This is what I am currently going through. I finished reading Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko a few weeks ago, and it has completely ruined reading for me. This book was so much fun for me to read. I got to the point where I had to slow down my reading, just so I could enjoy it for longer. I love this book so much so, I’ve added it to my recommended books, and I am absolutely heartbroken that I cannot continue this adventure, since the second book of the series isn’t expected to come out until August of 2021.
Me when I finished the book, realizing that I have to wait until August for the sequel 😥
Author: Jordan Ifueko
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Series: Raybearer, book #1
Published: 18th of August 2020, by Amulet Books
Summary from Goodreads
Nothing is more important than loyalty. But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?
Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?
About the author
Jordan Ifueko grew up eating fried plantains and reading comics in her blanket fort. Over time, she replaced the comic books with a notebook, and now writes awesome stories about awesome magical black girls! She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband, David, their collection of Black Panther Funko Pops, and their 3-legged trustafarian dog Reginald Ovahcomah.
A little side note, when it comes to my book reviews, I’d like to get more in-depth when I write the About section on the author – especially when it comes to influences and inspirations for the book in question. Since Ifueko is still quite new to the scene, and we do not have a lot of info regarding her and her book – other than what we get from her homepage and the little about blurb in the book itself. Oh well, I’ll just imagine that she is very cool and that we have much awesomeness in common. I mean, she collects Black Panther Funko Pops, and has a cute dog. Of course she’s awesome!
Source: https://www.jordanifueko.com/about and the about section of the book Raybearer, 18th of August 2020
My thoughts on the book
As I mentioned before, I love this book. Our protagonist is troubled, hungry for love and affection – which makes it even more tragic when she finally gets to be part of something bigger but is cursed by her mother to ruin her chance of happiness. The characters are well-written and their relationships have importance. You can feel how much each one of the potential council members mean for each other…at least regarding the potential council members, we get to spend time with. I would have loved to see more of them all since they all seem to be interesting. A diverse set of characters, from all over the kingdom – and we don’t get to know them properly. Especially since it is pointed out on multiple occasions that the council members are an important part of both Tarisai and the Crown Prince’s life. That also means we could have gotten a bit more book, with a bit more awesome people, which would have made me a happy camper.
The world-building in Raybearer is done extremely well. The whole kingdom worships a being called the Storyteller, and what I love in this world is, that the kingdom is so big that it’s built up from several provinces. These provinces are different from each other, with ethnicities, cultures and even different practices in regards to the worship of the Storyteller.
Other than the characters and the world-building, I enjoyed how both relationships and love interests are handled. Often, when it comes to YA stories, I fear that love, drama, and misunderstandings will take up too much of the focus. I am happy to say that that is not the case in Raybearer.
My overall thoughts on the book – based pretty much on how fun it was reading it is:
So, why should you read this?
I recommend this book to anyone who would listen to me. However, you might get most enjoyment out of it if you are a fan of fantasy, strong female characters, magic, and relationships that are felt wholeheartedly.
“Uniformity is not unity. Silence is not peace.”
“Why does everyone hate change so much?” I demanded.
“Because things could get worse.”
“Maybe. But do you know what I think?”
My chest throbbed. “I think deep down, we’re afraid that things could get better. Afraid to ding out that all the evil—all the suffering we ignore—could have been prevented. If only we had cared enough to try.”
“No, we don’t deserve the burdens that our parents gave us, but we cant defeat monsters we won’t face.”
“Didn’t I tell you a bath would help?”
The next book in the series:
The next book in the series, Redemptor, is set to be released 17th of August 2021, and I can hardly wait.
This is my second blog post, and I am still trying to figure out my voice and how I want to build up my posts. I hope you enjoyed it. If you’ve read Raybearer, please let me know what you think of it, and whether or not I am alone in my complete and utter love for this book 🙂