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on 24 July 2011
Tilly Greenway & the Secrets of the Ancient Keys: Book one, Watchers, Essi Tolling, Relic, 2011

Is Tilly Greenway the new Harry Potter? His fans will love this book because it actually explains the mysteries we find in the world of magic and wonderment. Essi Tolling combines a fast-moving plot of a race between Good and Evil with gorgeous pictures of flower-filled gardens and shadowy forests. This delightful story takes us on a magical adventure from a futuristic London over-run by the bad guys, across historic sites in Wales and Southern England to the Grail mysteries of the Glastonbury landscape. We even slip across into alternative universes to discover some secrets of ancient times.

Tilly Greenway will appeal to a wide variety of readers; no doubt it will become a leader in its genre. Children and the young at heart will love the action-packed adventure as we soar with our heroes Tilly and Zack through the skies in the hidden realms of unicorns and dragons. Conspiracy buffs can enjoy an edge-of-the-seat race to save mankind from the Director of Terror and total manipulation by her agents of Evil. Truth seekers have unexpected access to descriptions of time, our cosmos, astral travelling, intuition, dreams etc that leave us in no doubt that we have a generous reminder of the forgotten skills we need in today's complicated world.

This is the Da Vinci Code for kids of all ages. If you like puzzles and ciphers you will love the challenge of solving the clues in the Amber Book and finding the Ancient Keys, and like me, you'll be dying for the next instalment about The Hidden Hand. I'm already wondering Whose Hand, What will It Do, Which Side Is It On??? This is a great read and, for those seeking the next level, a truly wonderful insight from a Messenger of our Time. I encourage you to buy this book and treat yourself to an amazing journey, or give your friends and all the kids you know a gift they will treasure forever.

Polly Butler, Norfolk Island, Australia
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on 6 June 2011
Tilly Greenway and the Secrets of the Ancient Keys by Essi Tolling

A really exciting fast moving book full of imagination, truth, and science fiction, yet so carefully researched, could it follow in the steps of 1984 and become another classic? Easy to read and full of so many twists and turns one wondered where truth might begin or fiction die. It made such compelling reading that at the end, you somehow felt it was not the end, and that you were part of a living brilliant story, whatever your personal beliefs and thoughts. I, for one, am eagerly awaiting the next book in this amazing work with growing impatience. Not normally a great fiction reader I found this book a really captivating experience. It opened up in one's own mind, thousands and thousands of questions, on where are we going, what of the past, and what of the future? How should we treat DNA modifications and to what might they lead, but all in such an easy manner. It stimulated one's own imagination and gave plenty of opportunity to ask oneself...."what if?" Animal life, extinct and living, mingled with human life of today, and good overcame evil, while love developed as goodwill and cooperation between groups of living creatures became the norm. There is something about this first book that makes it not only interesting and appealing, something for which a short review, such as this, cannot even begin to do justice, but prevents you from putting it down. Essi Tolling has covered so much in this first volume. His short chapters keep the story moving at a rapid pace yet each has been deeply thought out to hold your undivided attention. In fact at one stage reading some of the chapters, the words literally had a lilting poetic flow, while you caught your breath. An absolutely super read together with historical fact carefully and effortlessly mingled with fiction, to create not only a fantasy but a captivating and mystical plot, and a book suitable for almost all ages. This book and if those that follow are anything like this, they should lead to a super fantastic film series like the Harry Potter saga. Essi Tolling will deserve it. Tim Dill-Russell.
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on 16 April 2011
Tilly Greenway is a vivid, multi-layered story that will entertain readers of all kinds.

The adventure/mystery/suspense plot line moves quickly and keeps the reader engaged in a page-turning can't-put-it-down kind of way.

Along the way though, we are treated to respites where the author skillfully wraps the reader up within the language. There are quiet chapters spaced throughout that are so expressive that you can't help but find yourself there alongside the characters...seeing the colors, smelling the fresh air, tasting the food...feeling the wonder and peace that they do.

Then it's back into a quickly unfolding action/suspense plot that keeps the pacing just right.

