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Book Review: “Fevered Star”, an explosive sequel to a stellar debut

Welcome back to The Meridian, folks! A year ago, I reviewed Rebecca Roanhorse’s 2020 epic fantasy “Black Sun,” and here I am gladly writing its sequel “Fevered Star.” This pre-Columbian epic is unlike anything out there and will enrapture your thoughts for fans of high fantasy.

Our enigmatic ensemble of characters must reckon with the aftermath of Serapio’s battle with Tovan priests. The sun remains in an eclipse over the city, dozens of Tovans killed, and each character scattered across the city. Xiala, the disgraced sea captain, is swept into the current of refugees and political clashes as she befriends the former Priest of Knives and searches for Serapio. The warrior prince Okoa harbors Serapio among the Carrion Crows but fears his godly wrath.

Naranpa and Serapio, both living avatars of ancient gods, battle for free will and freedom from their fates. Unlikely allies and enemies are found lurking in their dreams. Still, their true purpose remains unclear in the face of destiny.

Compared to “Black Sun,” this sequel leans toward a political drama rather than an adventure novel–a welcome change after the action-packed and gruesome first novel. Although “Fevered Star” is just as–if not more–gory than “Black Sun,” so be prepared for the gore. Nevertheless, this novel’s political leanings are far more intriguing to dissect as each character attempts to navigate the aftermath of Serapio’s destruction.

If the first novel was steeped in immense world-building, “Fevered Star” is practically drenched in it. From folklore to history, the world of Meridian blossoms without bogging down the plot and character growth. Every detail was effortlessly woven into the world's seams and story–making Roanhorse a master of world-building.

Roanhorse answers lingering questions from “Black Sun” and leaves readers on a mildly frustrating cliffhanger despite the sequel not being nearly as introspective or action-packed as the debut.

A wild, political rollercoaster for the end of the world, “Fevered Star” smashes the predominantly White fantasy genre. Roanhorse leaves readers with more questions than we began, but I am practically giddy for the next novel in the Between Earth and Sky series.

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