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 even 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.
Amazon Link: Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky #1)
Author: Rebecca Roanhorse
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Rating: 5/5 stars
A stunning start to an epic fantasy inspired by pre-Columbian American cultures like the Aztec, Maya, and Inca. I was captivated from the first page and there were many surprises along the way. Now I’m chomping at the bit for the next book!
My favorite character was the sailor, Xiala, and I want to learn more about the Teek, her people. But Serapio and the Sun Priest, Narapa, were also compelling characters with complex motivations. Serapio is part of a prophecy to kill the sun, but he’s more like a lost child who grew up with too much pain and tragedy from the immense pressure placed on him since birth. And the Sun Priest is fighting against her waning power and conspiracies, trying to do the right thing as the leader of the temple. Xiala was trying to find her place in a society that hates her race after she abandoned her own people, and she comes to care for Serapio.
Although there are mystical prophecies, political rivalries, and a richly detailed world, this boils down to a story about real people and their emotions. No one is a pure villain or hero. These are people thrust into extraordinary circumstances who are just trying to do the best they can with what knowledge and skills they have, so I felt compassion for all of them.
LGBTQ representation: Xiala is bisexual and the Sun Priest has a relationship with a non-binary person who serves in the temple.
The epic cliffhanger left me with even more questions, so I have to find out what happens next!
Here is the book in my reading journal: