Loyalty, fate and magical compulsion: Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

(cover image via EW (c) Abrams Books)

Raybearer themes loyalty and fate, and is steeped in West African traditions and mythologies. The novel centers on Tarisai, who was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. As Raybearer begins, 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. (synopsis (c) EW)

The diverse new voices coming to publishing these days are so exciting.

While publishing, like so many other things, still has a long way to go, its embrace of stories beyond the usual themes of anglo-centric storytelling is a chance to range widely and deeply and to fulfill the great potential of reading which is to open our minds and widen our horizons.

According to EW, which exclusively debuted the book’s cover, Raybearer by debut YA author Jordna Ifuenko is generating a tremendous amount of buzz – “When author Jordan Ifueko tweeted out a sneak peek of the novel, her first, thousands eagerly flocked to the post.” – and deservedly so.

It reads beautifully, it has all kinds of imaginatively-realised fantasy elements and it contains empowering messages such as the much-needed idea that “everyone’s story has such beauty” (Ifuenko -see the YouTube video below) and that facing your demons means you can grow.

It sounds wonderful and I can’t wear to read it … is it next year already?

You can read an excerpt of this exciting new YA novel at EW.

Raybearer releases for your reading pleasure on 14 April, 2020.

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