Review: Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

This is one of those books that I’m probably going to be recommending to many people… you should read this book!

What it’s about

From the Goodreads blurb:

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.

My thoughts

This was my first book by Rebecca Roanhorse (definitely planning to read her earlier work soon), but I still feel it’s safe to say she’s a fantasy genius. 😉

Black Sun is book one in a planned trilogy, so a lot of it is world-building and introduction of the many primary characters. The writing is very good and I had a difficult time setting the book aside for even a moment—I was glad to have both the ebook and audiobook so I didn’t have to for long. The characters are very diverse and incredibly fascinating. I want to know more about Xiala, Serapio, Naranpa, and Okoa, all of whom are complex and rich in backstory already.

This is excellent fantasy, full of prophecy and legend, gods, priests, and giant creatures. It’s brutal and bloody, sexy and enticing, and endlessly entertaining. The only complaint I can make is that it ended too soon, and with an abrupt cliffhanger that’s going to have me eagerly awaiting the second book.

I also highly recommend the audiobook, which is read by a great cast of narrators. The pronunciation of some of the names and terms was a welcome addition to my reading!

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy in exchange for this honest review.


(really early) ARC review: Pride & Premeditation by Tirzah Price

I don’t usually post reviews this far before publication, and I’m not going to spoil anything, but this book is pretty awesome and I need to talk about it.

What it’s about

From the Goodreads blurb:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young woman who desires a law career must be in want of a case. So when seventeen-year-old Lizzie Bennet hears about a scandalous society murder, she sees an opportunity to prove herself as a solicitor by solving the case and ensuring justice is served.

Except the man accused of the crime already has a lawyer on his side: Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the stern young heir to the prestigious Pemberley Associates law firm. Lizzie is determined to solve the murder before Darcy can so that she can show the world that a woman can be just as good as a man. (The fact that Darcy is an infuriating snob doesn’t help.) But there’s still a killer on the loose, and as the case gets more complicated, Lizzie and Darcy may have to start working together to avoid becoming the next victims themselves.

My thoughts

A bit about me: I am an Austen enthusiast. It could be argued that I’m an annoyingly obsessive Jane Austen fangirl, but I digress. I’m also a Book Riot consumer who enjoys Tirzah Price’s work. While I like an occasional mystery, it’s not my go-to genre, and I have a love-hate relationship with anything that can be labeled YA. I was thrilled to receive an ARC of this book, and I’m even more thrilled to report I loved it.

Pride and Premeditation is (unsurprisingly) a retelling of our beloved Pride and Prejudice. Only the Bennets live in Cheapside, where Mr. Bennet has a law firm called Longbourn and Sons, which is of course funny because he has only daughters. Elizabeth wants very much to work at the firm, despite regency expectations for women. A shocking murder has occurred, and a Elizabeth hopes to represent the man accused of the crime—but Mr. Darcy, of rival firm Pemberley Associates (of course) beats her to it. All of our favorite characters are here, slightly altered to fit this story, but still true to how Austen wrote them.

This book is labeled as YA, and Lizzie is even younger here than in the original, but I’m pleased to report that Pride and Premeditation has none of the YA tropes or annoyances that usually turn me off. It’s well-written and obviously respectful of Austen’s work. The mystery kept me guessing until very near the end, Lizzie is just as funny and witty as she should be, and Darcy is just as vexing and appealing as always. I loved the touch of modern feminism added in (even if it’s not historically accurate) and the fun of adding a little murder to one of my favorite drawing room dramas.

Pride and Premeditation is scheduled to be released April 6, 2021. I can’t wait to buy my copy and discuss this book with my fellow Janeites. I’m also pleased that it appears this will be a series, with Goodreads showing the next two titles as Sense and Second-Degree Murder and Manslaughter Park. I’m am so here for those!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my free copy in exchange for an honest review, and thanks to Tirzah Price for loving Jane and for writing this lovely book.