The world of Tilly Greenway is a rewarding one for seasoned readers who will recognize the real (surprisingly real, if not often forgotten) places, references to wisdom teachings, and characters from Egyptian, Nordic/Germanic and Celtic mythologies as well as hints of more modern characters (one particularly enigmatic character has a hint of Tom Bombadil in him).

Make no mistake, this is a highly original tale...but one that feels instantly comfortable.

For younger readers, the story is the thing...this is an epic fantasy adventure after all!

Like any good story there is an underlying message that could mean slightly different things to different people.

So we end up with an intellectually rewarding, action/fantasy/adventure/suspense, epic story that also makes you think? Like I said, something for everyone!
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on 22 June 2011
I loved this book! It's unique. It's current yet timeless. It tells the truth about what is happening in the UK and the world, encouraging the reader to open their eyes to the reality of things. It explores the nature of fear and the way it is used by the greater forces that rule the World to control the human mind and degrade the human soul, whilst the author also paints pictures of great beauty and truth and love of the Earth.

With dragons, a Unicorn and angel-like Guardians, this is a story to entrance an older child in much the way and at much the same reading age as a Harry Potty novel. Yet adults will enjoy the story whilst being more aware of the subtext. The book thus reaches readers of all ages and various stages of enlightnment at their own level, much as Watership Down did.

I particularly enjoyed the use of special locations in the UK - all well known and loved by seekers of ancient wisdom. The novel hits on deep truths and knowledge frequently, although much of it will be lost on many readers I think.

This book blends fiction, non-fiction, myth, current affairs and a well concealed spirituality. Lovers of Harry Potter novels will love this book too, although this book is a lot closer to home and has the potential to play a role in the unfolding drama of the unique period of World History that we currently find ourselves in. (Whoso readeth, let him understand!)

To liken the book to Harry Potter is to do it a disservice. This book is much more profound, teaches great wisdom, reveals truths in a way that a Harry Potter novel doesn't begin to attempt. Yet it is as engaging and enjoyable. A much better investment of reader time!
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on 23 April 2011
A Technicolour page turner of an adventure, whether you are 9 or 90. Like in Dan Brown's novels, the author has integrated real world settings, but additionally integrates real issues with fantasy. Where the line is between them depends on who you speak to but you'll find: Dragons, Unicorns, Ancient Aliens, Nibiru, Science, History, Egyptology, Genetics and a good old battle between good and evil.

The Watchers is real thought provoker for what it really means to live a harmonious and fulfilled life and the relationship between ourselves, others and the planet. It's a ripping tale; full of colour and texture to, not only entertain, but also stimulate imagination and curiosity. After the first couple of chapters I immediately ordered extra copies for my 13 and 14 year old son, who are fans of Philip Reeve and JK Rowling.

Each reader would get something different from the story. For me, Essi Tolling raises questions of mankind's existence in history, modern society and our environment and who really is controlling our lives. Yes, I want my sons to be entertained, Yes, I want them to think for themselves and to be aware of societies real agendas. Yes, I want them to live true to their heart and to live with love and not to be influenced by fear...

Essi Tolling does not give the answers, Essi Tolling provides the questions from which answers are realised from within... and it's all wrapped in a fantastic story which blurs the edges between reality and fantasy. Great story, great characters and provokes thought about our existence - a work of art from the heart.

And because of the real locations, me and my family can visit the historic sites with new curiosity and level of communication for the adventure commonly known as life...

Looking forward to Book 2...
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on 7 May 2011
This lovely, bewitching book, "Watchers", the first book of the Tilly Greenway series, begins weaving its spell even before you reach the first page of Chapter One. Essi Tolling's introductory quotes and the secrets found in the Foreward cause the mists of the Old Magic to swirl around you and draw you within its green, green spell of enchantment as you wend your way to the first page of the first chapter. . .

I could not put this book down. It is a weave of contemporary characters, players from every realm of magic that exists, and an exquisite mastery of descriptive imagery straight from myths and legends delivered with momentum, excitement, joy, and anticipation of the wonderful adventures these children are privileged to be drawn into. Reading this book will bring you some of the happiest moments you could wish for.

The dark plot to take the world over by the deepest, darkest, most insidious means that can be devised by Evil is gripping even though you are reading it in a story, not in the newspaper.

