Mwikali and the Forbidden Mask

From the Series The Intasimi Warriors

  • Interest Level: Grade 4 - Grade 7
  • Reading Level: Grade 5

12-year-old Mwikali is moving to a new school in Nairobi and just wants her life to be normal. But when she meets Soni, Odwar and Xirsi who reveal that she is descended from an ancient bloodline of legendary Kenyan warriors, all hope of a normal life fades. Now, with an array of malign forces massing, Mwikali must delve deep into the past to discover her ancestry, learn to harness her extraordinary powers, and enter a race against time to defeat a village elder who has turned to dark magic in an effort to gain ultimate power…

A fantasy adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat right to the moment of its breathtaking conclusion!

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Interest Level Grade 4 - Grade 7
Reading Level Grade 5
Category Diverse Books: #OwnVoices, Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diversity, SEL: A Self-Awareness, SEL: B Self-Management, SEL: C Social Awareness, SEL: D Relationship Skills, SEL: E Responsible Decision-Making, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2022
Publisher Lantana Publishing
Imprint Lantana Publishing
Language English
Number of Pages 228
Publication Date 2022-10-11
Text Type Fiction—Science Fiction/Fantasy
BISACS JUV012050, JUV013030, JUV037000
Dewey [Fic]
Dimensions 5 x 7.75
Lexile 730
Guided Reading Level W
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, Reviewed, and Starred Reviews

Author: Shiko Nguru

Shiko Nguru is a Kenyan author and content creator, sharing her motherhood journey in the most genuine and beautiful way she can @ShikoNguru. The Intasimi Warriors is her award-nominated debut series, inspired by her love of East African mythology.


  • Georgia Children's Book Award Finalist, Long-listed, 2024
  • Nile Book Awards Nominee, Nominated, 2024


The Horn Book Magazine

“In this mythology-minded adventure tale, Nguru provides readers with a solid introduction to Kenyan lore . . . and culture. . . . The emotional structure of the story . . . will resonate with many readers.”—The Horn Book Magazine

Foreword Reviews

“With its important lessons about self-acceptance and its action-packed scenes of fighting monsters, Mwikali and the Forbidden Mask is a delightful fantasy novel.”—starred, Foreword Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

“Mwikali’s path from self-doubt to confidence inspires . . . A heartfelt page-turner.”—Kirkus Reviews