Cover Image: Black Sun

Black Sun

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Member Reviews

A terrific follow up that answers many of the questions posed in the first book. The action doesn't really let up, and the reader is quickly drawn back in! One of the most creative books series out there. Can't wait for the next one!
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Lush Epic, fantasy story set in pre-columbian times with multiple povs. I was not lost in who was the voice in each chapter as we moved through the story. The ancient prophecy is never lost in the story and the tale is woven in a way you just get wrapped up in the tale. The author did an amazing job of weaving, intrigue, plotting, back-stabbing and danger into the story. I did feel that ending was very abrupt to the point where yes their more story but it just seemed like you were cut off with a cleaver i would of liked a bit more to transition to the next book. Overall i think this is a very unique story.
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This started off as a buddy read, but they quickly left me behind while I struggled to find reasons to continue reading this book. It's honestly been so long now that I've forgotten most of what I read (not very much). I do remember being annoyed by the dialogue and wishing for more showing instead of telling. Roanhorse has created a very complex world, but I wanted to feel fully immersed in it and not like a bystander. I also don't want to have to question how something works but want the story to unfold in a way that explains through experiences. I know some dialogue is necessary to explain complex ideas, but I would prefer to see them played out on paper.

Black Sun was soooo hyped, and I just expected more from this fantasy world and its characters. I also really, really didn't like the child mutilation and found that aspect of the book to be hard to stomach.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me a free copy of this advanced copy of the book to read and review.
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Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky Book 1) by Rebecca Roanhorse

461 Pages
Publisher: Gallery Books, Gallery/Saga Press
Release Date: October 13, 2020

Fiction, Sci Fi, Fantasy

Serapio was a boy whose mother turned him into a god. She sewed his eyes shut and carved ritual symbols on his body before she killed herself. Now it is time for the winter solstice, the celebration of new beginnings. This year is different, however, there is a total eclipse of the sun the end of the sun year. This is the end of the sun year and the beginning of the year of the crow. 

Xiala is a sea captain and a Teek, a woman who can command the water with song. She is tasked with bringing Serapio to Tova in time for the solstice celebration at all costs. What she doesn’t realize at the time of the assignment is that it might be a price too high to pay.

Naranpa is the Sun Priest but has never really been truly accepted. She is from the earth and was not a sky maiden. Now someone is trying to assassinate her. Her apprentice is trying to undermine her authority and make a power play.

The story has a steady pace, the characters are somewhat developed, and it is written in the third person point of view. The three main characters are all different traveling troubled paths. Each is heading for their destiny but must make sacrifices. The book ends in a cliffhanger so we are left not knowing their fates. This is the first book of the trilogy
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Unfortunately I couldn't get into this book. I know that it gets rave reviews, but the beginning felt so dense and there was just so much going on that I couldn't connect with the book or any of the characters. I found myself lost for the majority of the book. It's probably a me thing though.
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What a stellar series starter! Black Sun's world-building is captivating, filled with vivid detail. Each POV captured my attention. The characters are quite intriguing, and Roanhorse bestows plenty of nuance and development upon them. I'm eagerly looking forward to the rest of this series.
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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.

Crafted with unforgettable characters, Rebecca Roanhorse has created a “brilliant world that shows the full panoply of human grace and depravity” (Ken Liu, award-winning author of The Grace of Kings). This epic adventure explores 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 this “absolutely tremendous” (S.A. Chakraborty, nationally best-selling author of The City of Brass) and most original series debut of the decade.
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What an incredible start to a new fantasy series. The world building was written so beautifully, and the characters were so incredibly unique. I absolutely can’t wait to read the next!
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I was very excited for this book but had such a hard time getting into it. The writing is good but I found it a. It confusing in the beginning. Decided to put it down after 25% but planning on coming back to it later.
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Wow. An amazing read. I especially loved the world-building and the political intrigue. Such a fresh read.
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Fantastic world building, epic story, intriguing characters. This had all of my favorite elements of new fantasy world for me to jump into. Such a unique world and story. Can't wait to read the next one.
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I liked the worldbuilding--it's refreshing to see a Mesoamerican-inspired fantasy--but I thought the characters were weak and Roanhorse over-complicated the story by jumping back and forth in time. I wasn't wowed by this book, but I liked it enough to give the sequel a try.

