Monday, October 12, 2020

Book Review | BLACK SUN by Rebecca Roanhorse

BLACK SUN by Rebecca Roanhorse
Publication: October 13, 2020
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Imprint: Gallery / Saga Press
Genre: Historical Fantasy / YA
Rating: ★★★★★

A god will return
When the earth and sky converge
Under the black sun

In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.

Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.

Crafted with unforgettable characters, Rebecca Roanhorse has created an epic adventure exploring the decadence of power amidst the weight of history and the struggle of individuals swimming against the confines of society and their broken pasts in the most original series debut of the decade. -Goodreads

BLACK SUN is so immersive, I came up fully soaked in awe!

The worldbuilding is vast and vivid. This book is the first in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, wherein the readers are introduced to Meridian, a continent so unique yet also very familiar -from the clothes down to cacao as currency. Although the book is Pre-Columbian Americas inspired, hints of Polynesian culture are present too. Since Polynesians share the same origins as the indigenous peoples of the Philippines, it’s fascinating to see familiar things –seafaring, knife and pole fighting, and the sun-eating bird.

The plot is taut and fast-paced. The storyline kept me engaged throughout, from the propulsive opening to the cliffhanger ending. Every scene awakens and builds emotional connections. And Roanhorse certainly knows her political maneuverings very well. They evoke the primal instinct to react for self-preservation and social justice.

The ensemble is very inclusive –race, gender, status, impairments. Intriguing, social stigma has no place in this book. Each character is fascinating, representing a strategic purpose. Like the plot, they are manifold, continually unfolding to give the reader a broader image of the premise. Here, romance can be abstract, but not unsatisfying, nor less heart-rending.

Every detail of this book reveals in-depth research and rumination. Rebecca Roanhorse wrote a very powerful starter and the best book I have read this year. Kudos to John Picacio for this lovely cover I am shamelessly coveting for my bookshelf. Lastly, I want to point out that this is not “a little closer to great.” THIS IS GREAT, Ms. Rebecca. Congratulations! 


About the Author:
Rebecca Roanhorse is a NYTimes bestselling and Nebula, Hugo and Locus Award-winning speculative fiction writer and the recipient of the 2018 Astounding (Campbell) Award for Best New Writer.

Her novel Trail of Lightning (Book 1 in the Sixth World Series) won the Locus Award for Best First Novel and was a Nebula, Hugo and World Fantasy Finalist. It was also selected as an Amazon, B&N, Library Journal, and NPR Best Books of 2018, among others. Storm of Locusts (Book 2 in the Sixth World Series) was a Locus Award Finalist and was longlisted for the Hugo Award. It also received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist, and was named an Amazon, Powell’s, and Audible Best of 2019. Her novel, Resistance Reborn, is part of Star Wars: Journey to The Rise of Skywalker and a USA Today and NYTimes bestseller. Her middle grade novel Race to the Sun for the Rick Riordan Present’s imprint was a NYTimes Bestseller and received a starred review from Kirkus. 

She lives in Northern New Mexico with her husband, daughter, and pup. She drinks a lot of black coffee. Find more on Twitter at @RoanhorseBex.

*Thanks to Simon & Schuster for the uncorrected proof in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobook! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.


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