Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
Between Earth and Sky #1
October 13, 2020 by Gallery/Saga Press
“A man with a destiny is a man who feels nothing,” he whispered to himself.
Rebecca Roanhorse is fast becoming an auto-buy, must-have author for me. If you haven’t read her Sixth World series you should remedy that immediately. Black Sun is the first book in a new series and as soon as I saw the cover I knew I had to get my hands on a copy.
I’m not quite sure how I am going to write this review because I’m not quite sure I’m up to the task. The world-building Ms. Roanhorse has created here is complex and the narrative spans ten years. The timeline alternates back and forth over the course of those ten years and features several different protagonist’s POVs. But despite all of this, I never, not once, felt like I was overwhelmed or lost. I knew exactly the who, when, and where at all times.
In the acknowledgments, Ms. Roanhorse talks about being inspired by pre-Columbian cultures of the Americas and how she used those influences to shape her world-building. And I have to tell you, I fell into this world so easily and loved every minute I spent there. I love epic fantasy for just this reason, being immersed in a world that is fresh and new, but in many ways feels familiar.
There are three main characters introduced. Serapio, the man who is destined to become the Crow God returned to the world for vengeance. Xiala, a Teek woman who captains ships and who’s heart and soul resides near the sea. Naranpa, a woman who has ascended from the depths of Coyote’s Maw to be the newest Sun Priest. There are others, but these three protagonists are the main storytellers of Black Sun.
The plot is a little too complicated to explain in just one paragraph, so I’m not even going to try. Just know that it’s not until about the last 25% that I really started to put things together in my head and understood just what was going on. You should also know ahead of time, that this is meant to be an ongoing fantasy series and in no way wraps up nice and neatly with a pretty bow at the end. There is a cliff-hanger, but not one that will have you throwing your book across the room.
For my romance-loving friends out there, there are a couple of hopeful romance pairings (bi female/male and female/non-binary). I would love to see more movement in these romance arcs, but I predict even those will move slowly as the series progresses. I’m not even sure if the second pairing I mentioned is even a real thing or if I’m just hopeful that it will be. LOL.
All in all, this is a fantastic addition to the epic fantasy genre. Ms. Roanhorse has created a fantastical world with truly unforgettable characters. I look forward to whatever comes next.
Final grade- A