FeaturedYoung Adult Fantasy

Will of the Mischief Maker


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This well-written short story is a richly detailed and compelling introduction to the rest of the T.J. Young and the Orishas series.

Being a trickster god comes with both benefits and challenges. Returning to the Sky Realm for the first time in a while, Eshu shakes the limitations of the Mortal Realm and goes in search of his old friend Obatala. The two Orishas reconnect over a game of ayoayo and a jug of palm wine, despite Obatala’s initial resistance to the drink. Several rounds later, Eshu begins to enact his sneaky plan to convince his old friend to revitalize skills that have long gone untouched.

This short story is the prequel to the series T.J. Young and the Orishas and introduces the characters of Eshu and Obatala in rich detail. Written for an advanced middle grade or young adult audience, the beautiful descriptions place readers squarely in the Sky Realm, where everything is a bit less predictable than the Mortal Realm. Using his Ashe, or power, Eshu is able to easily traverse the space, searching for Obatala and floating at times among his ethereal surroundings. Each carefully crafted, detailed paragraph defines this world and creates a palpable backdrop for the story.

Occasional words are used that are not in English, and these are italicized to stand out from the rest of the text. A glossary is included at the end of the story to help define the potentially unfamiliar vocabulary, but the general meaning of each word is also able to be deduced by context. References to mortal colloquial words and phrases add an element of reality even as these characters are interacting in a superhuman, immortal space.

Whether or not readers are familiar with the mythology of the Orishas, this book serves as an accessible and memorable depiction of Eshu the trickster god. This fast-paced, short story gives readers a taste of what to expect from the remainder of the series and encourages further reading as the tale draws to a close. Fans of the Tristan Strong series will excitedly dive into this similar collection of stories featuring characters from West African folklore. This is a well-written, captivating addition to libraries for teen readers.

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I review books for kids, tweens, and teens and blog about them on my website. To date, I have over 500 published reviews. Sign up for my monthly newsletter at www.maryrlanni.com to get recommendations straight to your inbox! I primarily write reviews, but will create video reviews upon request.

About the author

Antoine lives in Los Angeles, CA with his girlfriend and cat. He is a YouTuber, producing work for his own channel and others. He is also an audiobook engineer. Whenever he has the time, he’s writing books inspired by African folklore, mythology, and history. view profile

Published on May 22, 2021

5000 words

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Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

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