Tzia: The Book of Galatéa

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Pub Date 23 May 2023 | Archive Date 31 Dec 2023
Martinus Simons, Hilverloo Publishing House

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An epic fairy tale adventure that seamlessly blends imagination and reality, to weave an unbelievable story that will leave readers on a mouthwatering cliffhanger.

Reminiscent of classic fantasy favorites, Lewis Carroll's 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' and L. Frank Baum's 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz', 'Tzia: The Book of Galatéa' will take middle-grade readers to Tzia; a mysterious island where a perilous quest of evil witches, ancient giants, and lordly lion, determines one teen girl’s magical destiny.

Led by its unusual writer, Mister Sanamon, and accompanied by the magical illustrations of artist Zsófia Ötvös, this deliciously dark fairytale delivers a suspense-laced plot of destiny, family, and good versus evil.

In Tzia’s debut title, Galatéa’s story is told through the eyes of her future daughter, Theo, on her fourteenth birthday, when she is approached by a very unusual mouse-like old woman who introduces the unsuspecting Theo to her family history and the quest she must now undertake, as her mother did before her.

Toggling between the past and the future, the very remarkable, albeit unbelievable, quest of fourteen-year-old Galatéa on a mythical Greek island that was hidden from the civilized world, unfolds. In fact, the mystical island, Tzia, had been home to generations of sisters, ancestors of Galatéa’s, with one sister in each generation undertaking a fateful journey upon their fourteenth birthday, learning the secret their family has so carefully guarded.

An unbelievable world on the island opens up before the young Galatéa, one that is full of wonder and beauty and yet also darkness and doom. As with each “sign bearer” who came before her—displaying identical odd markings on their wrists—Galatéa has been chosen, tasked with taking a treacherous journey through the island to find the powerful lion whose fate is intertwined with that of the girl’s family and who is key to unveiling the secrets that will restore the perilously broken balance of the land.

Betrayed by a wicked sister, Galatéa must avoid a coven of witches hunting her, solve difficult riddles to get beyond gatekeepers, and unravel tricky mysteries.

Meanwhile, Theo learns everything she needs to know to prepare herself for her own quest.

An epic fairy tale adventure that seamlessly blends imagination and reality, to weave an unbelievable story that will leave readers on a mouthwatering cliffhanger.

Reminiscent of classic fantasy...

Advance Praise

BOOKLIFE (by Publishers Weekly) - EDITOR'S PICK

"Sanamon debuts with a captivating and imaginative fantasy novel that seamlessly blends the realms of dream and reality. Mining the vein of fanciful classics like the work of L. Frank Baum and Lewis Carroll (...) at its heart, Tzia: The Book of Galatéa is a story of family, destiny, and magic.

Its unique storytelling format and host of engaging and surprising characters will appeal to readers who enjoy fantasy novels with a lot of spirited invention, a love of language and mischief, and a touch of family drama. The intricate, dream-like plot offers a captivating reading experience that will leave readers eager for Sanamon's next adventure."


"Tzia is a study in wonder, adventure, and growth that will delight middle-grade fantasy readers looking for something akin to C.S. Lewis's classic 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe', but far more layered in a form of magical realism that juxtaposes elements of fantasy with reality.

Libraries and readers seeking a compelling adventure will find this first introduction to the Land of the Lion to be magically compelling.”

— D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review


"Tzia: The Book of Galatéa is like a magical blend of Alice in Wonderland, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and something different.

I’m curious about Mister Sanamon’s unusual name, which is the same as that of a mysteriously compelling character in this tale. Where does the line between fiction and nonfiction end?

Tzia was a creative adventure, and I eagerly recommend it to fantasy and adventure lovers.”

— Ann Linus for Readers’ Favorite

BOOKLIFE (by Publishers Weekly) - EDITOR'S PICK

"Sanamon debuts with a captivating and imaginative fantasy novel that seamlessly blends the realms of dream and reality. Mining the vein of fanciful...

Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9798987699904
PRICE $19.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 11 members

Featured Reviews

This was a wonderfully done epic fantasy novel, it had a great fairy tale element going on. I enjoyed going on this journey and thought it worked well overall. The characters were what I was looking for and worked well in this universe. Mister Sanamon does a great job in creating everything that I was hoping for and look forward to more.

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Tzia: The Book of Galatéa is a wonderful fantasy novel. The world building was fun and believable, and the side characters added to the adventure. There were some surprising twists and some parts that were darker than I expected. I also loved the drawings throughout the book. Overall, I enjoyed my time reading this novel, and am looking forward to reading more about Theo's adventures!

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An interesting story about a peculiar island and a unique lineage of women. Kind of eerie and dark, but at the same time sweet. I really enjoyed it.

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I've been reading this one out loud with my ten-year-old son, but it's a long, slow process so I decided to read ahead a bit ... or, you know, all the way to the end. (Shh, I won't tell if you won't.) Tzia is an enjoyable middle grade fantasy novel, reminiscent of several classic fantasy novels (everything from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to The Neverending Story) meshed together into something new and completely different.

This bildungsroman starts out as a rather slow burn but picks up quite a bit in the second half. It begins with an “ordinary” young girl boarding an airplane and eventually progresses to talking cats, witches, magical doors with riddles to solve (which must have been strongly inspired by a scene from the film Labyrinth), and a quest to save a world in danger. It was engaging and fun, and my son has really enjoyed it so far (together we're around the 40% mark). The characters are well-written and likable (well, the ones who are supposed to be likable, anyway) and the world-building is fantastic.

Be forewarned, however, that this book ends in a major cliff-hanger with the main character's story yet to be told. That's probably to be expected considering it's labeled as a “Part One,” but it does mean that those of us without patience will have to wait for the next part of the tale to be written. Bummer. But, still, an excellent read so far – I look forward to reading more about Theodora and her adventures!

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book to review.

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This book grabbed me and I cannot wait to read the next one! There is a lot of names to keep track of but it’s a good read for older middle grade kids.

I really enjoyed the unique magic and family connections.

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