On reading: Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Time to read:

2 minutes

Title: Black Sun

Author: Rebecca Roanhorse

From the back: 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 even 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.

The gist: I haven’t read epic fantasy for a while, but Black Sun was the vibrant, refreshing dive back into fantastical waters that I didn’t even know I was craving for. Roanhorse creates such a vivid world you can’t help but try and sneak back to it whenever you can. The sort of world you stay up late with and can’t wait to come home to. It’s an epic page-turner that insists you spend your waking hours living in its chapters.

Inspired by the pre-Columbian cultures of the Americas, Black Sun paints an interesting, colourful world, filled with magic and darkness and characters who are flawed and engaging and real. It’s vast, but at the same time brings out the small things, the details, the nuances of the characters within this beautiful world.

And it is a beautiful book, no doubt about it. But within the beauty you’ll find violence and rough edges. The first chapter really hits deep and from that point onwards I knew this was a series I was going to be committed to. I care about the characters, I want to know what happens to them, I want to spend more time in the world that Roanhorse has created.

Black Sun is a magnificent start to what’s surely going to be a classic epic fantasy series, and I am absolutely down for the ride.

Favourite line: “Usually,” Xiala said carefully, “When someone describes a man as harmless, he ends up being a villain.”

Read if: You want a beautiful, epic fantasy with original world building and characters you’ll want to spend time with.

Read with: Patience, friend, because the next in the series ain’t out yet.

Get it: Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

ARC gratefully received from Rebellion, Solaris, and Netgalley

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