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Book Review of Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse


My Rating:

The first novel of Nebula Award-Winning Rebecca Roanhorse’s Between Earth and Sky series paints indigenous North and Central America lore in a new and glorious light.  

A colorful, vividly imagined world, Black Sun explores the power of politics and religion. Through Sun Priest Naranpa, the vision for more approachable religious authority creates tension and discord in fellow priests’ ranks. Serapio, born in a distant landlocked city, is trained through sacrifice and pain to become the god’s vessel, Grandfather Crow. Sea captain Xiala carries the powerful magic of her kind, the Teek, that would have men willing to kill for her eyes to wear them like jewels. 

Xiala and Serapio will become companions, maybe even friends, on a long voyage that will take him to Tova, where he will seek revenge for the Night of Knives and become the god he is destined to be. All three characters drive the story forward without abandon, and all three are on a collision course set by the countdown to a winter solstice marked by an eclipse. 

Immaculate world-building is woven expertly with the themes Roanhorse skillfully explores. Black Sun is both immersive and haunting. There is something ethereal about the story, almost reverent. Serapio’s introduction is eerie and magnificent, a poetic exploration of a mother’s determination to make her son a god. The devotion explored in the moments of poisoning her son, of making him watch the sun until he goes blind, is both terrifying and beautiful. 

Chapters are marked by location and time until the Convergence and excerpts from essays or books from the world Roanhorse has created. The shifting timeline, from ten years before the Convergence, to 20 days before, creates building tension as the countdown winds to a close. 

There is much still to come from the Rebecca Roanhorse and the Earth and Sky series. Fantasy fans will feast on this first installment, Black Sun, and eagerly await what will follow. 

Many thanks to Rebecca Roanhorse, Gallery Books, and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review

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