Rebecca Roanhorse is an author that I really enjoy. Having read her Sixth World Novels, Trail of Lightning and Storm of Locusts, I knew I had to read her latest. While this one felt more introspective than the Sixth World, it captivated me entirely. Keep reading this book review to find out how much I enjoyed this audio book.
A god will return
When the earth and sky converge
Under the black sun
In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.
Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the Libro.fm. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: physical abuse (also of a parent to a child), self-harm
One of the great joys of my audio book discoveries is the experience of listening to multiple POV books via audio. Black Sun has multiple narrators which not only helps distinguish them in your head, but it means each comes alive. They have their different speaking mannerisms, pace, and expressions. It creates this sense of singularity, while also meshing together for full immersion.
If you love the idea of political maneuvers meets destiny, you will enjoy Black Sun. It’s very much a story where each of the narrators have their own role, their own paths for the future, and towards this sense of overwhelming fate. As the book progresses, you’re able to appreciate Roanhorse’s masterful writing. The way their various perspectives merge together and begin to intersect with each other. It’s truly wondrous to watch them unfold and continue on their crash course.
For 2/3 of the book, I was enjoying the character development as we meet Serapio, Xiala, and more. It’s fantastic to get to know them, the fears they feel when they look at their future, the hatred and superstitions they face, and their mistakes coming back to haunt them. And then all of a sudden I was able to see their paths colliding. It has all these same pieces of action that ripple through all the POVs. We can see the myriad of reflections as they inch towards each other.
While listening to Black Sun, the pacing was fabulous. Roanhorse is able to balance world building, character development, and action all at once. It’s a true testament to the joys of multiple POVs when done right. I also need the sequel like right now, okay? Especially with that ending! It’s another fabulous series from Roanhorse and I cannot more highly recommend it.