Thursday Reviews at Inklings
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
October, the month to read mysteries, horror, and suspense... but how about a fantasy novel with a little bit of all of the above? That is definitely my preference and New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Resistance Reborn, Rebecca Roanhorse, wrote just the right book. Inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas, full of magic, intrigue, and prophecies, Black Sun will keep you on your toes.
The very first few pages of Black Sun will certainly give you Halloween vibes. A mother that carves out her own son's eyes? ouch. But if that is a little too much for you don't let it deter you from reading it, not many scenes are that gory and there is a much bigger reason and purpose for it. And the boy, Serapio, grows up to become fearless, a vessel for the gods, and easily the most powerful character in the book.
The story is centered and told from the perspective of four different characters. As the story unfolds their lives and fates intertwine. The first, and easily my favorite character in the book was Serapio. We first meet him when he is just a boy. His journey to the man be becomes is compelling and heartbreaking. His mother sacrifices herself to make him more than what he is, a crow god; his father casts him aside; and his tutors teach him not with kindness but with a firm hand. When the time comes to fulfill his destiny he embarks on a journey across the seas to the town of Tova. The captain of the ship is Xiala, our second character and equally as fascinating as Serapio. Xiala is more than just a sailor, she also has magic in her veins. With her magical powers she rules the sea and all in it with just a song. Their journey across the sea is not easy and the crew is afraid of them, of what they are. The two of them become friends and confidants and their interactions added much needed humanity to a book full of magic, prophecy, and political intrigue.
On the other side of the ocean, in the city of Tova, are the other two main characters of the story. The winter solstice is fast approaching in the city, and although it is usually a time for celebration it coincides this year with a solar eclipse, unbalancing the world and weakening the sun priest. Nora, the sun priest, is doing all she can to convince those around her to get more in touch with the people and their needs. Her actions are not welcomed and they try to cast her out. In the end, that might be what saves her. Or so I hope... We won't know until the next book comes out. Cliffhangers will be the death of me!
The other powerful establishment in the city of Tova are the followers of the Carrion Crow clan. They have been waiting for the prophesized return of the crow god so they can take down the sun priest. The Crow Matron's son, Okoa, is our last main character. He doesn't really know who to trust and as of now it is hard to tell what his part will be in this trilogy.
If you are a fan of fantasy you shouldn't let this one pass. It has a great and original storyline, compelling characters, and the world building was done really well. It is also a great read for this time of the year if horror is not something you can stomach but you still want a book with an edge for Halloween.
Released Oct 13th, 2020