A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Set in a fantasy world inspired by African folklore, Crown of Thunder examines sinfulness, guilt, and the possibility of redemption.
Great deeds are possible when community members work together. Sometimes, individuals will sacrifice themselves for the greater good.
Positive Role Models
Wracked with guilt concerning the destruction of his birthplace, Taj remains a highly formidable sin-eater -- brave, loyal, resourceful, and committed. Despite the great odds against him, he works hard to protect his family and friends, deciding to return home in the face of total devastation.
Violence & Scariness
Crown of Thunder is filled with magical battles between humans and sin-beasts. Characters vomit up black "ink" that represents sin.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two supporting female characters openly declare their love for each other.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Crown of Thunder is the second volume of the Beasts Made of Night fantasy series by Tochi Onyebuchi. It's set in a world where the sins of the ruling class can be devoured by lower-caste teen "aki," leaving the aristocrats free from feelings of guilt. Inspired by Nigerian folklore, the novel features people of color as main characters and represents a sophisticated example of fantasy world-building. Violent scenes include showdowns between Taj and a deadly array of sin-beasts.
Is It Any Good?
There's a growing enthusiasm for fantasy with African roots, and this captivating novel of magic, religion, and politics benefits from the author's knowledge of Nigerian folklore and culture. Tochi Onyebuchi keeps the level of suspense high in Crown of Thunder, presenting new complications that up the stakes and add urgency to the plot. He deftly arranges the final confrontation between Taj and his enemies, presenting highly kinetic fight scenes. Although there's plenty left to explore in this dynamic fantasy land, this second volume ends on a welcome note of resolution, likely to leave readers satisfied but eager for more.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.