Telesa: The Covenant Keeper

Rated 4.95/5 based on 20 reviews
When Leila moves to Samoa, all she wants is a family, a place to belong. Instead she discovers the local ancient myths of the telesa spirit women are more than just scary stories. The more she finds out about her heritage, the more sinister her new home turns out to be. Embraced by a Covenant Sisterhood of earth's elemental guardians - what will Leila choose? More
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About Lani Wendt Young

Internationally renowned Samoan writer, editor and journalist. Author of the Telesa Series and the Scarlet Lies Series. Also author of the nonfiction book, 'Pacific Tsunami Galu Afi', and the award-winning collection of short fiction, 'Afakasi Woman'. The 2018 ACP Pacific Laureate.

Learn more about Lani Wendt Young


Telesa: The Covenant Keeper
When Leila moves to Samoa, all she wants is a family, a place to belong. Instead she discovers the local ancient myths of the telesa spirit women are more than just scary stories. The more she finds out about her heritage, the more sinister her new home turns out to be. Embraced by a Covenant Sisterhood of earth's elemental guardians - what will Leila choose?

About the Series: Telesa
Young Adult fantasy romance inspired by the mythology of the Pacific and set in contemporary Samoa.

Also in Series: Telesa

Also by This Author

Reviews of Telesa: The Covenant Keeper by Lani Wendt Young

Sarah Lynwood reviewed on Sep. 5, 2018

I really liked the characters in this story and found the premise intriguing and well executed. Well done. :) Definitely worth a look-see. Will be reading more from this great author in the future if I can.
(review of free book)
TiraPlum1 reviewed on June 8, 2018

This was a very good story. It includes some great characters, history, wonderful setting (I so want to go to Samoa now). The best part was the mysterious mythology and traditions.
(review of free book)
Sherre Leach reviewed on Feb. 23, 2012

Wow! Thats really all i have to say about this book. I loved it with every fiber of my being and the author is an absolute genius.

Not since twilight have I felt this way after reading a book. Just as I have this feeling that I MUST visit Forks, Washington, I now MUST go to Samoa. That's not to say this book can be compared to twilight. No! It's just that, I must say, I have finally found a book to join the ranks of Twilight, Hunger Games, andThe Mortal Instruments. One I will want to read over and over and never tire of. So much culture and legend and myth. I love it all. This book made me feel great for being brown! I felt that I fit with this book in so many ways. That's not to say I'm Samoan, no I dont think I am, honestly I'm never completely sure what I am so I just claim African American because it's the easiest and the most dominant race in my mish mash gene pool. I just love Samoa (from what I read) and I must see it for myself.

Okay, well enough with that, I must say that this book was great!!! I loved it. I loved Leila because she reminded me of myself in her inner thoughts, and because she was everything I wish I could be on the outside. Oh and Daniel? Talk about gorgeous. I am in love!!! Jason? Oh Jason...I know Leila didn't really want you but I'm always here. *sigh*

This book had my heart racing and my feelings on edge. I read so much in one sitting that my eyes began to hurt and when I finally looked away from the words, black lines from the words danced in my vision. (please tell me I'm not the only one who feels like this) I found myself counting down the time until I could get back to this book. Hating my dog for having to go outside to do his business. Didn't he know I had reading to do! The story line was amazing. I was tempted to go to Lani's blog site to ask her why on earth she hadn't told me this was such an amazing book. I would have read it sooner! I needed this book in my life. When on when will the next book come out??? I need it now!!!!

So here again I leave you with a blog post that probably makes no sense because I have no idea how to put into words what I'm actually feeling inside. There's only one thing I can say. If you've been pondering giving this book a try, just give in.......and if you havent been thinking about it at all, do yourself a favor and still buy it. You wont regret it. 5 SUPER LARGE stars!
(reviewed 44 days after purchase)
Tanger reviewed on Jan. 4, 2012

Very refreshing and romantic, well-written and with a mysterious touch.

I love it and I will read it again
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)
Lan Chan reviewed on Dec. 28, 2011

Once in a while you come across a book which perfectly blends culture and mythology with a healthy dose of action and adventure. TELESA is exactly that book. TELESA is the tale of Leila's journey of self discovery and a coming of age story linked to the TELESA folklore of powerful spirit guardians charged with protecting the earth and punishing those who destroy it. Leila has known loss and abandonment in her lifetime but she shows the maturity and grace of an old soul. Leila takes charge of her own destiny and is responsible for her own actions. She is strong when she needs to be but also vulnerable and she knows when she needs to ask for help. This is wholly refreshing in a genre permeated with weak heroines. I thoroughly enjoyed delving into TELESA and cannot recommend it enough.
(reviewed 5 months after purchase)
Cheryl Vaimoso-Adams reviewed on Nov. 28, 2011

