Emily Knight Series by A. Bello Book Tour and Giveaway :)

Emily Knight I Am....
Emily Knight Series Book 1
by A. Bello
Genre: YA, MG Fantasy

Emily Knight I AM... is about a thirteen year old warrior named Emily, who is far from ordinary and she hates it! The daughter of a heroic warrior and the press favourite problem child. Against her wishes she is sent to the Osaki Training School to control her powers. She learns to fly, breathe under water and battle but someone has their eyes set on Emily and now she has to chose between the two people she loves.

Emily Knight I AM... has elements of grittiness that is more mature than other fantasy books. As well as being laugh out loud funny, the characters are real, complicated and relatable. A. Bello pushes the boundaries by breaking the conventions in this diverse, absorbing novel.

Emily Knight touched the bird-shaped necklace on the display. She picked it up and held it to her neck. She thought the contrast of the blue against her caramel skin was beautiful. Emily looked around the shop. The staff were running up and down the stairs, there was a long queue at the till and the burly security guard was talking to a lady pushing a pram.
Emily slipped the necklace into her jeans pocket. She continued to look at the other displays, gradually filling up her pockets with jewellery. Excuse me, but you’re banned from this shop.” Emily recognised the chubby blonde lady, today wearing a pink knitted dress, who was frowning at her. She had caught Emily shoplifting twice over the past few months. Some of the customers stopped and stared. One of them pulled out their camera phone. Emily shrugged her shoulders. “Am I? Cool. I’ll leave.” She turned to go, but the lady grabbed her arm tightly. Hey!” Emily said clenching her fists. Aren’t you forgetting something? That jewellery hasn’t been paid for.” I ain’t got nothing,” Emily spat, unclenching her fists and a small fire flame flickered in the middle of it. “So take your fat hands off me.” The lady quickly released her when she saw the flame. Right. Ahmed,” she called over to the security guard, who winked at the woman with the pram. He marched over to Emily, shouting codes into his walkie-talkie. Be careful, she’s one of them,” the lady whispered to the security guard. One of what?” Emily said angrily, as the flame turned red. Do you want to empty your pockets, miss?” Like I told her,” Emily said, through gritted teeth. “I ain’t got nothing.” The security guard raised his eyebrows and pointed at her pocket. A flower pendent was hanging out of it. Emily’s flame rapidly disappeared. Let’s go downstairs,” the blonde lady said, when she saw the customers staring. “I believe you know the way.” She stared coldly at Emily, who rolled her eyes and allowed herself to be led towards the stairs. Emily placed her forehead on the wooden table, listening to the clock tick. A policeman next to her tutted and shuffled some papers beside her. Emily looked up and saw him reading the newspaper. The headline read KNIGHT’S FREE SPREE IN HARRODS and underneath was a picture of her, holding Harrods shopping bags and six security guards chasing after her. Emily snickered. The policeman looked at her and turned the paper over, so he could see the headline. Stealing isn’t funny. It’s a serious offence.” So I’ve been told. That’s the good thing about being rich, you can buy your way out of anything.” The policeman put down the paper and looked sternly at Emily. “Why didn’t you pay for the jewellery? Or the things from Harrods? It would be petty change to you.” Emily stared at her nails, checking to see if her red nail polish was ruined. “Didn’t feel like it.” The policeman picked up his paper. “Spoilt brat,” he muttered. Emily hit the front of the paper, so that it fell out of the policeman’s hand.
“I don’t care what you, or anyone thinks!” When I get a hold of that girl!” The office door opened and a skinny, scraggy-faced woman with long, oily brown hair and small grey eyes stormed into the room. You!” Sally Meran screamed at Emily, who looked unfazed.
“How many times do the police have to call me because of your stealing? If your father could see you—” Well, he can’t,” Emily cut in, rolling her thick dark hair into a messy bun. “They’ve got back all the jewellery, so can we go?” Do you even know how wrong stealing is?” Sally asked in disbelief, as she walked towards her. I’ve heard it’s pretty bad,” Emily said, smiling. Don’t you be smart with me, young lady,” Sally snapped. Ms, she was caught with two hundred pounds’ worth of jewellery,” the policeman informed Sally, whose mouth dropped open. Which is nothing to the thousands I almost got from Harrods,” Emily said. Enough!” Sally roared, pointing at Emily. “Just be quiet!” Emily sighed and placed her head back on the table as she listened to Sally apologising to the policeman. That was the problem with getting caught. She always had to listen to the same lecture. Sally