Son of the Storm

Orbit. May 2021. 496p. ISBN 9780316428941. pap. $16.99. FANTASY
The Bassani Empire is dying, but its citizens have been brainwashed for centuries to believe that their empire is so mighty that it could never fall. A threat to their power arises, in the form of a young scholar who cannot restrain his curiosity about a woman with magical power whose existence flies in the face of all his teachings. He is exiled and pursued to corners of the known world, only to learn that nothing he believed he knew bears much resemblance to any truth. The collision course of the characters, on their separate paths, sets them on roads that lead to power and destruction. This story has its roots in West African history and mythology, to which Okungbowa adds a coming-of-age odyssey.
VERDICT Highly recommended for fans of epic fantasy based on non-European mythologies, like The Black Sun, by Rebecca Roanhorse; readers who enjoy protagonists on troubled journeys, like in Jenn Lyons’s The House of Always; or anyone who likes to chew on stories with complex shenanigans.
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