Friday, January 8, 2021

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse


If you are a fan of high fantasy but you're looking for something a little outside the time-honored tropes of the genres, then you definitely need to check out Black Sun, Rebecca Roanhorse's epic first installment in a new series inspired by pre-Columbian America.

In the holy city Tova, the sun priest and her followers prepare for the celebration of the winter solstice.  A solar eclipse that will coincide with this festival promises to make this year a time of power and rebalancing the world, and forces swarm across the city waiting for a new world to be born.  At the same time a ship sets sail for Tova.  Its captain is a woman who can calm the seas with a song, and her single passenger is a young, blind pilgrim.  This traveler seems harmless, but as he and the eclipse close in on Tova, a dangerous destiny begins to converge as well.

This series has a lot to offer fans of epic fantasy novels, with its prophesies, intersecting character sagas, and innovative systems of magic.  Roanhorse also clearly set out to push at the boundaries of what you'd typically find in this genre.  As an indigenous writer she was very upfront about wanting to set a fantasy novel outside a typical, vaguely-European setting, and the world she created is so much fun to read about.  I liked the feeling of discovering a new place that you get from Black Sun, and each of the three main characters we follow has a story that I loved to bits.  I cannot wait for the sequel, and cannot recommend reading this enough!

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