Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
Series: Between Earth and Sky #1
Published by Saga Press on October 13, 2020
Genres: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+
Pages: 454
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble// BookBub
Add to: Goodreads // StoryGraph

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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 returnWhen the earth and sky convergeUnder 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.


I have written and re-written this review countless times since I finished Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse. I think it is because that you loved is sometimes a lot harder than reviewing one with a number of faults. I keep wanting to get the review perfect, to convince potential readers to pick this up. Because I did love this SO MUCH for so many reasons.

Before I get into specifics, let me just say this was incredibly well-written. The world-building is rich and I would actually love a Silmarillion type lore building book that goes deep into the religions and gods and forming of these cultural and political divisions. We can feel the history behind the various divisions and prejudices. The writing itself flows and is balanced between information and action without being dense.

The plot is SO intriguing and the shifting narratives and timelines work well to keep tension and interest while also providing context clues. The ending did feel a bit rushed, which says a lot considering the novel is over 450 pages. Considering there looks to be a sequel, I really, REALLY wish this one had taken it’s time to reach the end OR had ended a bit earlier so we could have time to delve into the resolution.

Now, with that out of the way, what truly meant a lot to me was the aspect of representation. Latine (yes, I will use the gender neutral Latine. No, I will not get into a discussion about this) names and vibes are strongly present. From the gods and religion, to the climate, to city names and customs. It felt so good to read names and words I could natively pronounce and even repeat to my grandmother (if she were still alive). Then, there was the nonbinary character which almost made me cry the first time I saw xir pronouns. I don’t remember ever seeing myself represented in a fantasy book that didn’t make my identity as the main point/objective/etc. It was great seeing a new world with a pre-columbian base and a nonbinary system that treated both as normal and matter of fact so that it remained a fantasy novel.

Would I recommend Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse? Absolutely! For folks that love fantasy and want something refreshing. For folks that are latine. For folks that are nonbinary. It is just so great.


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