Book review Books

Black Sun: Book Riot #bookreview

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

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse has two main settings – the city of Tova and a ship on the way to Tova. Tova, a holy city, usually has a winter solstice celebration. However, this year there will be a winter solstice and a solar eclipse during the same time. According to the Sun Priest, things are about to change the world. It looks like the winter solstice party might be on hold.

The setting of Black Sun isn’t in an actual place but it is inspired by pre-Colombian civilizations. So the place is similar to central Mexico and Central America. If I had to guess which time period this book is set in I would guess that it is set in either the Middle (900-300 BCE*) or Late Formative Period (300 BCE- 100 CE).

Serapio was blinded as a young boy by his mother. She believed that he was the reincarnation of the Crow God so he needed to be blind to get in touch with his power. Was she horrible or was she right? His mom may have been horribly right.

Serapio needs to get to Tova in time for the solar eclipse. Whatever changes are coming, he needs to be there. For most of the book, he is the underdog so it is easy to root for him. What if his powers aren’t good? The sequel isn’t coming out until next April so I have that long to prepare for Serapio being a villain.

Xiala is the captain of the ship that is transporting Serapio. She’s a Teek, which seems to be like a siren – the mermaid version instead of the bird. She has a certain amount of power over the water. I imagine that she is like a badass pirate version of the Little Mermaid.

I highly recommend this book. Roanhorse makes writing look so easy even though it is a struggle sometimes. She makes me want to be a better writer than I am right now.

If I were the casting director for a movie based on Black Sun, I would choose Martin Sensmeier to be Serapio and Q’orianka Kilcher to be Xiala.

Martin Sensmeier
Q’orianka Kilcher

If you want to read an amazing book about a different time and place, then Black Sun should be the next book on your list.

If you are into the same old boring stories about the same boring people, then I don’t have any suggestions except that you should expand your horizons.


About the author:

Find more at and on Twitter at @RoanhorseBex.

*Notes: BCE (Before Common Era) is a secular version of BC (before Christ). CE (Common Era) is the secular equivalent of AD (anno Domini), which means “in the year of the Lord” in Latin.


  1. My feeling is that Western-perspective stories have seen their day. Other perspectives are finally coming to light and being more widely distributed–finally! This sounds great.
    And as for your suggestion–Martin Sensmeier–yes, please. Yowza! lol

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