Blog Archive

View My Stats
Sunday, February 7, 2021

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhoarse review



AUTHOR INFO: Rebecca Roanhorse is the New York Times bestselling author of Trail of Lightning, Storm of Locusts, Star Wars: Resistance Reborn, and Race to the Sun. She has won the Nebula, Hugo, and Locus Awards for her fiction, and was the recipient of the 2018 Astounding (formerly Campbell) Award for Best New Writer.

FORMAT: Published on October 13, 2020, by Simon&Schuster in USA & due on January 21, 2021 in UK (published by Solaris). Length - 464 pages (HC). Available in all formats. Cover art by John Picacio.

OVERVIEW:

Yeah, it was dark.

Black Sun focuses on the cost of vengeance, religious corruption, generational trauma, and politics. It features fascinating (and fun!) characters on their paths to change the balance of powers in their world. 

Serapio, a young boy raised (and maimed) to become the vessel of the god Grandfather Crow, has one goal - to end the Sun Priest’s reign. To do so, he needs to get to the city of Tova before the solar eclipse. Almost impossible, unless you can count on someone with the right skills. Enter Xiala, a foul-mouthed and hedonistic Sea captain, and general badass. Only she (and her magic) can make the seafaring adventure possible. 

Sun Priest Naranpa, the highest religious authority in the holy city of Tova, is a decent woman caught in political and religious machinations. Others judge her for her low birth and resent her drive to make priests more accessible to Tova’s people. Their stories, set on a collision course, reveal their layered and compelling personalities. Also, each POV character has a different perspective on the story’s events; highly appreciated, as it adds complexity to the world and characters’ fates.

Roanhorse digs into the worldbuilding right away. Ancient powers, god’s avatars, sentient crows, gigantic insects, mysterious powers don’t even begin to cover it. We get lots of detail and symbols that draw inspiration from the indigenous cultures of North and Central America. It felt fresh to me; while we observe a welcomed shift from pseudo-European settings, I haven’t read another epic fantasy inspired by the pre-Columbian culture and beliefs

Even more impressive, however, are Roanhorse’s characters, who keep her tale from getting bogged down in details, no matter how fantastical. Each is an outsider. Serapio is an avatar of the god, but he’s also a young boy speaking to crows and playing with shadows. Raised as a vessel destined to revenge his people, he deals with trauma and a rather narrow outlook on life. I mean, he is a chosen figure, only he’s not here to save the world... Xiala is a Teek, and most people loathe Teeks and see their value mostly as body parts worth a decent price (paid in cocoa). She’s brash and impulsive, but the story reveals her more vulnerable side. Naranpa, despite her high rank in the religious structures of Tova, doesn’t belong there because of her poor background. 

The ensemble of characters feels inclusive–we get queer, trans, and non-binary characters (Roanhorse uses neopronouns xe/xir/xirself to address them), as well as impaired or members of minorities. There’s no social stigma coming with gender-identity or sexual orientation.

I found the worldbuilding impressive, but Roanhorse takes her time to set the stage for the next books in the series. As a result, Black Sun ends on a lackluster cliffhanger and leaves many unresolved loose ends. Readers craving a satisfying closure won’t find it here. I found the characters’ interplay, magic, and the world engrossing and I have no problem with waiting for another fix.

0 comments:

Follow by Email

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “The Big Score” by K.J.Parker!!!


Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Beggar's Rebellion” by L.W.Jacobs


Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “The Arkhel Conundrum” by Sarah Ash!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “The Company Of Birds” by Nerine Dorman!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “The True Bastards” by Jonathan French!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Rumble In Woodhollow” by Jonathan Pembroke!!!
Order HERE