Watchers by Essi Tolling (Tilly Greenway and the Secrets of the Ancient Keys: Book 1)

8/10 Beautifully written with a new twist on standard fantasy.

Watchers, Tilly Greenway and the Secrets of the Ancient Keys, Book 1 is the debut novel written by Essi Tolling and the first instalment in a new fantasy series.

“What if magic and myth are true and all that we have been told about the history of the earth is false? What if there is a sinister shadow government creating war and chaos in an attempt to destroy humanity? What if there are cosmic cycles that bring truth and lies face to face for one final showdown?

When all these forces collide, Tilly Greenway and her stepbrother Zack find themselves at the centre of a power struggle that reaches back to the dawn of time. What they do next will decide the fate of humanity forever...”

The story revolves around two main characters Mathilda (Tilly) and her brother Zack, they find out that there are more forces present on earth, both good and evil. During their quest they are aided by the good force known as the Guardians led by a unicorn called Amairisian. The Inner sanctum of the Inner Sanctum (ISIS) is the evil force and led by Cordelia Leer. The Guardians help Tilly and Zack awaken the dragons of earth. Together with the Guardians and dragons, Tilly and Zack fight against ISIS, a organization in the English Government, which has planned to wrack havoc in London.

With Watchers Essi Tolling manages to create a solid foundation for a new and fresh series of fantasy novels, the combination of fantasy, state-of-the-art technology and detective story make this highly enjoyable, exciting to read and hard to put down! You just want to know what happens next with Tilly and her companions. Halfway through the book there is a small intervention in which Essi Tolling explains the origins of the Guardians - this was a nice touch. The book itself is solidly and easily written (although sometimes maybe a bit too easy) and the build-up of suspense and the plot itself do pay-off in the end - you will not be let down by a unsatisfactory ending.

“Our world is full of secrets. some have simply been forgotten or misplaced. Others have been deliberately hidden beneath layers of carefully - crafted deception. But the thing about secrets is that, no matter how deeply they have been buried, they cannot stay hidden forever.”
Excerpt from Watchers (Tilly Greenway and the Secret of the Ancient Keys: Book 1)

The book that I read contained several illustrations of characters, places and events that were explained in the storyline. I’m not usually a big fan of illustrations because they more often then not ruin my own imagination of the characters and places, however, I found here that the combination of storytelling and illustrations really did work.

The level of detail within Watchers - though plainly written - makes this novel a highly enjoyable book for both young and older readers. If you think you would enjoy C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia or J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series mixed in with a bit of detective and alternate history then this book is a must read for you. Watchers is a nice twist on standard fantasy and I can assure you that in the end you will be surprised by the subtlety of the tale that Essi Tolling writes. I, myself, cannot wait to start on the next part of the series.

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Essi Tolling's Tilly Greenway and the Secrets of the Ancient Keys series


Tilly Greenway and the Secrets of the Ancient Keys: Book 1

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