complaining that she was at her wits’ end with what to do with her, then her husband Michael would say that they were letting Thomas down and they had to be stricter on her. Then Jenny Li, her counsellor, was called and Emily had to talk to her about her issues. Emily didn’t feel she had issues. She knew she was an angry girl, but who wouldn’t be? Her mother had died, her brother had run away causing her father to go and chase after him, so she had no family around her. Emily had a constant ache in her heart that didn’t go away whenever she thought of her family. She often wondered if her dad loved Lox more? Or if he would have left Lox to find her? Jenny said she shouldn’t think such thoughts and of course her dad loved her, but it was hard to tell when he wasn’t around. Sally and Michael were her godparents, but also fostered four children who lived with them in her family mansion. They loved that Emily was a warrior and constantly hassled her to show off her powers. They thought she was cool because she was the daughter of Thomas Knight, the leader of the Five Warriors. The Five Warriors were some of the strongest warriors to exist; Thomas Knight, Roberta Taniana, Hubert Jenkins, Cecil Archinia and Niles Thompson. They built their reputation on defeating evil warriors, using their powers for good, saving lives and winning worldwide warrior competitions. They were treated like rock stars by warriors and non-warriors. Boys loved Roberta Taniana because she was beautiful and strong and girls loved Niles Thompson because he was sixteen and gorgeous, but Thomas Knight was the most popular amongst everyone. He was the only warrior in the world to battle the evil Neci and win. Neci was notorious for winning battles and killing her opponents. Her goal was to be the strongest warrior in the world and she didn’t care who she had to kill to succeed. She had famously killed Cecil Archinia and Niles Thompson in the same battle that Thomas had won. The deaths of Cecil and Niles eventually ended the heart broken Five Warriors. After her first loss, Neci had fled. No one knew where and no one hoped to see her again. Thomas had gone down in history, for being one of the greatest warriors that had ever lived. Emily thought back to the day of when she had got her powers. She was seven years old. She ran crying into Sally and Michael’s room, screaming as smoke surrounded her hands. She felt like her flesh was burning off. Michael had grabbed the bottle of water by his bedside table and thrown it at Emily. The water sizzled as it hit her hands and the smoke disappeared. Sally grabbed Emily’s hands and was in disbelief to see that they were fine with no scars. After that night, Emily had felt different. She felt stronger, faster, her senses were heightened and her body felt lighter. She wasn’t surprised by the changes to her body, or even that they appeared earlier than the average age (warriors usually received powers when they turned thirteen) because Lox and Thomas’s powers had also come early. But she didn’t expect her powers to come and go as they pleased. One minute she could barge through walls, making them c rash down around her, then the next minute she would knock herself out as she charged at the wall and it stayed solid. Emily hated that she was constantly compared to Thomas and Lox. She hated that she had no control over her powers. She hated that the kids at school treated her differently out of fear or adoration. Sally refused to send Emily to private school like the other warrior children in the neighbourhood, for fear that she would end up spoilt. Instead, Emily was sent to public school, but she stood out like a sore thumb. She was harassed with questions about her family, money, even about her famous neighbours to the point where Emily begged Sally to fire the driver and maids and to get rid of the Aston Martin, just so she could fit in a little bit more. But what Emily hated the most was when everyone assumed that she was this brilliant, skilful warrior and she wasn’t. It didn’t help that she lived in Legends Village. An exclusive neighbourhood where the residents were famous warriors. Everyone lived in five-storey mansions with an indoor swimming pool, cinema, training room and a zillion bedrooms. She was surrounded by excellence. She lived next door to Roberta Taniana and Hubert Jenkins from the Five Warriors, so the press camped in Legends Village. They would be outside her door waiting for a story, hoping that they had found the next ‘legend’ in her. One time, she took her little foster sisters, Rosy Lang- Sheen and Yvonne Saunders, to the park and they were immediately ambushed by the press. Bright lights flashed at them and the girls started to cry. Emily had felt an anger rise up in her and before she knew it, most of the paparazzi were on the floor, knocked out. She didn’t know how she had done it, but since then, she had a reputation as a dangerous brat.

