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ARC Review: Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Five enthusiastic stars for a complex and compelling story!

I had to take a couple breaks from reading this as it was very intense and densely written, and I was several times in too much pain to concentrate. I would definitely recommend it though as it’s so good!

It’s refreshing to find an epic fantasy based on a pre-Columbian society, and the worldbuilding was so well-thought-out and complex. I could really imagine being down in the depths of the Maw and at the war school Hokaia and in the clifftop city of Tova and on the ocean and river- it was all vividly described without being too much. I also love how cacao beans are used as a form of currency. I could feel the rumbling discontent in the Tower and in the clans of Tova and in the Maw… It’s a world on the edge of change and it really feels like it.

I also LOVED that there are plenty of nonbinary and trans people and that some use they/them and several use xe/xem/xir pronouns seamlessly and without making a big deal about it. They were just there and it wasn’t even a big part of their character development. So refreshing.

Xiala is a Teek ship captain who drinks and parties hard (and gets in trouble), Serapio a young man whose mother chose him to be the vessel of the Crow God and carved his body accordingly – and sent him tutors to whittle his mind to the shape required. Naranpa is a former denizen of the Maw who was promoted to Sun Priest, Iktan head of the Tower’s Knives and her former lover. Okoa is a student of a warrior school and son of the murdered head of the Crow clan.

The characters were all wonderful and I loved reading about all of them as they struggled against one another and with one another. I can’t wait to read how their stories continue. I’m definitely invested in Xiala and Serapio, Naranpa and Iktan, and Okoa. The minor characters too were fascinating and well-drawn.

I can’t wait for the next book!

*Thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for providing an e-arc to review

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