Book Review: Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book with a made-up language TW: Sexual assault, abuse, child abuse, animal cruelty/death, sel...

PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book with a made-up language

TW: Sexual assault, abuse, child abuse, animal cruelty/death, self-harm/suicide, violence/gore, kidnapping/abduction, ableism, classism, homophobia, misogyny/sexism

I think I preclude all of my fantasy books with the fact that I tend to struggle through reading fantasy but I really enjoy them. It just takes me much longer to process the info - all the world building, the clothes, the creatures. I’ve just really got to take my time with it, particularly if it’s not more modernized, not magical realism, not the “regular world” with magical elements. And Black Sun was all new to me. Something really neat about the book is that it’s based in Indigenous and Central American culture and history, and that was one of the biggest appeals to me. So much fantasy is white-washed, even if it’s set in areas that are current-day Asia or Central/South America where white isn’t the predominant race and never has been.

Back cover synopsis: 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.

This story follows a few different folks and different storylines, and honestly at the beginning it was a bit of a deterrent. I was overwhelmed by all the different characters and their different stories. But once I got the hang of each of the main characters and their respective plot lines, I was pretty into it. The story was incredibly immersive. I was super into the descriptors of each character, their backgrounds, and the outfits they wore. I can only imagine the beauty of each person in the story, and could truly visualize each and every glorious outfit and ornament.

What really sold me on the book was the very end. So I highly recommend that if you’re reading it and feeling overwhelmed or worried that it’s not a book that you want to finish, I urge you to keep with it because that ending will blow you out of the water. I’m now impatiently waiting the next books in the saga.

"Sometimes it is better to let one live with their sins than to free them through death. A dead priest cannot atone. A live one... well, there is always the choice." - Black Sun, Rebecca Roanhorse

Black Sun is heavily armed with many fantastical tropes and elements. If you’re a person on-the-fence when it comes to fantasy, or if it’s truly not your cup of tea, I don’t think you’ll enjoy this novel. But if you’re into fantasy even a small bit, this is one hell of a story. I cannot wait to journey back into the city of Tova and see what’s next to come.

Goodreads rating: ★★★★☆

*I received a copy of this book free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are entirely my own.

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