Pipi and the Midnight Express

When chance delivers a ride on the Midnight Express,
Pipi embarks to see the world.

What she discovers is a reality where magic really exists,
threatened by dark forces set on war…


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Pipi and the Midnight Express

The first book of an amazing saga

Pipi is an average girl from a small town in the early 1980s—a little shy, a bit lonely, and very curious. She loves her home and family but dreams of more. She wants to see the world, and she has a train ticket to get her there. When a chance encounter with an eccentric homeless-man puts her on board the Midnight Express, she discovers a world rich with the magic of nature.

The Midnight Express is not your normal train—it’s more Wild West than modern ones. It has a compartment just for chocolate and a magical museum. And behind a hidden door marked for magicians only, the mysterious stranger awaits.

The mysterious stranger is a tall, dark skinned middle aged man with a long handheld wooden cane, who is wearing a cape and a vest bearing a hodgepodge of various items. He calls himself a wizard and speaks of how imagination and willpower can shape reality and of the dark forces that now threaten the magical community.

Fans of Harry Potter and C. S. Lewis’s works will delight in this fresh tale of spiritual quest, magic and mystery. Where imagination is magic, nothing happens by chance, and the most curious journey of all is one of self-discovery.

When Pipi meets a mysterious stranger aboard the Midnight Express, she’s thrilled. She’s longed to see the world. And the stranger and the odd train, full of curious compartments, are more interesting than anything she’s imagined. When the mysterious stranger with the long handheld wooden cane claims to be a wizard and speaks of magic and omens, Pipi scoffs. She may be a small-town girl, but she knows there’s no such thing as magic.

Then she meets the Druids of Ascetir and the Free People of the Desert, ancient communities steeped in the magic of nature. Pipi experiences their secret world-balancing rituals, and she discovers her own inner light. When the Midnight Express is threatened by dark forces set on world domination, Pipi must harness her new power to save the train and shift the winds of coming war.

Journey with Pipi, and discover how imagination and following your dreams can change the world.


Born in 1983, fantasy writer Francesco Mantica grew up in Turin, Italy.

Inspired by a childhood love of writing and travel, Mantica attended universities around the world—from Milan, Rome, and Spain to Berkeley, California—and graduated with two degrees, one in journalism and one in economics for arts, culture, and communication.

The author’s lifelong passion for reading and writing, along with his interest and curiosity for mysticism and magic, yielded the saga “The Journey of Pipi”, a fantastical journey of magic, spirituality, and self-discovery.

Francesco Mantica


Pipi is a teenager who lives with her family in a small village near the Baltic sea. She has just turned 13 when, driven by a mysterious “call”, she decides to leave home for the first time in her life. What she could have never imagined was that she would travel on a magic train, in the company of a strange character who claimed to be a wizard.

From her small village she journeys to hidden forests and arid deserts, meeting unknown native populations, learning the mysteries of magic and discovering the most curious thing of all: herself.



Balthasar is a wizard. No, not a wizard with a wand or a magical stick, but a real wizard. A man with great wisdom and deep self-knowledge, capable of performing magic thanks to nothing but his will. Born in Timbuktu in the late 1920’s, he was initiated by one of the most powerful magicians in the world and he fought by his side in the global magical war that broke out in 1939, suffering a severe injury to his leg.

When the war finished, he served the Magical Community for many years. At the end of 1979, for unknown reasons, he abandoned his regular activities and went on a spiritual retreat in a monastery in the heart of Central Asia. A couple of years later he took the Midnight Express to come back home and he discovered that, to his great surprise, a young passenger was waiting for him…



The train manager was used to children visiting his wonderful Midnight Express, the train that connected all the magical communities in the earth. However, when he saw a northern European girl with a ticket in the Gdansk train station, he hesitated for a moment: how strange it was to have a young passenger at that time of night!

In any case, he had no time to think about it: in a brief time, the train had to leave again, and just a few minutes before he had heard a strange noise coming from the engines, but that was nothing that his amazing ability to fix broken things could not resolve. Once again, the train will leave on time, at 12 midnight precisely…


There is little information on the old homeless-looking man that the druids call Emrys. His unusual behaviour, his peculiar taste in Hawaiian shirts, and his passion for hammocks make him look a bit strange at first sight; but this is nothing compared to his impressive knowledge of the natural world, his unbelievable magical powers and his charisma. Nonetheless, his unconventional leadership style and his outside-the-box thinking have often been a source of either incomprehension or controversy within the Magical Community.

In the Early 1980’s he was having his daily nap on the pink, sandy beaches of Bermuda when he was woken up by a swarm of annoying butterflies. Was it just a bizarre occurrence, or an omen that had to be investigated? Only the enigmatic old man could find the answer…



Protecting and preserving the people of magical communities, as well as monitoring every movement in their territories and watching out for any possible threat is a hard job, but someone has to do it. The people known as “the rangers”, freely riding from a border to another, are the ones in charge of it in the seven continents.

Some mysteries around this elite corps, however, still remain. Who created the rangers and why? Who is in charge of them? And, more important: who watches the watchers?

The Last Shaman


Who is the mysterious individual that is playing the flute in the shade of Kilimanjaro?  What does he really want? And why do people call him “The Last Shaman”? Nobody knows for sure. But one thing is certain: winds of change are blowing in the direction of the Magical Community.



Discover all the secrets behind the magic of Pipi’s universe


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Responsible: Franceso Mantica. Purpose: Responding your questions, sending of my publications as well as commercial mails. Legitimation: It is thanks to your consent. Recipients: your data is hosted on my email marketing platform, Mailchimp located in the US and hosted by the Privacy Shield. You can exercise your rights of access, rectification, limitation or delete your data at info@pipiandthemidnightexpress.com .For more information see my privacy policy.