I love books for young adults and this one was pretty great!  In the beginning we first meet Lox, who turns out to be Emily's older brother - but he is running away and is never heard from again.  Their mother dies a few years later and then suddenly Emily is 13 years old, stealing and getting into trouble - until she is introduced to Jenny who is a representative of the Osaki Training School where the Five Knights were formed.  I get the idea that it's kind of like a school for magical people, where she will learn to harness the powers that lay within her.  It seems to me that both Lox and Emily have closely related if not the same powers because Lox produced fire in the beginning and then we hear that Emily can do that as well.  At this point, she still has no idea where Lox is, and she hates that everyone is always comparing her to her brother and her father, who was one of five knights with extreme powers and has also disappeared without a trace.  She seems very angry and although she is extremely rich, she steals and doesn't seem to care what the world thinks of her.  And I get the feeling that she LIKES the fact that others are afraid of her and her powers.  One thing I do love about this series is that the heroine is a very strong-willed black woman of power from a wealthy family, and she is very much her own person.  We meet "Neci" in the very beginning, and after reading a little further you discover that Neci is actually the nemesis of the Five Knights and it seems right now as though she has kidnapped Lox and very possibly Emily's father as well.  So she is alone with the exception of her friends and godparents, she has to be able to fight this extremely powerful being with what she has learned.  But she isn't the type of girl who gets scared off easily, she has faith in herself and I love that.  

Emily soon meets a new friend - Michella - at the School and they hit it off instantly.  Of course everyone knows of Emily and has to mention her family, so that just rubs her the wrong way.  I really enjoyed reading about the kids being sorted into their groups and then watching them begin their journeys with their powers.  The girls meet Jason and Wesley, and all four of them are sorted into Ogragon, and Michella seems to be thrilled about that and for some reason so does Emily :)  But when Lox returns and wants Emily to go with him so he can keep her safe, something is afoot.  She fights him at every turn and it's clear she still has a lot of anger at him for disappearing on them 10 years ago.  I really don't want to give away any spoilers, but it just keeps getting better and you will be very happily surprised!

This reminds me so much of the Harry Potter books with a different twist, so it was very entertaining and of course there are even ghosts!!!  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I can't wait to see what Neci pulls out of her sleeve in the next book and how they will fight her off.

Emily Knight I Am...Awakened
Emily Knight Series Book 2

Dark times are upon us. Neci is back and she is more dangerous than ever. The warriors are forced to pick a side and to stand up for what they believe in. The race is on to find the missing warrior first. It's the only way to prevent a war from happening and to stop Neci from destroying everything. Emily Knight has to get sharper, stronger and faster because Neci has made her a target and someone is going to great lengths to hurt her. Can Emily win the race? Or will Neci take her down once and for all?

**Nominated for the 2019 Carnegie Medal!**
**Finalist for London's Big Read 2019!**

Well the second book is out and Emily is back!  Unfortunately, so is Neci.  So once again they have to figure out a way to stop her, but she is more powerful now.  The great part about these books is that even though Neci is the villain, we also see her backstory and she almost becomes a sympathetic character in some ways because of what happened to her.  Of course I am always rooting for Emily Knight though :)  Will Emily and her friends be strong enough in their powers to defeat Neci once and for all?  And why does everyone expect Emily and Lox's father to just come running into the picture after all these years to save the day?  I got the feeling that perhaps their father had gone over to the dark side and no one knew it, but I won't give away the answer to that!  

This series from what I have read is great for pretty much all young adults.  Sure it's a little scary at times and can be dark, but overall I do think that teens will love the storyline and they will really relate to Emily and her friends.  And of course also to the struggles of being a teenager even if they aren't magical.  I think a lot of young people have lost parents or loved ones and been raised by others, and this series definitely puts a spotlight on the fact that you don't have to be the perfect family to have a good life and be strong - that comes from within.  It's a good lesson for all kids to learn and a lot of adults too.  And even though the school is for magical kids, it seems to be a fairly normal atmosphere otherwise - such as boys and friendships and all that stuff that every kid goes through.  Definitely another great read and I wouldn't mind seeing another book in this series at all :)

A. Bello is a young author from North London and the author of the Emily Knight series (Emily Knight I am... & Emily Knight I am...Awakened)

She wrote her first novel at aged 8, where she fought monsters and dragons daily and was first published at aged 12 for a poem she wrote in school.

A. Bello wrote the first in the Emily Knight saga at aged 12, with the intention of filling in a gaping hole in children's fiction for an inspirational, strong, black female protagonist (who can fight like a man!)

A. Bello has received rave reviews for her debut book as well as success with her Emily Knight Warriors pop-up book. She is the founder of The Lil' Author School and co-founder of The Author School. The Author School was shortlisted for The Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2016.

A. Bello has appeared in Female First Magazine, The Mirror, BBC1XTRA to name a few.

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