ABOUT: A NAÏJERLAND SAGA, #1
With her only son murdered in a banned sacrificial ritual, Nkem flees with her young daughter, Obiageli, to find her king and bring her abusive husband to justice.
However, it quickly becomes clear that the powerful, oppressive, and malefic king had allowed the brutal ritual to continue—including the sacrifice of his own son—and Nkem becomes the hunted.
As Nkem tries to find sanctuary, aided by the king’s sympathetic head henchman, Odera, her dead son, Dike, reaches out to her from the spirit world to comfort and protect her in any way he can.
Children of the Shadows: Unearthing The Ritual is the first in a trilogy that explores an ancient ritual still practiced in some African countries to this day and one woman’s fight for justice and peace for the innocent child victims.
Preview the prologue
the first few chapters
What readers are saying about Children of the Shadows: Unearthing the Ritual ...
"Uzoh’s words are architecturally combined to transport the reader into a cosmic interface which subsumes reality. I could feel, touch, smell and engage with the imagery which added to the authenticity of the tale. The book captures your imagination instantly and colourfully depicts anachronistic customs, culture and poses cosmic questions. The protagonist is beautifully developed throughout the story and her character development is artistically unveiled. I laughed, cried, sighed and my heart raced as I journeyed through the narrative which was well paced. Another thing I thoroughly enjoyed was the language used throughout the book, the words were extremely intentional and directed the reader carefully through the prose. Definitely a page turner and looking forward to the next in the series. A literary work of art!" - Ama Peters, September 03, 2020.
"Wow, this is a beautifully written, enjoyable book, which I'm glad I stumbled upon. It gave me a rare insight into an African sacrificial practice that I did not know existed and the author does well to describe the social conditions and structure in which such a ritual could take place. I had some apprehension when reading the blurb that a book of this subject matter might contain graphic details or be too dark, but that was not the case. The author is careful and sensitive in his handling of a brutal topic, focusing more on the fallout of the sacrifice and introducing a spiritual element, which highlights family bonds and the strong connection of maternal and sibling love. The descriptions are artfully delivered and the characters are fascinating. I especially liked Odera and Dike, who help the grieving mother, Nkem, to reach out for a happier life. It was this desired outcome that kept me turning the pages. Nkem is such a strong and brave woman, it is easy to side with her and want the best for her future and that of her young daughter. This was a delightful read told by an author with a unique voice and strong writing skills - C.C. Uzoh is a true storyteller." - Author Michelle Saftich, July 02, 2020.
"Children of the Shadows is a well-developed and engaging read. Descriptive passages with vivid imagery envelop the reader in a nail-biting tale of murder, betrayal, and love. The book weaves different perspectives and character narratives together with clarity and finesse. While Children of the Shadows addresses the horrors of a real-life sacrificial ritual, it also plays with fantastical mythologies which lighten the overall atmosphere of the book and lay the foundation for a satisfying read. Overall, it was highly enjoyable, captivating and difficult to put down. I look forward to reading the upcoming volumes in the series." - Samara M, May 11, 2020.
"Isn’t it just great when you find one of those books that completely drags you in, makes you fall in love with the characters, and demands that you sit on the edge of your seat for every nail biting bit of it? This was one of those books for me." - Rita Onuorah, March 25, 2020.
"In the book Children of the Shadows: Unearthing the Ritual, author C.C. Uzoh shows humanity at its worst and what one mother is willing to do to protect her family. This book is an eye-opener to the fact that some of the horrific and barbaric rituals are still being practiced in modern times. Uzoh manages to capture readers’ hearts and grip them tighter and tighter, until the end of the book. Overall, the writing is very good. Uzoh does a fabulous job with setting description to the point of making me feel as though I’m right there looking at it in person. The dialogue is strong and true to each person speaking ... This is a book I would recommend to anyone who likes to be challenged while learning something about other parts of the world. It’s an edge-of-the-seat story at times, making it a page-turner." - Judge, 27th Annual Writer’s Digest SP Book Awards, December 4, 2019.
"WOW! What a read. This book was highly recommended to me and I'm glad that I read it. I could not put the book down and wanted to know what will happen next with the characters. The author is very descriptive and eloquent in his writing. Not a heavy or complicated read. I enjoyed the book so much that I am sad that it ended the way it did because I wanted the story to continue. Hopefully more will be revealed in the next 2 books. What happens to Adaku and the King? What happened to Namdi ... did he eventually make it to the cave? Does the Queen end up with King Ikuku? The ritual must end ... but does it? Please hurry with the next 2 books! I loved the first one! Thank you." - Peta-Gaye Atkinson, December 3, 2019.
"Brilliant book with a lovely blend of mystery, fantasy, passion and the supernatural. Amazing details and vivid descriptions place the reader inside the book with the characters. The ending is very unique and leaves you wanting more and counting the time until the next book is released." - H. Ovando, November 17, 2019.
"In a book that introduces a whole new world that many of us did not know existed, the author makes you understand perfectly the power and pain associated with this ritual. When you finish the book, you realize how much you learned, not only of the ritual at hand, but how the author has opened parts of your imagination you didn’t know you had! The author’s writing, characters and scene descriptions linger in your mind for days. The surprises you come across will bring your emotions to new levels. This is an emotional, educational, powerful and thought-provoking indulgence you must read. The author has a great ability to create and foster suspense …especially as I (and many others) sit and await the release of Book 2!" - Tammy O, November 7, 2019.
