Published: 01/02/2013
ISBN: 9781780884271
Format: Paperback

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In 1967, considering herself to be destined for a life of mediocrity, Barbara Spencer hi-tailed it to the West Indies to watch cricket, the precursor to a highly colourful career spanning three contin... read more

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Legend of the Five Javean
by Barbara Spencer

A thousand years ago, with magic and sorcery dominating the Mongolian Empire, Zheng-Li, a powerful sorcerer, attempts to overthrow the emperor with a vast army of monsters. Five Javean, from a race of magical warriors, offer to rid the empire of his evil presence but a hundred years passes before the last monster is wiped out and Zheng-Li is captured. Centuries later, the story has passed into legend; tales exist that wherever great evil raises its head, the five warriors will appear.

12-year-old Liz is different from other children. She can read her brothers thoughts as if they were her own and when he begins to have nightmares, sees the monsters and the menacing oriental figure clearly as he does. Beyond being told they are adopted, Liz and Phil know nothing of their past and Alison Shaw, their mother, is determined to keep it that way. She takes the family to London for a few days of sightseeing, staying at a hotel run by Tom McFaddean, an explorer with an unusual hobby for collecting antique models of fighting men. Before returning home Liz and Phil buy a piece of jade for their mother from the local market. Next day, their house is ransacked and Liz attacked by an animal which disappears in a blaze of green light.

That night, young Fred from next door alerts the family to the presence of monsters in their garden. In the nick of time Tom McFaddean appears with the irrepressible Fred in tow. He warns the family that the monsters are Xantu and the creature a yuppy, an evil spirit sent by Zheng-Li to destroy the jade and the two young Javean. Then, with Alison wielding her hockey stick and Fred his catapult, the five go out to do battle. They must now turn their attention to the remainder of the legend. Does the presence of the monsters mean that the sorcerer has escaped?

Legend of the Five Javean is a thrilling tale of fantasy fiction that will appeal to children aged 9-12 years old. Set in 1959, the action takes place in a bygone age of radio and picture houses.

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"I decided long ago that you can either be cowed by the absurdities of life or lampoon them."

My love affair with both life and words began in 1969, when ‘Fashion’ Magazine paid me the goodly sum of £25 to write an article about travel. Other articles followed and from these humble beginnings came children’s books, full of rib-tickling humour and scintillating action.
However, my desire to wax lyrical about the absurdity of life remained and whilst journeying by train to some far distant school or to a signing at Waterstones, I began scribbling down my thoughts. Blogs, anecdotes and short stories followed. Now, of an age to remember the past, I thought, why not? There has to be heaps of people around like me … well, not exactly like me but near enough to enjoy and remember how life once was.

Age and the Antique Sideboard will be published in August 2017.

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