The Book That Made Me: David Almond 20/03/19
A Tudor Turk
Book 1 in The Chronicles of Will Ryde and Awa Maryam Al-Jameela
Publisher: Hope Road
In the late 1500s, fate brings together two teenagers who have lost their homes and families, as elite warriors in a group of Janissaries. Will and Awa are both swashbuckling characters who carry their own stories with equal strength and Awa in particular is as resourceful a heroine as you could wish for.
The book depicts an authentically multicultural world of the late 1500s, centred on the Turkish Sultanate, in which Britain is a footnote. Will, the English hero, is adrift in a sophisticated world where most people don’t even know where England is. With its straightforward storytelling, it is a book that could capture the imagination of teenagers who enjoy fantasy literature, and the many teenage readers who love Assassin's Creed will enjoy the setting, mysterious mission and swaggering sense of adventure.
This is an area of history which is endlessly fascinating and full of potential for adventure stories, and there are too few books about it for British teenagers.