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Raybearer By Jordan Ifueko: Book Review

Raybearer is a YA Nigerian inspired fantasy by Jordan Ifueko. I was kindly gifted the finished copy of this book for Darkroom Tours on my bookstagram.

Warning, trigger warnings may contain spoilers:

trigger warnings: violence, child abuse, attempted murder, drugging, manipulation, death, enslavement of djinn, references to police violence, death of children.

Introduction To Raybearer

Tarisai’s mother, 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.

However The Lady gives Tarisai a wish, one which she must oblige to. Kill the crown Prince once Tarisai gains his trust.

Plot Of Raybearer

I came into this book with certain expectations in mind. Although it went in a different direction, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. If you do plan on reading this book, honestly don’t have much expectations and go in with a blind eye, I think that would prove to be such a fun reading experience.

This book explore so many important topics and isn’t like you typical YA book at all. From privilege, to hierarchy, to misogyny and stereotypes on how a female or male should act.

And the writing, the descriptions, the culture- everything is absolutely incredible.

Ultimately, this book follows Tarisai and her journey. Yes, it does include the found family trope, but the focus is on Tarisai and I think that is so empowering. Whilst I wish that readers got to know more of the council and their depths, I do know that because they weren’t fully involved in the plot, it isn’t needed. But maybe we’ll get that in the next book!

The pacing was hard to get used to at first given that there were time jumps, but that didn’t bother me too much when there are so many unpredictable plot twists.

Characters Of Raybearer

The power of love is such a strong message in this book. And that family doesn’t always have to be by blood. The friendships between Tarisai and Kirah was beautiful, no girls ganging up on each other, just female empowerment. Also Tarisai and Dayo, they are so understanding of each other and respect the huge differences in their personalities such as Dayo being a complete sofite and Tarisai being so fierce.

As this is a spoiler free review, I won’t mention much about other characters. Their is a few romances and representation of the LGBTQIA+ community. The romance Tarisai is involved in is sweet, although I did crave more chemistry between the two.

Conclusion

Overall, I’d rate this 4 stars! I pretty much binged this book within two days. Also, I love how there is a glossary at the back, makes the reading experience so much better! There are some issues I had with this book but they are pretty minor hence the stars!

I’d love to know your thoughts if you have read this book! Or if you’re planning to? For more of my fantasy reviews, check them out here.

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