Thoughts on Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Hi Everyone

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on Black Sun. I received an advanced reader copy at the start of the year, in exchange for an honest review. I am late in reviewing it on the channel but better late than never – right?

4 minute video option up on my Booktube channel

Written option

The back cover details say:

A god will return

When the earth and sky converge

Under the black sun

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 even 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.

Thoughts

This book has a riveting plot and excellent character development. Told through multiple points of view, the protagonists manage to have distinct voices and personalities. At the same time, the story elements fit together beautifully as a whole. 

The points of view come from four characters.

Xiala: a hardened sea captain who is all discipline offshore and a bit of a  loose cannon onshore. She comes with a fascinating backstory and is tasked with transporting the mysterious Serapio: around whom the threads of the main plot revolve and who provides our second point of view.

The sub-plots that tie in have got two further narrators: Naranpa the sun priest in Tova and Okoa, the son of the leader of the Crow clan. His voice joins the others toward the last part of the book.

I consider this to be a medium-paced novel; there is a good balance between character reflection, flashbacks, and real-time action. The world-building seems inspired by a blend of the Mayan, Aztec and Inca civilisations. The cast of characters is diverse with LGBTQ+ representation and the author’s clear writing style make even the more complex parts of this story easy to follow. 

I thoroughly enjoyed Black Sun and am looking forward to reading the sequel, Fevered Sun, when it comes out in April 2022

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