*I received an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. A big thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for giving me the opportunity to read Black Sun early!
You ever finish a book that leaves you with such a book hangover that you actually have a headache? That was me after finishing Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse. This book left me so hungry for more that I started panicking every time I looked at how few pages I had left and how much still needed to be resolved. After finishing Black Sun, I had to just sit and do nothing for a bit before realizing that it was 3 PM and I still hadn’t eaten, or really done anything on my to-do list for the day. It’s now been three days since I’ve finished it and I’m still struggling to pick up another book!
Synopsis: As the priests and clans of Tova prepare for the winter solstice celebrations, rumors have been growing of the resurgence of a cult that worships the Crow God. While struggling to re-assert power and bring change to the city, the Sun Priest must also deal with threats to her life, which appear to be coming from that very cult. Nearby, a warrior learns disturbing news of his mother’s death, and returns home to Tova only to find himself stuck between two groups in his search for the truth. Meanwhile, a ship heads towards Tova with a strange captain, and even stranger passenger, desperate to make it to the holy city in time for the solstice. As they approach the city, both are quickly revealed to be a lot more than meets the eye.
Black Sun is told through four different perspectives in a non-chronological order, which can sometimes be a little challenging to keep track of if you’re someone like me who often forgets numbers and dates. These four characters all come from diverse backgrounds and lead vastly distinct lives, but their stories soon converge on one city for a rare celestial event. It is set in a fantasy world inspired by the Americas prior to the arrival of Europeans and THIS WORLD IS INCREDIBLE. I loved reading about the different cities and the cultures of the people that inhabit them.
There are so many moving parts in Black Sun that keep you on your toes, but I found myself especially eager to read chapters told from Xiala’s perspective. Literally from her first chapter I fell in love with her and was so eager to learn more about her and her past. I love how easily she was able to adapt to her situation, no matter how dire they got. Another character I adored, but I find a lot of reviews don’t even mention, was Okoa. Though he doesn’t have too much of a presence in Black Sun, I have no doubt that he’ll be playing a much bigger role in future installments and I can’t wait to read more about him.
This book definitely has it all: a doomed slow-burn romance that you can’t help but root for anyway, powerful and dangerous women, dark prophesies, and beautifully constructed settings. Seriously, I don’t think I’m even capable of writing a review that properly encompasses how much I loved this book- and did I mention how desperate I am for more?
Black Sun comes out on October 13, 2020 and can be pre-ordered from Indigo, Amazon, or your local independent bookstore. Anyone looking for signed editions can order one here, but if you’re Canada-based like me, the shipping costs are pretty high right now ( I’m SO thankful I have an address in the US I can ship things to!). These editions also come with an exclusive enamel pin and temporary tattoo!