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The Chicken’s Curse

Historic fiction for children is a genre that is slowly becoming popular and when it comes wrapped up as a romp across the Roman Empire on a rescue mission, what could be a better way to introduce a slice of history that is not often considered as interesting, unless children are fans of the wonderful Franco-Belgian warrior Asterix and his band of Gaulish warriors!

But back to The Chickens Curse, which seems to be a rather unlikely title for a rescue mission in Rome, but as it is to be discovered Felix and Livia are on a mission to rescue Livia’s brother before the Ides of April, when he is to be sent into the arena to do battle with a lion; a sport all Romans though was huge fun.

As rescue missions go, a whole lot of unexpected things and people, and in this case animals, are to be acquired for the cause which include a very selfish, sacred chicken who actually turns out to be a cursed sacred chicken, not at all adverse to using his curse as blackmail to get his way, just adds more hilarious fun to the adventure.

Add a grumpy camel, a rather difficult magic carpet, which were still to be found back in the days of the Roman Empire, but only if you knew where to look, and you have madness, mayhem, a rollicking good sea voyage and of course a blackmailing chicken, set against the truly historic backdrop of Rome during the reign of Julius Caesar and there you have it, a great way to introduce a new slant on history, Chicken style to young readers.

As a finale to this romp through history, hmm, perhaps there is more to it than imagined, even by Frances Watts who wrote the book, there is, at the end, an epic poem from Titus Magius titled The Chicken’s Curse which may go to show that perhaps Titus and Felix did actually get to Iberia and write a poem!

One of the off-shoots to historic fiction is that hopefully the story captures the imagination and raises curiosity as to the true events that did happen during this time in History, which then leads on to discovering so much more about the people and the civilizations that went before.

Author Frances Watts
Publisher Allen & Unwin Children's
ISBN 9781760525569
Distributor Allen & Unwin Children's
Released February 2020