A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Raybearer is an Africa-influenced fantasy by Nigerian American author Jordan Ifueko. The first half of a duology, it focuses on Tarisai, daughter of an absent mother, raised to fulfill a magical wish by killing the Crown Prince. The novel contains scenes of violence, including a stabbing, a poisoning, and an attack with arrows. There's some talk of sex among the teen characters, but without many details. Swearing is mild ("hell," "damn") and very infrequent.
What's the story?
As RAYBEARER opens, young Tarisai is programmed by her mysterious mother to kill the Crown Prince of Aritsar. Wishing more than anything else to be part of a family, Tarisai tries to find ways around her mother's terrible prophecy, but she ends up a trusted member of the Council of Eleven. Sworn to protect the Emperor, she dreads the day she will be destined to kill him. Is there a way to use her magic to protect them both?
Is it any good?
Fantasies influenced by African culture are popular now, and this magic-drenched adventure is likely to attract a devoted readership. Written by debut author Jordan Ifueko, Raybearer benefits from meticulous world-building to tell a tale of young love and betrayal. The first half of the book has more urgency than the latter, but Ifueko ratchets up the suspense before the end. Tarisai is a vivid and forceful main character, and the supporting cast includes colorful and powerful allies and adversaries. Raybearer ends in a cliff-hanger, and many readers will be impatient for the publication of the next volume.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Raybearer depicts its Africa-influenced setting. How is folklore from Africa different from or similar to that of Greece or England?
Is Tarisai doomed to kill Dayo? Or does she have free will to find her own fate?
How do you forgive someone who's done something terrible? What can someone do to earn forgiveness?
- Author: Jordan Ifueko
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Amulet Books
- Publication date: August 18, 2020
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 368
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: September 2, 2020
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