Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky #1) – Rebecca Roanhorse

Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Saga Press
Pages: 464
Release Date: October 13, 2020


From the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Resistance Reborn comes the first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic.

A god will return
When the earth and sky converge
Under the black sun

In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.

Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.

Crafted with unforgettable characters, Rebecca Roanhorse has created an epic adventure exploring the decadence of power amidst the weight of history and the struggle of individuals swimming against the confines of society and their broken pasts in the most original series debut of the decade.


Black Sun will probably be featured in my top books of 2020 list at the end of the year. Roanhorse is proving herself to be a powerhouse writer in the fantasy genre. 

Black Sun is a multiple perspective fantasy novel inspired by pre-Columbian cultures of America. Roanhorse pulls from Yutatec Maya, Tewan, and Aztec cultures among others. Through this blending of cultures, Roanhorse created a world rich in detail and atmosphere. Her world feels lived in and real.

The three main perspectives are Xiala, Serapio, and Nara. Each of these perspectives highlights a different aspect of the typical fantasy novel.

Xiala is easily my favourite character. Her introduction in the first few chapters describe her perfectly. She’s a ship captain, bisexual, and is from the mysterious Teek culture. Learning about her heritage is some of the most exhilarating parts of the novel.

Serapio epitomizes the magical aspect of the novel. His introduction is brutal and lets readers know Black Sun is not for the faint of heart. Serapio is mysterious, educated, and competent beyond what you could imagine.

Nara is the character through which readers experience the political aspect of this world. Being the Sun Priest in an institution that is loosing respect leaves Nara is a vulnerable position. Though Nara may not be as adept at the political games as those around her, I still very much enjoyed her chapters. They expand the world in ways Xiala and Serapio are not able to as they are limited by their plots.

Black Sun builds up to a showdown of epic proportions. As Roanhorse starts connecting the pieces for readers, it’s clear that the end of the novel is a game changer that will leave the world forever changed.

I wasn’t expecting Black Sun to be as emotional as it was. The relationship that developed between certain characters was thoroughly explored and genuine. 

Overall, Black Sun is an incredible beginning to what is going to be an epic fantasy series. Rich in detail and atmosphere, Black Sun will keep you reading into the night.

*** I received an arc via Netgalley for an honest review.


Will you be reading Black Sun?

3 thoughts on “Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky #1) – Rebecca Roanhorse

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