{ARC} Review: Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Black Sun

Between Earth and Sky #1

Rebecca Roanhorse

From the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Resistance Reborn comes the first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic.

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.

Crafted with unforgettable characters, Rebecca Roanhorse has created an epic adventure exploring the decadence of power amidst the weight of history and the struggle of individuals swimming against the confines of society and their broken pasts in the most original series debut of the decade.

Publisher: Saga Press

Published: October 13th 2020

Mutilation, Rape, Blood, Death, Abuse, Mention of Whipping, Violence, Gore, Ableism, Self Harm, Mention of Suicide/Child Prostitution, Parental Abuse

Buddy Read with Tisha & Bonnie

“I am the only storm that matters now, and there is no shelter from what I bring.”

I went into this without any real prior knowledge on what this would be about. However, I have found myself to be an insta-fan of Roanhorse after Trail of Lightning, so I insta-requested it. And I genuinely enjoyed it.

It was a definite build up in terms of plot, pacing was a bit sluggish– especially in the beginning. However, the more we went along and learned things, the more my interest built up. Even with the POVs that I wasn’t feeling much, by the end I wanted more. Now, I do think reading this in short portions helped with the pacing, but that’s just me. It gave me time to digest things; if I would have binge read it— I wouldn’t have appreciated it as much???

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“There was magic in the world, pure and simple, things she didn’t understand. Best get used to it.”

And there was so much to actually appreciate: We’re in an uncolonized pre Colombia America— and when I say the lore was immersive and vivid, I mean that. We had an abundance of queer casualness, gender neutral and neopronouns. There is a lot of hard hitting topics, which made this a bit rough to read sometimes, I’d say keep that in mind.

This is definitely a starter, building block of a book. Is there a thing as first book syndrome? Where you have an entire first book of setup and lore before the action really starts with the sequels??? So much of the groundwork was being set up here; I mean we learned A LOT, but there’s a sense that there’s even MORE TO LEARN???

I mean of course, this is a series just ignore me.

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“The sea herself,” she said. “I am her daughter, and when I’m with my mother”–she exhaled gustily–“nobody fucks with her children.”

Characters were great, yet I will say the amount of POV’s made it difficult to follow. And I will also admit that I was playing favoritism with them. We have:

Xiala – A Teek sailor with an air of mystery around her. How does her magic work? How did she end up here in her life? She was my favorite character, I loved seeing her be unapologetically queer and her journey of love and…. just her journey in general.

Serapio – Groomed to be a God all of his life, mutilated by his mother, he only has one purpose. I have a feeling we’ll get more out of him in the subsequent future, but I also enjoyed being in his head.

Naranpa -The Sun Priest who isn’t exactly accepted and is honestly just doing her best. I won’t lie, her perspective was just a tad bit boring….

Okoa – A soldier who’s mother was murdered and comes back to see to her funeral, only to be pulled into something darker. We don’t get much from him until much later, but I think he’ll get a larger role in the sequel and I’m anticipating what he’ll bring.

I know it’s only the beginning, but things did feel everywhere. I can accost this to the many threads being intertwined yet by the end… I’m still a bit confused, but I know enough to where I’m anticipating the next book.

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