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"This is the story of my life as a young girl following Hannibal and his army from Carthage in North Africa to Iberia, and then over the Alps toward Rome. I never reached Rome, but then neither did Hannibal. I left him after the battle of Trebbia, taking with me his last remaining elephant, Obolus, and my friend, the slave girl Tin Tin Ban Sunia. This book recounts the first month of our long journey."
“Let me go!” I yelled and turned my head to stare up into the ugly face of Sulobo, the slavemaster who had owned Tin Tin Ban Sunia.
He put his knee on my back to hold me down and pulled my hands back to wrap a rope around them.
I screamed when he pulled the rope tight. “What are you doing to me?” I cried.
Sulobo didn’t answer. After he bound my hands, he tied another rope around my neck and then yanked me to my feet. He used the rope to pull me along the riverbank, going upstream away from Obolus.
“Where are you…” I stumbled over an exposed root in the darkness and almost fell. “Where are you taking me?”
“Shut up. You’ll find out soon enough.”
We turned away from the river and went up a wooded hollow where shabby huts and tents lined a foul little stream smelling of human waste.
I cried out for help but no one answered.
At last, we came to a ragged old tent set apart from the others.
“Wake up in there,” Sulobo said when he stopped at the tent flap. “I got something.”
I heard coughing and hacking inside and then a muffled voice, “Who’s that?”
“It’s me, Sulobo. I got the Elephant Girl for you.”
By Christine at Bookthumbing
Hannibal’s Elephant Girl by Ariion Kathleen Brindley is set 229 BCE at a river camp near Carthage (North Africa) and follows Liada, a 12 year old girl, and her daily adventures. Liada is pulled from a raging river by Obolus, one of the elephants being trained for war at the camp. Liada has lost her memory and is taken in by Yzebel and her jealous son Jabnet to assist her with feeding the soldiers who visit her tables. During Liada’s daily work, she runs across many other camp members; Tin Tin Ban Sunia who is basically mute other then saying her name over and over, Hannibal the leader of the elephant army. and Tendao a mysterious figure who seems to appear when Liada is in trouble. She also develops an unusual connection with Obolus. This friendship with the elephant causes admiration by some and suspicion by others.
I really enjoyed this book even though I am not as young of an adult as the suggested audience. The descriptions of the camp, the city of Carthage and even the clothes of the those at the camp were very detailed and beautifully written. The story also immediately grabbed my attention and there were some great “what is going to happen next” moments where I could not wait to discover the final outcome. The story is full of adventure, mysticism and the timeless theme of family and friends will stand by you through both triumphant and difficult times. The ending is left open and I cannot wait to see what other adventures Liada discovers.
By Linda Ellen at Bambi Reads bambireads.blogspot.com
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters are well developed and there's never a dull moment with Liada and Tin Tin Ban Sunia. This book kept me up at night because I was intrigued and I wanted to know what would happen next. I was definitely intrigued by Tin Tin Ban Sunia. The scenic depictions, the terms used and the events that occur are true to the time and place in which this story takes place: in a camp near Carthage, in North Africa, year 229 BCE.
Liada is a brave girl who is about twelve summers old. Despite finding herself on foreign territory and despite having lost her memory, she thinks for herself, she's not afraid of adventure, and she does what she believes is right. She values the friendships she creates and she is selfless, which is not a common trait.
I love the characters of this story. Hannibal is born to be a leader and he's not full of himself like the soldiers he commands. He's an honourable man (at only the age of seventeen/eighteen!) He's believable, and so are the other characters, a number of which are quite young and yet they have to grow up so fast. I don't think I'd be clever enough to bargain for trades at the age of twelve. I also think I would be scared out of my pants if asked to mount on an elephant.
The story mentions slavery and war, but it is the themes of family and friendship that prevail. The author warps readers effortlessly into a different time period, and yet the story itself may well be timeless.
By Yozan Mosig www.historytimes.com
This is a beautifully written book, sensitive as well as thrilling, with well-developed characters that bring history to life. The portrait of the young Hannibal is sympathetic and believable, while the atmosphere and setting greatly enhance the narrative. Brindley skillfully interweaves historical details (which are almost always correct) with a gripping, pulsating tale which makes the novel hard to put down. An amazing accomplishment, particularly considering that the language and the substance make the book enjoyable and appropriate for young and old. Highly recommended!
By Tatta Reid
This is a wonderful adventure story for young adults, but I found it very enjoyable and I think middle school children will love it too.
Twelve-year-old Liada is pulled from the river by one of Hannibal's elephants. All she remembers is being ill with a fever and then two men throwing her from a bridge. Yzebel, a camp follower, takes the girl in and puts her to work serving food to the soldiers who come to Yzebel's tables. While running errands, Liada meets Tin Tin Ban Sunia, a slave girl. Even though they have trouble communicating, the two girls become friends and help each other out of trouble.
Hannibal is only seventeen at this time and his father has just placed him in charge of the elephant training camp. His orders are to prepare 60 elephants for battle and transport them from Carthage to Spain. As the story progresses, he has to find a way to prove his authority over the four thousand soldiers and workers of the camp. His opportunity comes about by way of Liada. Liada and Tin Tin Ban Sunia are banned from Elephant Row after Liada causes an uproar with the elephants, but they slip away at night to visit Obolus, the elephant who saved Liada's life, and also to see Calogo, the thirteen-year-old water boy who likes Tin Tin. The two girls also go to the battle training field where they get into even more trouble.
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