Received via NetGalley.
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Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse was an excellent fantasy. For me, this one stands out in the very crowded fantasy genre. Roanhorse does an incredible job of weaving in cultural elements and stories that are not often drawn upon. The sequel, Fevered Star, was recently released and I look forward to it.
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Interesting read. A fantasy tale based on the Maya and Aztecs. I don’t know of any other fantasy story’s based on those two cultures. The characters are fairly fleshed out and the story builds to a climactic ending and delivers that ending. I hope the series continues to be worth reading.
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While this is definitely a super intricate and complex world, it strayed away from ever being too complex or convoluted. In the beginning, I definitely had to find my footing a bit, but, by the end, I couldn't get enough of this world and I loved the South American inspiration behind it.

The characters are so well-done and so well developed. Again, I was nervous and slightly apprehensive going into this book because I heard it was very extreme high fantasy, but I fell in love with the characters which, in turn, helped me love the book overall.

And the writing was phenomenal too! I definitely need to read more from this author and the next book in this series as well.

While it wasn't perfect, it was a great introduction to this new series and I can't wait to continue!!
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I have high schoolers who would love this. It’s pretty gory FYI (like gushing blood, pecked apart body parts, sewn up eyeballs, scars type gory) but if you have students into fantasy and who can handle/like that then this will be a win.

It’s queer and it’s got roots in lots of black and brown cultures and stories which is just a bonus win and adds to its freshness in this genre. Readers who love a pirate vibe will also likely be into this one, too. And people into crows! Is bird gore a thing? Who knows these days. 

My only qualms were about some of the details of the institutions/structures/framework with the gods and whatnot. I think that was lacking some clarity. But I was able look past that for a compelling narrative and characters and adventure. 

The cliff hanger leaves you ready for the next one! 

Thanks to net galley and the publishers for a copy in exchange for an honest review. More books like this please!
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While I've like Roanhorse's writing in the past, I had trouble getting into this book. It is competently written,  and the characters are interesting, and objectively I can see why it's praised. Definitely a case of it's not you, it's me.
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Going into this book I had know idea what to expect. I really just picked it for the cover but it's a scifi book which I've come to love. Cover to cover there were few dull moments but plenty of reasons to live this book!
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My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley, I did receive a eARC in August 2020. I have between that time and now also purchased it in Kindle edition, still I apologize for the lateness of my review.

I did not plan to have read & reviewed so close to Fevered Star's April 2022 release rather than in 2020. I have to say these past two years of the pandemic I have worked in healthcare and now find I have little patience or taste for violence or death in books. So much so I had recently become frustrated with myself and my rate of eARC tbr reading seemingly piling up with no results.

So the opening with a mother intent on sacrifice and blooding & blinding her son was put away until I felt I could get though it chapter by chapter if it was all violence. Yet I fell in love with the characters, especially Xiala and the fates of Serapio and Naranpa enthralled me, yesterday I was at 40% -and today I am finished! It feels so good to read again!

So Black Sun is a gift, I have a love of the ancient Americas that goes back to the beginning of my love of myth and it's so rarely done well or touched upon with respect or genuine kindness.

I would love a whole Teek spin off series, so fascinated was I with Xiala and her people who are mothered by the sea, are lovers to the fickle wind and siblings to the creatures of the sea, who are all women and strange eyed and sometimes gilled & fish tailed.

We get to know the cruel tutors who trained Serapio, who raised him to be the vessel of the Crow God, a sacrifice to vengeance, but Xiala sees him as more than a tool or a god.

Naranpa, Sun Priest, was raised not as one of the four nobles of the Sky Made, but in the Coyote's Maw of the Dry Earth, with her brother Denaochi - now a slum lord. She denies all ties to the past before she became a dedicant and walks a careful line of power as Sun Priest among her fellow priests and the clan matrons. It is her life Serapio was raised to end, even though she had as little to do with the massacre of his clan as he had.

Among the priests is her once lover Iktan, a knife or tsiyo, xie wants to spare Naranpa and is not bothered by using bloodshed to do so saving Naranpa from two assassination attempts. The Sun Priest is not the only one being targeted, when Crow matron Yatliza is killed, at her funeral her son Okoa the Shield of his sister who is the next matron to be, is nearly killed by Iktan.

So all is to be gambled and win or lose, the world will be changed after the convergence, a eclipse of the sun, the crow swallowing the sun, or the sun reborn anew through the fires of the Sun Priest. It's a game not all want to play, but prophecy has made patol players of them all.
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