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.


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