Mar Darch

MAR DARCH (pen name for Marianne Young) is one of the UK’s youngest ambassadors, recently serving as High Commissioner to Namibia in southern Africa.  She started her career as a journalist on The Times newspaper before moving into international trade reporting. Since joining the British diplomatic service in 2001, she has spent eight years posted in Africa.  She has worked on a range of political, economic, human rights and conflict issues, including blood diamonds and child soldiers. She lives in London with her husband and three children. Hatchlands is the first novel in the Shadow Game series.


Book 1 in The Shadow Game series

Fantasy meets the African realities of black magic, modern greed and blood diamonds. 

Troubled fifteen-year-old Tess finds her face splashed across the papers when she saves the life of a stranger in a near super-human act of bravery. She is shocked to find her family horrified at what she has done. She realises this is because they are worried that she has drawn attention to her extraordinary supernatural abilities – abilities that manifested for the first time during the rescue. 

Forced to flee her home in the American Midwest after a sinister gang attempts to kidnap her, Tess discovers that all the people around her have been lying: the aunt and uncle she lives with since her parents’ deaths, and even her godfather. She agrees to her godfather’s plan to enrol her at an isolated international college in Africa. There she meets an array of students who all have powers too. 

But Tess doesn’t yet know her own strength, much less how to control it. Soon she has more enemies than friends.  When a local boy, Tembe, goes missing and the school is under attack from rebel militias, Tess and classmates Will and Naro are drawn into a terrifying world of black magic, modern greed, and blood diamonds. 


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