Between Earth and Sky #1
Black Sun is a fantasy story inspired by Pre-Columbian American civilizations. It makes for a unique and intriguing story about celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic.
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.
Black Sun was refreshing in that it is a fantasy book where the first 100+ pages are not all world building. Instead, Rebecca Roanhorse unfurls the world as the story unfolds. As a result, the reader gets to know the characters and the society in which they live simultaneously. I definitely loved this approach and avoided the boredom I often suffer reading fantasy.
Who doesn’t love a book with maps? Give me all the maps. Not only were the maps beautiful, I also found them super helpful during the narrative. In addition, I really liked the fact that there was a list of people at the start of the book. There were not a ton of characters so I do not think it was crucial to have, but it did make the reading experience much more pleasant.
I loved the LGBTQIA+ representation and how a third gender was simply a fact of society. I found the story’s presentation of these subjects fascinating simply because it is likely that previous societies saw gender and sexuality in a similar nature to the story.
I did find the ending of Black Sun to be abrupt and a cliffhanger, which is never my favorite. But I guess you get that when a book is part of a planned trilogy. I just thought it could have been tied up in a more satisfying way that still left you wanting to read the upcoming books.
October 13, 2020
Hugo Award Nominee
Nebula Award Nominee
ALA Alex Award
Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fantasy
Note: I received a gifted advance readers’ copy of this book from the publisher, Doubleday Books. Regardless, I always provide a fair and honest review.