Okay…THIS is a debut to END all debuts. Nobody needs to come out with ANY new books because Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko is IT!!! I was so excited to receive an ARC of this book—one of my most highly anticipated reads—but I enjoyed it even more than I was expecting! So lemme give you the detailed breakdown: Raybearer is a YA fantasy about Tarisai, a young girl who has been raised in isolation in a gorgeous palace by a mysterious woman known only as The Lady. One day, the lady gives Tarisai what she has always dreamed of: the chance to interact with other children and leave the palace for the first time in her life. Tarisai is to compete with other children for a place in the Crown Prince’s Council of eleven. If she successfully finds a place among the Prince’s Council, she and 10 other children will earn a place by the prince’s side for life and will be allowed to share his “Ray”—a telepathic form of emotional and mental communication. Basically, they’ll be able to hear each other’s deepest thoughts and feelings. This is everything Tarisai has ever dreamed of. Friends. A found family. There’s just one problem: The Lady binds Tarisai through dark magic, forcing her to kill the prince once she has his love and trust.
I loved, and I mean loved the Black Girl Magic in this book. On top of that, the world building was off the charts. So descriptive and creative! I love that the book had faes, djinn, and other famed mythical creatures. Plus it draws mythology from West Africa and even goes far enough to create folklore for the story. Even more, I loved the twists of the story and the central characters. The relationships—both platonic and romantic—are so well developed, plus THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE ROMANCE! Don’t be put off by the romance though. It doesn’t take over the story and I promise it isn’t overwhelming. There were also some really dope quotes and themes throughout the book. Honestly there’s a lot to analyze about this read, but you can also just read it as a surface level fantasy book. The best thing about it? There’s going to be a sequel. Thank goodness because I can HARDLY WAIT.
LONG STORY SHORT…this book now drops in August (the April release date was recently changed) and you NEED TO READ IT. Preorder it and support this amazing Black author. You will love this book. I promise.
*Rating: 5 out of 5
By Jesse E
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