherine Johnson, author of Queen of Freedom: Defending Jamaica

Head of Zeus, a Zephyr book * Children’s Fiction
14 Oct 2021 * 336pp * £12.99 * 9781789540857
REVIEWS
'Written with lushness and lyricism, this is a complex tale of friendships, community and family conflict expressed in fantastical metaphors'
Sunday Times, Book of the Week
'A stirring fantasy, rich in west African legend, investigates the bonds of blood, love and friendship, and what it takes to grow into your power'
Guardian
'Myth, magic and superstition course through this dark and mesmerising novel of witchcraft, family and coming of age. I loved both A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars and Wolf Light, but this is Badoe's best YA novel yet'
Editor's Choice, The Bookseller
'Fierce and thrilling, Lionheart Girl delivers on the promise of Badoe's debut, and then some. I loved this original, lyrical, dark fable'
Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of A Secret of Birds of Bone
Vividly imaginative, brave, passionate and original heroine. A different kind of magical adventure that draws on West African myth for a story of universal interest'
Amanda Craig, author of The Golden Rule
'Unlike anything I've ever read. Mythical, vivid, unsettling and utterly page-turning, Lionheart Girl explores bonds of blood, friendship and the power of being true to yourself. Both unique and brilliant'
Ele Fountain, author of Melt
This is a magical tale, one that I loved... Yaba's writing is a rich feast to be savoured. Filled with unforgettable images that leave you breathless, it is about the strength of love'
Sally Gardner, author of Invisible in a Bright Light
'Loved it! Yaba's best so far – a wonderful tale of magic and family'
Cat Johnson
'Lionheart Girl is deeply atmospheric, stunningly original, and sizzling with ancient myth and magic. Utterly unmissable'
Sophie Anderson, author of The Castle of Tangled Magic
A fun and ambitious read... A familial take on the fantasy genre'
Bad Form
'Rooted in west African myth and tradition... This is a superb book'
Irish Times
'A thrillingly talented Ghanaian author weaving West African myth into a tale of love and courage'
New Statesman
'A bewitching, often dark, magical realism novel for children aged 12+'
Book Trust
'I love Badoe's tales of myth and magic'
Daily Mail
'Lionheart Girl is brilliantly written, richly evocative, and quite unforgettable. I loved it'
Lauren St John
'Sheba and her mama have a uniquely combative relationship I don't think I've really seen before in YA fantasy. There's magic, great family relationships and lyrical writing and a beautiful ending!'
Peter Bunzl
Author
Yaba Badoe
Yaba Badoe
Yaba Badoe is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and writer. Yaba was born in Ghana but now lives in England with her husband. She has been nominated for the Distinguished Woman of African Cinema award. Her debut children's novel A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars and Wolf Light are both published by Zephyr. @yaba_badoe
ALSO BY Yaba Badoe
A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars
Wolf Light
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