"Volume 1 in this trilogy has been nothing less than intriguing. The author has a way with words, which keeps me engaged in every aspect of the book. The plot is well constructed and thought through which is evident in the unfolding of different events throughout each chapter. C.C. Uzoh’s first hand knowledge of the rituals and the way it is portrayed definitely allowed me to feel somewhat of a profound connection to each character, especially Nkem. Overall, the book gives a thrilling explanation of the events that take place in Africa that someone like myself would never imagine or could even comprehend. This has been a definite eye opener. I enjoyed every page and can't wait for volumes 2 and 3 to be released. I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for different pieces from this author. A job well done sir." - Alecia Brown, June 27, 2019.
"(The author is) an exceptional writer and likely a poet as well. (The author's) use of imagery is decadent and delightful, (the author's) connection to nature profound. (The author seems) to have an innate understanding of human nature. I am intrigued with every page. As I read I am thinking, this is my aunt ... this is my mother ... women can be critical ... we are all this family ... mystery swirls - pathetic fallacy abounds ... am eager to read the next book. Tremendous energy flying off the pages ... The pace of the story ... all that unfolds in two days was astonishing. The underlying themes of good versus evil, hope versus disparity resonate throughout each action, character development and study of the terrain and society. I vacillate between deep pain and anguish with the stark knowledge that these rituals against the most vulnerable continue. At the same time, through the story, I feel hope ... the story, the author's imagination, shedding light on what is still going on is beyond anything I have read before. There is magic in the pages and I slipped away from reality for a while." - Ann Jovanovic, April 13, 2019.
"... Absolutely adored it. ... amazed at (author's) talent for character development and truly good story telling. I felt like I was a part of the adventure every step of the way and could really connect with the characters and their situations. The (author's) ability to engage readers and alter their perspective is the gift of a true writer." - Ellie Moller, March 20, 2019.
"Must read! This book is a full package of emotions: sadness, anger, fear, romance just to name a few. The story itself is very unique and intriguing and makes you want to keep reading to find out what's next to come. The way the book is written doesn't even need illustrations; the author paints the pictures through his words. This book definitely went beyond my expectations and makes me eagerly wait for the next one in the trilogy." - K, Sarmini, February 27, 2019.
"Children of the Shadows ... a gripping fiction novel that immerses readers in an intriguing and fantastical story that explores the dark side of rituals and a woman's search for justice for herself and her children. Readers of all ages and backgrounds will quickly find that they are glued to the pages as they follow Nkem's flight and search for safety ... expertly combines fiction, fact, and supernatural elements that will spark readers' imaginations and create a fast-paced narrative that is sure to have readers on the edge of their seats to see what happens next." - Ashley Pascual & Jade Robertson of Austin Macauley, February 12, 2019.
"C. C. Uzoh’s Children of the Shadows is a suspenseful and dramatic fantasy novel that questions what people will sacrifice for survival and power ... The writing is beautiful and poetic, with ornate language and drawn-out sentences that increase the novel’s drama. Italics differentiate Nkemjika’s personal thoughts from the narration. Descriptions bring locations to life through sensory language and abundant imagery ... The novel is the first in its series, and the end leaves some characters and questions pending, but the main story arcs are clearly and satisfactorily resolved. Children of the Shadows is a unique, emotionally stirring fantasy novel focused on faith and family." - Delia Stanley, Foreword Clarion Reviews, 4/5 stars, January 10, 2019.
"I love the book! It's amazing." - Sydney Simmons, January 3, 2019.
"I was thoroughly entertained, and I can't wait to see what happens to the characters in the next series. The author did a good job of concealing the plot and it kept me reading to see what was around the corner. It's a blend of fiction and reality which adds to the adventure for me. I wasn't sure I'd enjoy a book about rituals, but I did!!" - Peta-Ann Daley, January 1, 2019.
"This book was beyond what I imagined, it was quite intriguing. I can’t believe Dike's father died just like that. Adaku is indeed a leopard, I didn’t see that coming at all. Looking forward to Nkem's love story in the next book and hopefully the king gets to suffer for all he has done." - Margaret Olaniran, January 1, 2019.
"The writing is quite literary and filled with detailed descriptions that cover all senses. There is an elegance to the writing. Superb title and subtitle. It grabbed my attention immediately and then later when I realized what it meant, it seemed just perfect. The prologue is intriguing; establishing the overall situation of stress, tension, grief and loss without giving away too many details and pulling me right in, making me interested in learning more. The tension is maintained right through chapter 3 and onwards through chapter 5. Nkem is a fascinating character; with a sharp questioning mind, she is wary, tries to keep peace and is aware of the wrongs being perpetrated as well as her rights. The way the chapters rotate between the characters is masterful. Chapter 27 produces yet another twist! The level of palace intrigue and power-mongering among the chiefs is really something. The fight scene in chapter 51 is action-packed and full of tension! This story is not slowing down one bit! And the suspense after that was set up beautifully. Great ending to the book with lots of threads left to be picked up in the next instalment. Great to also have the first chapter of the next book as a teaser. The book is intriguing on so many levels! The characters are very well developed; the story arc is consistently strong; there is lots of tension, suspense and intrigue. A fine story that was an absolute pleasure to read." - Mary, December 31, 2018.