Book publication: 18 August 2020
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?
Thank you to @definitely.boks for sending me an ARC of this book. It will be available in all good bookstores starting 18 August 2020 #RayBearer.
Tarisai is the only child of a powerful woman known to all as The Lady, even to her own daughter. Since a child, all she ever wanted was to feel the love and approval of her mother. All she wanted was her mother, isn’t that so PURE? *shiny eyes* Born and raised in a mansion in the desert of her homeland, Tarisai was taught by the finest professors and scholars in every subject possible to perfection. She was trapped in her luxurious home, unable to leave the mansion’s compounds and her only companions were the endless tutors and servants. The Lady travels a lot so she doesn’t get to see her mother often but when she does, she makes sure that she impreses her on her studying progress.
One day, after The Lady comes back from a trip, she announces to Tarisai that she will get to finally leave her gilded cage to see the world. . . only to be sent headfirst into a competition to compete with other children for a spot of the empire’s Crown Prince’s council. However, if she can achieve that, she will be compelled by the Lady’s a magical wish made years ago to kill the Crown Prince. Tied between her mother’s wish and the kindness and affection of the Crown Prince, Tarisai will have to make a choice that will forever reveal the tangled ribbon of issues in the past that led up to a series of events is the ultimate domino outcome of an unsettled past filled with vengence and mystery.
High Fantasy is a difficult genre to write and Jordan Ifueko does it with fierce grace and the magic of her words. There are many characters in the book, it was hard to keep track of it at first. I got the hang of the complex large expanse of the empire with the names and characters after the first half of the book. * phew * In this book, readers will get to experience a new concept of magic (at least for me) with multiple Nigerian cultural influences and ethnic folktales. As the author is a fan of Lord of the Rings, I can see how Middle-Earth inspired her to create a whole freaking universe with multiple cultures of its own and people of colour. All I can say is, you’re gonna need more than second-breakfast to get you through this breathtaking book.