UP alumna publishes follow-up novel to Afrikaans young adult fantasy series

Posted on May 11, 2023

University of Pretoria (UP) alumna Sunel Combrinck recently published the second book in her Afrikaans young adults series, Die Ontwaking van Winter [The Awakening of Winter].

“This novella tells the story before the story,” said Combrinck, who graduated in 2016 from UP at the top of her class with a master’s degree in Business Management (cum laude) specialising in International Business. “It explains the epic tragic love story between the Winter Queen and Horror King as well as how the entire fairy world started.”

“The characters feature the traits of many people that I’ve met over the past 10 years,” she added. “I have visited so many places and read so many books in this regard that there are so many features that inspired everything. We even toured Ireland.”

Combrinck said that there are not many fantasy stories on the Afrikaans young adult publishing scene and that a series in this genre is a rare find.

Die Ontwaking van Winter includes a map and a very rich world filled with different types of characters,” she said.

Combrinck is a high school teacher at Hoërskool Eldoraigne, and prior to that, she served as a junior lecturer in the Department Business Management at UP and taught Business Management 1 and Entrepreneurship.

She says she has always enjoyed writing and attributes the idea of writing books to her master’s course and the supervisor of her theses, Dr AJ Vögel in the Department of Business Management.

As a businesswoman and alumna of UP, Combrinck believes that alumni have a responsibility to set an example for other students.

“We should show them that dreams can be accomplished if you work hard at it.”

She says she had the best time as a student at UP. What stands out most was that she met her best friend on campus and that some of the lecturers thought they were siblings.

“Also, the campus in itself and especially the small botanical garden became my quiet place to figure out a large part of the world that I write about.”

The book can be purchased at various stores such as Exclusive Books and Bargain Books, and online shops including Takealot, Loot, Amazon and via the Lapa Uitgewers website.

- Author Xolani Mathibela

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