I was introduced to the genius of Lani Wendt Young this year by a friend who follows her blog. (I follow too now.) Check it out at! I began reading Telesa last week and I'm obsessed! If only I hadn't smashed my phone, I would be done reading it already! :-)

I identify with Leila so much. I too am an afakasi American girl who didn't know much my culture or meet my Samoan dad until I was a teen. Lani has done a beautiful job describing the indescribable! The imagery she was able to evoke was so lush that I could almost smell the flowers and hear the waterfalls. I have not yet had the good fortune to fulfill my dream of visiting Samoa, but whenever I get "homesick" for the motherland, I can pick up Telesa and fall in love all over again!

I can't wait for books 2&3 and plan on giving them as gifts to my teenage step-daughters. I know they will love Daniel & Leila's story as much as I already do!
(reviewed 49 days after purchase)
Moana reviewed on Oct. 20, 2011

Hot,thirilling,riveting and wet-my-pants-with-trepidation-and-fear and that was only the first 5 pages.
I've always been a lover of Pacific writing,but most Pacific writers are (for lack of a better word) 'elitist' in that you need to be indigenous to the place or time that they are writing about. L.W.Y has created a novel that caters to the masses but manages to be intimate and engaging and leaves the reader feeling as though Telesa is a secret that you are privileged to have been entrusted with.
I downloaded this book to my iphone and was sneaking time to read it,whenever wherever. With each turn of the page, the characters came to life and with many of them, I felt like I already knew them. Especially the support characters like Simone - the coolest chick on campus and that one "Queen Bee".
The first time Uncle Tuala drove up to the Hallowed Golden Gates of Samco - I closed my eyes and could see everything so clearly, the falesa in Moataa next door to where Daniel lives, the welding shop, Faatoia, Fagalii Airport oi aue!
Lani Wendt Young weaves her words with magic and I was hanging onto every last one of them.
Growing up and being fascinated by the Telesa (Teine Sa) and remembering all the do's and don'ts that my Grandmother to this day will not let any of us wear our hair down at night and insists on the fairer palagi grandkids being indoors before the sunsets.
Bella and Edward who? Leila and Daniel made me feel connected, whether it's because they are Samoan and I felt I could relate more to spirits than vampires, I'm not sure, but if you're looking for romance,suspense,mystery and a cultural exploration steeped in tradition and legend then this is the book for you.
I loved it so much I've ordered paperback copies for everyone I know as Christmas gifts.
Cannot wait for Book II to come out. Hoping Jason goes in the way of Jacob and falls off by the way side.
Team Daniel all the way!
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
Lolina Avia reviewed on Oct. 18, 2011

I didn't want to put my laptop down from the time I started reading. It kept me captivated. Even while at work, I would be thinking about what Leila and Daniel were up to. What Nafanua and her Sisters would be up, to.
I could almost feel Leila's love, lost, pain, anger and frustation and plus many more emotions. I honestly did feel like I was in the story. Then, I get to the end and I definitely can't wait for the next book to come out.
I truly enjoyed this book. There are not many samoan books out there like this. Well done Lani in taking that step ahead and writing this book. I look forward to also reading your short stories until your next Telesa book comes out.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
Tuisavalalo reviewed on Oct. 3, 2011

Telesa was an amazing read. I read it on my computer, which I NEVER do because I usually hate reading on my monitor, but I couldn't "put it down" or rather, turn it off. I loved the depth of the characters and for someone who moved to Samoa as a teen, I really felt like Leila's reactions to experiencing Samoa for the first time were so true. I was completely immersed when I was reading, so much so that I missed the characters and the setting when it was done. Well done, Lani. Can't wait for the next one.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Sieni A.M. reviewed on Sep. 26, 2011

TELESA had everything I've always loved in a good read--romance, humour (where I actually lol for real!), that love triangle, suspense, and action. But more than that, I loved the human traits and qualities the characters possessed, everything that is so unique to Samoa, the Pacific islands and its people--hospitality by the aunt and uncle, kindness from new friends at school, that island humour, obedience and respect to elders (Daniel to his grandmother), etc. I am now truly homesick! I felt the supernatural storyline did not take away from this, but only served to enhance these characteristics. I admired the respect and love between Daniel and Leila, and it was so refreshing to read a story set in a high school where friends can be made easily and teachers are respected. I'm finding it reeally difficult to move onto another novel after reading this one, because I just can't seem to immerse myself in something short of these attributes. Well, that, and the fact that I can't get over Daniel just yet! :) Well done Lani! Looking forward to the next two books in the series.
From Sieni in Israel
(reviewed 28 days after purchase)

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