You know that perfect combination of gorgeous cover and fascinating blurb? That is how I feel about Son of the Storm. The start of a new epic fantasy series, this West African inspired fantasy balances character development with action. Keep reading this book review to find out my full thoughts.
In the ancient city of Bassa, Danso is a clever scholar on the cusp of achieving greatness—only he doesn’t want it. Instead, he prefers to chase forbidden stories about what lies outside the city walls. The Bassai elite claim there is nothing of interest. The city’s immigrants are sworn to secrecy.
But when Danso stumbles across a warrior wielding magic that shouldn’t exist, he’s put on a collision course with Bassa’s darkest secrets. Drawn into the city’s hidden history, he sets out on a journey beyond its borders. And the chaos left in the wake of his discovery threatens to destroy the empire.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Because of its multiple POV narration, Son of the Storm maintains this almost expansive level of character detail and development. Sure we all have our favorite characters, but Okungbowa presents characters in all these social strata which gives readers a better handle on the world. You can tell from the beginning that there’s going to be so much growth and development in store. Okungbowa details a world of social classes and ethnicities which leave those in indentured servitude chasing unattainable dreams, others on the Outliers destined to never measure up.
At the same time, Son of the Storm explores a theme that will always get me – the censorship and subjectivity of truth. The ways we create the ideas of superior and inferior. All the ways the nature of history, of stories and legends, of possibilities are created. There will always be people who only believes what they are told, who never ask why or seek answers. But power informs truth. And we live in a world full of a myriad of truths. How excuses are created out of conflict. However, what will we sacrifice to cover up the lies, to uncover the truth?
Speaking of characters I loved, you know I love an ambitious woman and Son of the Storm delivers! Ruling with iron fists and force, fear and retribution, there were some moments which both shocked and thrilled me. I think we don’t have enough portrayals of women which are unashamed in their quest for power. That aren’t framed as ‘for the greater good’ or ‘noble’, but which are just celebrate for what it is. The multiple POV nature of Son of the Storm helps keep the momentum of the story, while also introducing readers to new aspects, and histories, of the world.
I am so excited for the rest of this series! Son of the Storm delivers thematic exploration that I loved paired with a story that balances character and action. Son of the Storm also threw me for a loop at the end and I need that sequel now ok?
(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)