Essi Tolling has a way of clutching your heart with a cold, cold fist of hate and malignance and the next moment showing you how Tilly and her step brother Zack see so clearly from instinct precisely what to do. . .or not do to win their way free to carry on toward their destiny. There are hidden depths to this book, just as there is allegory peeping at you from every corner, but in such a way that readers of all ages will engage in the subtleties without realizing they are learning the difference between Good and Evil.

I love how elements have been added and melded into ancient places and figures of legend. There is so much love and delight and suspense and villainy radiating from every page that you will find this story irresistible and a joy from the first moment you open the front cover.

"Tilly Greenway" holds its own with glorious ease in the world of magic and fantasy in this first entry into the public eye while telling about choosing the right thing to do for its own sake.

Thank you, Essi Tolling, for this fragment of the magic I love so much presented in a new and compelling manner. I cannot wait for your next book!

Blessings upon you!

"Escape! From An Arab Marriage: Horror Stories of Women Who fled From Abusive Muslim Husbands" and
"Thirty-Three Secrets Arab Men Never Tell American Women: A Dissection of How Muslims Treat Women and Infidels"
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on 17 April 2011
Tilly Greenway is a find..for all ages, for those with their heads in the clouds and for those whose feet are planted firmly on the ground. The characters are fascinating, and the images of the dragons make my head spin. Quite literally the book is full of colour and imagination. I cannot wait for Book 2, please author write it soon. Every child in school should read Chapter 37.. and dream........
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This is the best book I have ever read. The characters are deeply enduring and credible. They have a vulnerability that is both quaint and pleasingly refreshing. This is a story that does indeed ask the questions of not just an era but our entire existence. The short chapters make this book irresistably compulsive; as a working mother with very strict time demands I could hardly put it down.The descriptions are so magically crafted you cannot help but live the adventures with Tilly and Zack. Their naivety is very cleverly used to introduce very complex sociological and pyschological issues of normality, rules, control and reality itself. As a graduate, it reignited my desire for reading and our natural instinct for satisfying inquiring minds. As a mother also, the wisdom within is something we can all draw from to just stop,reflect and not take for granted what we all have. Sometimes the best things in life really are free and natural and what should be protected, as we all define our own reality. This is a must for any family bookshelf,thank you.
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on 17 May 2011
I absolutely loved this book. It grabs you from the very beginning and takes you on a magical journey that stimulates your imagination and mind. There were many times this book had my head reeling from what might actually be true.
It's a fantastic story between good and evil and how not to live in fear, which is part of Tilly & Zacks journey. It is truly a magical mix of fantasy and truth; you only need do some research on events and places to see that the author has in fact integrated quite beautifully the deep hidden facts that have long been forgotten or indeed not told to us with some vivid fantasy.

There is so much suspense, villainy and charm that will keep you entranced for many an hour. This is a fabulous book for teenagers and adults alike and would make a great addition to any home or school. My 15 year old daughter who reads JK Rowling and Elizabeth Chadwick loved it.

The strong and heroic characters along with some beautiful illustrations and the creative writing make this one of the best books out there. It would be no big surprise if this book doesn't end up on the "big screen" at some point in the future.

One of my favourite reads ever....I can't wait for book 2
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on 20 May 2011
Essi Tolling's Till Greenway and the Secrets of the Ancient Keys-Watchers, is a book filled with twists, turns, and even deep thinking. It encompasses many themes from many different corners of fantasy. From mythical prophecies to newly invented creatures fresh from the author's mind. You will not find the traditional goblins, orcs, and Cyclopses. Instead we are faced with Crow Magnons, Skin Crawlers and other various creatures known as GEMS. The book was well written and th story was well told. From chapter one I was engrossed in the story and had to know what was going to happen to Tilly and Zack as they continued on their path to save the world. The thing I enjoyed most about the book was how Tolling fused myth with the real world by having the evil doers at ISIS genetically engineer the evil ones (such as the forementioned Crow Magnons and Skin Crawlers) and with the non-evil ones Tolling did an amazing job making it seem like all the creatures belonged in the real world and could very well be living among us now.
I am anxiously awaiting the next installment in this epic statement.
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