Raybearer - Jordan Ifueko (ARC)
"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?"
I received a copy of Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much to Hot Key Books and Jordan Ifueko for this opportunity! Raybearer will be published on the 18th August 2020 and will be available on Amazon and Goodreads.
As soon as I heard about this book I was intrigued and so excited to read it! I just have to warn you now that this entire review is literally going to be me gushing about how INCREDIBLE Raybearer is!
Raybearer is a gorgeous West African inspired story and we join our protagonist Tarisai as a young girl in her childhood home and follow her journey as she grows older. She is kept isolated until the day her mother, The Lady, sends her away to compete and join the future King's council. Tarisai is sent off with a wish command to gain the prince's trust and then kill him. She is bound to follow her mothers' wish but is there anyway she can overcome it before it threatens to destroy everything she loves?
Tarisai is such a sweet and special character, I loved her so much! She is one of many who was born with a hallow. A great power which varies from person to person for example some have healing or even the power to find other people's weaknesses. Tarisai is able to steal memories from objects and even people which is such a cool and unique concept for a power! Plus as a consequence of her isolation in childhood she is touch starved and achingly lonely, she was desperate for attention and affection from her mother but now has a chance to fit in with a new family. I must admit there were so many points during this book where I just wanted to wrap her up in a big hug.
All of the characters are so well written and lovable. I wanted to join in with their stories, singing, games and fun! I love that they had a psychic connection that they used to talk to each other and check in with each other. You can really feel the deep sense of friendship and love within their bond. Plus everyone who knows me knows how much I love the found family trope and Raybearer executed that trope perfectly! Everything that I wanted from the trope was there and it gave me such joy.
Additionally, the worldbuilding in this book is amazing! I love the different lands that make up Aritsar and how we get the history for each one. Everything is so carefully thought out and well detailed that it is easy to believe you are right in the middle of it all. Also, I loved how the author wove in elements of classic fairytales and turned them into something new and even more magical. Move over Disney because Jordan Ifueko is now the Queen of Fairytales! I could honestly feel every ounce of love that went into this story, it shines through every page. I absolutely adore Jordan's writing as well. It is so beautiful and vibrant, it made me laugh and it made me cry!
Not only is Raybearer one of my favourite books of this year, it is also one of my favourite books that I have ever read! It is one that is going to stay with me forever and one that I can guarantee I will be rereading again and again. I don't tend to star rate books on my blog but I can tell you that this story deserves every star in the night sky. I genuinely can't wait to read more from this series!
Raybearer is an epic fantasy that was utterly brilliant from start to finish and I'm super excited to see where the story goes next!
Thank you so so much to Hot Key Books and Jordan Ifueko for the opportunity to read this fantastic story! It was an absolute pleasure! Raybearer will be available on Amazon and Goodreads and you can find out more about the author below!
Jordan Ifueko is a Nigerian American writer who grew up eating fried plantains while reading comic books under a blanket fort. Eventually, she switched out the comics for a notebook and started writing stories of her own. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their collection of Black Panther Funko Pops. Raybearer is her debut novel. You can find Jordan on Twitter and Instagram.