Sunday, 9 October 2011

Review & Giveaway: Telesa: The Covenant Keeper by Lani Wendt Young

The Story:
Nestled in the heart of the Pacific is Samoa - a lush tropical paradise. We walk to a different drum beat. Here, ancient mythology tells of Telesa. Demon women who are guardians of earth and gifted with the elemental powers of Air, Water and Fire.Telesa are vengeful and cruel.Tales to frighten children.Or are they more than that? From Washington D.C, comes Leila, in search of family,a place to belong. Instead she finds her destiny and it threatens to tear her apart. There is the bewitching call of a Telesa sisterhood and there is Daniel. Will Leila embrace her birthright or will she choose the one who offers her his love with a crooked smile and dancing green eyes? Will Daniel be the element that gentles the fire of the Telesa? Or must love burn at the altar of the telesa covenant? There are many different kinds of love. All of them require sacrifice. Who will give everything for the one they love?

My Thoughts:
There were so many things running through my head before and after reading Telesa. Lani and I had a discussion about reading books your friends have written and how you would react if you didn't enjoy it. I have to admit, I lost a little sleep worrying about this. Luckily for me, Lani is extremely talented and I needn't have stressed. Telesa is one of those books that you pick up because of the great mythology and stays with you because of the loveable characters. To top everything off, Lani is just one of the funniest, most insightful bloggers I have met and you'd be barmy if you didn't check out her blog Sleepless in Samoa.

Things I liked:
-How freaking awesome is the cover? Whoever designed it is a genius.

- Leila is my kinda heroine and someone I can identify with immensely. She's that tough chick who will stand up for what she believes in but is also respectful of her elders and doesn't want to hurt people to get what she wants. Leila is frightened and alone but she doesn't let that turn her into a mopey sad sack. Instead, she takes her future into her own hands and flies across the world to find her destiny. That's pretty ballsy in my books.

- Jason. He deserved a post of his own. Read about why I loved him so much HERE.

- Daniel. How can you not fall in love with a guy who says this: “I love you. And I can’t be without you any more. I want to be everything to you. But if I can’t, then I’ll be what you want me to be. Your friend. Your debate sparring partner.” A crooked smile as he paused before proceeding. “Your designated driver. The guy who picks you up the next time you pass out in the hallway. Heck, I’ll even settle for being the guy who gets his eyebrows singed – just so I can give you my shirt when you burn all your clothes off.”

- Simone. He is a Fa'afafine with a wicked sense of humor and I warmed to him the second he appeared. I almost jumped up and down when I read about him because I learned about Fa'afafine at University and it's the first story I've read that highlights this interesting culture.

- Those of you who know me well will know that food is one of my main loves. And man can Lani describe delicacies to make your mouth water. At one point I was like huh? is Jason in this scene with his top off? I just want to eat this food!!!!!

- Those Telesa ladies are some badass mofos. Part of me really disliked them but another evil part wanted to see them unleash hell. If you're looking for a read where the badies are bad but their motives are in that grey area, this is the book for you.

- I can't help but be drawn to the underlying environmental theme in this book. I'm not sure if Lani meant for this to happen or if it just came out because of the Telesa mythology but as bit of a greenie I really enjoyed the lesson.

Things I wasn't so keen on:
- For a very short time I thought Lani had gone the route of Cassandra Clare and made Leila and Daniel long lost siblings....I don't want to give too much away but I kinda wished a certain aspect of the mythology had come to light earlier. Although I know it will be explored in the next book of the series.



Lani has been kind enough to offer two copies of  TELESA to two lucky readers. You can choose from the print version or the e-book version. To enter, please fill in the form below. The giveaway is international and will run from today until 23 October 2011. The winners will be drawn using Good luck everyone!!

*I'm pretty new to Google forms so if this form stuffs up I apologise in advance :(


  1. Ooh, a 9/10! :) Nice review Lan. I also died from that speech from Daniel - with the shirt off his back and everything *sniffles* However, I'm on Team Simone all the way, lol.

  2. Sounds really good!

    *crosses fingers & hopes she wins*

  3. Elizabeth: Yeah if I had to choose between the three boys I would go Simone too!

    Beth: It's a great book. Highly recommended.

    BJ: Good Luck! You'll love it. Leila is such a strong heroine.

  4. I would love to join, but I have no clue what GFC is or stands for??

  5. Oh god now I feel real silly xD joining!

  6. Noia: Don't feel bad! I didn't have the slightest clue what GFC was until I started having to join lots of blogs for follow friday!

  7. I really haven't read much about Samoa, but I know a lot of Samoan Americans who live in my area (Southern California). It sounds like an interesting read!

  8. Awesome review. Sounds pretty interesting I love the cover for that too! Thanks for stopping by! :)

    Livin' Life Through Books

  9. This book sounds really good. I adored the quote you shared from it--Daniel sounds so cute! Great review! Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

  10. Awesome review! I've been really wanting to read this book, but I don't have an e-reader. I think Lani is the bomb, so I'm convinced her book is, too.

  11. Hey Lan. Definitely entereing when I get to a computer that doesnt block all the wonderful gadgets like the giveaway applications. Anywho, you won my giveaway!!! I sent you an email so respond with your address within 48 hours so I can get the book to you. You are included in my post about the winner here Awesome Review by the way!

  12. so I guess the link didnt work. Its here:

  13. This sounds like a really good book. I like to see the characters outlined. It makes me really want to read this book!!

  14. Loved reading your review Lan - and so buzzed that you already knew what 'fa'afafine' means! How and where did you study that interesting concept in Samoa?! Team Simone!
    Youre the first person to note the strong environmental 'message/theme' in the book. Thank you for identifying that! It was one of those secret undercover missions of mine when i was writing the book. Didnt want to be too obvious or preachy about it but to me, the best descriptor for Nafanua's covenant sisterhood would be that they're Environmental terrorist warriors...with some kickbutt earth powers thrown in.
    Thank you for a great review, thank you for taking the time to read TELESA!

  15. Hey Lan!
    Man, this sounds great. Firstly, I love the cover; it drew me to the post. Second, I already follow Lani and love what she has to say on her blog. She's hilarious :)
    Great Giveaway and review. I'm definitely entering!
    Ninja Girl

  16. i loved everything about this book. im soooo obsessed over it! i was excited to turn every page to see what was going to happen next. and by the time i was nearing the end i just didnt want it to end. i shouldve waited to all books were out haha!.. but i just couldnt wait over the reviews and so forth!... my dream boy will be DANIEL!.. argh .. he made me cry in that book.. i mean, come on, who cries reading a book and he also made me laugh!! #teamDaniel for life!. but someone else who made me laugh harder was SIMONE! I have my faafafine friends and I got to tell you, they remind me exactly of Simon .. whoops i mean Simone! .. i give it a 10/10..

  17. So I'm in chapter 2 of this book now, and decided to go back and read your review of it because you're the only person I know who has read it. Must I say that I'm in love? I think you can tell. Makes me want to go to Samoa and see if I can feel the culture as I felt it in this book. I didnt want to eat, to do anything but read, but alas! My poor poor stomach just yelled at me so I had to get up and do something productive (I'm at work and have been for 7 hours. Havent done any real work yet and it's about time to go.)


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