Posted by: Lisa Hill | July 12, 2018

Nyarla and the Circle of Stones, (2015, The Fethafoot Chronicles #1) by Pemulwuy Weeatunga


Nyarla and the Circle of Stones is the first in an ambitious series of books based on storytelling from the oldest living culture in the world.

This is the series blurb:

Always wanted to know more about Aboriginal Australia? Come on a journey through time with warriors of the enigmatic Fethafoot Clan. For 50,000 years my clan have solved problems for the Australian Heart-rock people. Now for the first time in our history, you too can explore our stories.

My Clan’s name and its mysteries have always been kept out of public knowledge and history, in my home of Australia. It’s the way the Clan work. To do what they do, secrecy is a prerequisite to safeguard the work and people. For the first time in our long, oral history, we have a means to reveal the long and intriguing history of our covert Clan to other Australians, to the many new people’s who now call this majestic land home: and to the modern world at large. If you were born in Australia, you may have even heard such stories told around campfires and family meals, about the Australian Aboriginal magic man – or Kadaicha, as our people named our Clan many years ago. We call ourselves: the Fethafoot.

During the 10 tales, you’ll find that many of the elder warriors were advanced in spiritual travel and did not travel via ‘shanks pony’ – as walking is often called in Australia. Instead, they used the ancient Dreamtime ‘creation-lines’ running across our country, to move swiftly across their lands. Thus, in a mixture of fear and awe the Clan became known as the Fethafoot – half-man, half-spirit beings – who could come and go at will, leaving no trace: Kadaicha spirit-warriors; The Fethafoot.

And this is the blurb for the Nyarla and the Circle of Stones, the first book in the series:

A cunning and foul being has claimed several lives around the Heart-rock peoples’ great namesake – Uluru – the Heart-rock. The locals are scared to leave their camps. Ceremony has stopped. Initiations, weddings, betrothals are on hold. A bold young warrior, Nyarla, has been sent by Clan elders to look into the matter.

At only 58 pages, Nyarla and the Circle of Stones is a brief but compelling tale.  Set in 1360, (long before colonisation), the story features Nyarla, a young woman who comes to investigate some horrific deaths.  Like the heroes of Greek and Roman mythology, she is fearless and clever but she has to use all her skill and cunning to outwit a monster every bit as memorable as the Minotaur.  It’s a compelling narrative that comes to an end too soon, so that there is an almost irresistible temptation to buy the next book in the series.

BTW There is a mild sex scene which parents might like to check out depending on the age of U/18s reading the story.

Pemulwuy Weeatunga is the nom-de-plume of John Wenitong, of Kabi-kabi Aboriginal, South-Sea-islander, Nepalese and Indian/Sri-Lankan descent.

Author: Pemulwuy Weeatunga
Title: Nyarla and the Circle of Stones (The Fethafoot Chronicles #1)
Publisher: BookBaby, 2015
Source: purchased for the Kindle from You Know Who, $7.98

Also available as a paperback from Fishpond:Nyarla and the Circle of Stones (Fethafoot Chronicles)  for $16.31


  1. […] see my ANZ LitLovers review […]


  2. I’ll try it out on my (15yo) granddaughter

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I pleased to learn of this speculative fiction series for teen readers. There is a rise of picture books, chapter books, and middle-grade and young adult novels chronicling Dreamtime, indigenous history and culture in a myriad of ways like Sally Morgan, Bruce Pascoe, and Ambelin Kwaymullina. Dr. Anita Heiss’ collaborative book project with students on the Yirra and her Deadly Dog, Demon and Demon Guards the School Yard in promoting children’s literacy and understanding of Australian aboriginality from a contemporary perspective. Even though these chapter books are not speculative fiction I thought it was worth mentioning in light of Weeatunga’s book series.


  4. […] Nyarla and the Circle of Stones, The Fethafoot Chronicles #1, by Pemulwuy Weeatunga […]


  5. […] that leads me to my final title, Nyarla and the Circle of Stones, (The Fethafoot Chronicles #1) by Pemulwuy Weeatunga.  Pemulwuy Weeatunga is the nom-de-plume of John Wenitong, of Kabi-kabi Aboriginal, […]


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