Black Sun Review

Black Sun Review | Rebecca Roanhorse

Black Sun is a fantasy novel with it all. Great characters; gripping plot; intriguing world with a deep history, and magic systems that complement and oppose one another. Keep reading for my review on Black Sun, and why this book got a solid five-stars. I’ll be watching out for more from this author.

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Publisher: Rebellion | Date: 2021 | Genre: Fantasy

Plot: 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.

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I received Black Sun from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Black Sun Review

Black Sun Review

I loved this book!

It’s been a while since a new author (to me) has captured my heart, but Rebecca Roanhorse did.

Black Sun had everything I love in an epic fantasy. It’s going to be hard not to spend this review gushing, but just know it’s a definite recommendation!

Characters

Xiala is my favourite character. A captain of a ship with a mistrusting crew thanks to her magical heritage, she doesn’t roll over for anyone. She’s strong and tough, but we see her vulnerabilities and caring nature.

Serapio is a mystery: marked for destiny since a small child, even he isn’t aware of how deep his power runs. He has a mission to complete, and his determination makes him instantly likeable. But he’s not above emotions either, and his inner turmoil makes him human.

Nara has carved a path for herself from a childhood of poverty. She’s not as strong as the others, but she does find her strength as she develops, and you want to protect her from her own naivety at times.

As relationships ebb and flow and the fate of the world rests on magic and alliances, you root for all of them at the same time.

Prophecies didn’t like bedtime stories or let you borrow their extra undergarments. Prophecies didn’t speak terrible Cuecolan and not know how to eat a damn fish. And they certainly didn’t cuddle with you when you’d had too much to drink and were feeling sorry for yourself.

Setting

Black Sun works so well for me because of the intricate world-building. It’s pure fantasy, but you glimpse the deep history behind this place. There’s conflicting beliefs, magic and opinions, and it creates an in-depth world. As a reader, you accept what you’re told: you understand the boundaries of this world, and it makes it real.

There’re also various forms of magic, depending on your ancestors and beliefs. It adds an almost-spiritual element to the world: the physical danger is bad; the magical danger is even worse. Mixing religious beliefs and magic is always going to be an explosive mix.

Writing

Roanhorse is a new author to me, but I adore her writing style and would love to read more. Despite the fantastical elements of this world, you’re drawn in to both the places and the people with ease.

The narration is split between two time-lines and four points of view. After the first few chapters, you’re immersed in these stories and there’s no confusion what’s happening at any time.

This book is full of tension. The pacing is strong throughout and the changing narration builds suspense as each story-arc unfolds and builds. Not one you can put down with ease.

Final Thoughts

In case you haven’t guessed, I loved this! A high recommendation for anyone who is a fan of epic fantasy, but also those looking for good character development, strong world-building and a gripping plot. Black Sun had everything I enjoy in a fantasy book, and I look forward to more.

Grab your own copy!

Does this sound like your kind of read? Are you an epic fantasy fan?

You may also like:

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54 thoughts on “Black Sun Review | Rebecca Roanhorse

  1. I’ve seen people recommend this book everywhere at the moment but didn’t know much what it was about. Now, I’m really excited to pick it up and think I’m going to see if my library has the audiobook too.

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  2. Nice review! I’ve been hearing so much good things about Rebecca Roanhorse. I am always back and forth about more than 2 POV’s. How did you feel about having four POV’s? Did you want to hear more of one or two over the other’s, like more from Xiala?

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    • I really enjoyed the changing view points. It added depth because there were no “bad guys” as such and it really worked to build the suspense and tension!

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  3. I love it when you warm to a character straight away, it makes me reallly want to read the rest of the book. This one sounds great, it sounds like I could get invested quite quickly!

    Rosie

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  4. This sounds great! I love great world building and mostly great characters development! Adding this to my never ending TBR, thank you for sharing this amazing review x

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  5. I’m not normally a reader of the fantasy genre but I do have to say, I love a gripping plot. Maybe it’s something I’ll pop on my TBR list when I fancy something different!

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  6. Okay this is sooo far from my usual read but I found myself completely sucked in to the blurb! Sounds like a great read and glad you loved it too!

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  7. From the get-go, I sensed how enthralled you were with this book and how exciting her writing is.

    Though not my genre, I’m almost sucked me in!

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  8. After reading this rave review, you can guarantee that I’m adding this to my TBR! It sounds fantastic. An epic fantasy, for sure. I’m a sucker for anything with a strong lead and great world-building. I can’t wait to dive into it in the future!

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  9. OO, so nice to read your thoughts on a book you loved from start to finish! Loving the name, premise, and world-building of this book. It is also refreshing to see the characters all represent different faces of strength. 🙂

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  10. I love it when an author really takes the time to build different worlds – one of the reasons I love VE Schwab so much. This sounds exactly the sort of fantasy adventure I’d pick up, so thank you for drawing my attention to an author I haven’t come across yet! x

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  11. While fantasy isn’t my preferred genre, I can see why this would be a great for those that do enjoy it! Great review!

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  12. Sometimes when I think I’ll love a book too much or when I have high expectations, I just get anxious and not read the book at all, which is what I did with this one .. ughhh… glad to know it’s as wonderful as I thought. Wonderful review!!!

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    • With it being a new author to me, I didn’t go in with any expectations which helped but it honestly ticked a lot of boxes for me. I hope you can pick it up one day.

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      • I haven’t read any of her books either, but I completely agree. Even the synopsis ticks a lot of boxes, and that’s why the expectations. Maybe next month I’ll be in the mood.

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