I did the thing. I saw a fantasy written by a female author and assumed it was YA. I am not proud of how long it took me to realize this wasn’t YA. I t convinced I was calculating the character ages wrong. *sigh*. Anyway…
Black Sun is an immersive pre-Columbian-inspired fantasy with intrigue, danger, and magic. The countdown is on as we follow an ensemble of characters to the day of a prophetic solar eclipse, where a vengeful god is set to claim his rightful place from the Sun Priest. The characters and plot completely pulled me into the story and left me wanting more.
One of the major characters we follow is Xiala, a wayward devil-may-care pirate captain tasked with delivering the crow god’s human vessel, Serapio, to the capital city of Tova. I was all in for this high-stakes sea voyage–Xiala gave me Valkyrie from Thor: Ragnorak vibes–but this POV took a strange turn because all of the conflicts gets magicked away. This felt constant in the book. The conflict ramps up and then sort of peters out.
Odd pacing aside, I think this book is worth it for the ending and how fully developed and lived in the world feels. I enjoyed exploring a fantasy world that wasn’t basically pastoral England. Roanhorse intricately and carefully detailed every part of her gender-inclusive world.
The ensemble cast on the audiobook was phenomenal and features a majority of Indigenous narrators. Cara Gee is a television actress with a handful of audiobooks to her name and she held her own with the seasoned narrators.
A stand out book with a talened cast of narrators on audio.