Review – The Gatekeeper’s Staff by Antoine Bandele

blog post - t j young

Digital Review Copy Details.

  • Title: The Gatekeeper’s Staff (TJ Young & The Orishas #1)
  • Author: Antoine Bandele
  • Narrator: Nekia Renee
  • Genre: Own Voice, Magic, Young Adult, Fantasy, Folklore
  • Source: NetGalley
  • Publication Date: 19 Jun 2021
  • Format: audiobook
  • Duration: 15 Hours, 32 Minutes, 20 Seconds

The Gatekeeper’s Staff, Book 1 in TJ Young & The Orishas was an epic adventure, up there with the sagas of old.

Set in a world very like ours, where magic is practiced but hidden, we meet our hero TJ. TJ is the second of three children and the only one without magical ability. After the tragedy of his sister’s death, TJ is thrust front and centre into the mystery of this untimely event.

It was heroic, dramatic full of suspense and the best thing yet was that this world was a mystery. I know about the standard heroes, Viking, Greek, Roman, Marvel, DC, etc. But this world of West African mythology and folklore is new to me.

I’m so pleased that I listened to the audio version which allowed me to emesh in this richly detailed world, plus I would never have been able to have benefitted from the full effect of the spoken Yoruba words It’s too easy to compare The Gatekeeper’s Staff to similar YA books with magic and Gods (Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, etc) however this series is in a class of its own. It’s illustrating culture, educating as well as entertaining.

If I had a complaint, I would say it was too long: 15 hours and 32 minutes is a long journey to take with someone you’ve just met and not sure of yet. Then when it got to the end, I wanted more. It was fantasy, folklore, YA, family dynamics, friendship, betrayal and magic all rolled into one satisfying read.

Thank you Antoine Bandele for a great read, one which I will be sharing with my kids and for the audio production Nekia Renee was amazing, Yoruba good, USA accents excellent. Nigerians speaking English abit wobbly. But all in all fantastic narration.

My thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for a copy of this audiobook in return for a candid review.


4 Stars - Really Liked It

Female, in her 40's who reads when she can, often to the detriment of sleep. Enjoying most genres and formats with a preference for ebooks, mainly for convenience

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4 star rating explained

4 star rating explained