Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky #1)


Black Sun is the first book in a trilogy by Rebecca Roanhorse. Released 13th Oct 2020 by Simon & Schuster on their Gallery imprint, it's 464 pages and available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

This is a lushly imagined and beautifully realized world with magic and majesty and imperfections. The characterizations are stunning and complex and really seem to live and breathe; following their own internal motivations (which aren't always apparent). Like all really well written fantasy, it feels very realistic - the author notes that the world is based on Pre-Columbian culture and it does show its bones, but the story is so much more. I stayed up way too late reading this book and even missed my bus stop reading a particularly engaging bit (totally worth it). 

This is obviously an author who's adept at her craft (she's won pretty much every major award possible for speculative fiction/SF for her earlier work). This is an impressively well written book with precisely engineered pacing and dialogue. There is a fair bit of graphic violence (always in context) including body horror on a child. There is also nuanced and very well written non-binary gender characterizations as well as depictions of non-cis attraction and love. 

I'm really looking forward to what comes next. This is probably my best read in the genre thus far this year. It's complex but definitely worth the effort.

Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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