We loved the delirious mashup that was this Booker prizewinner’s first foray into fantasy, Black Leopard, Red Wolf. So it’s with great delight that we dove into the second book of the Dark Star trilogy, set in an imaginary Iron Age Africa replete with wondrous hallucination and historic reference. Here, James returns to the story of Black Leopard, Red Wolf from another perspective. The protagonist here is Sogolon the Moon Witch herself, an adversary to Tracker, the hero of the first instalment, and a woman. The narrative arc unfolds an almost ideological showdown between two different visions of empire, as Sogolon tells her story of a century of blood feud with the powerful Aesi, the chancellor to the king. A heady witch’s brew.
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