Raybearer
Nothing is more important than loyalty.But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy? Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. 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. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?

Raybearer Details

TitleRaybearer
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 18th, 2020
PublisherAmulet Books
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Young Adult Fantasy

Raybearer Review

  • Jthbooks
    January 1, 1970
    IS THERE A BOOK TWO? I NEED A BOOK TWO! LIKE YESTERDAY
  • Abbie | epochnovels
    January 1, 1970
    As magical as The Lion King, and as luscious as The Wrath and the Dawna simply refreshing debut, teeming with life, love, and color.In the global empire of Aritsar, love-starved Tarisai is compelled by her mother to join the council of a divine Crown Prince. Her mission? Earn his trust. Fall in love. And when the time is right. . . Kill him.I don't even know where to begin. . . This book felt like a hug. Like a warm, magical hug. Tar (Tarisai) is a ferociously loyal and kind heroinealmost to a As magical as The Lion King, and as luscious as The Wrath and the Dawn—a simply refreshing debut, teeming with life, love, and color.In the global empire of Aritsar, love-starved Tarisai is compelled by her mother to join the council of a divine Crown Prince. Her mission? Earn his trust. Fall in love. And when the time is right. . . Kill him.I don't even know where to begin. . . This book felt like a hug. Like a warm, magical hug. Tar (Tarisai) is a ferociously loyal and kind heroine—almost to a fault. She is fiercely protective of those she loves, and would quite literally die for her friends. My heart ached in reading about her loneliness towards the beginning of the book. Whether intentional or not by the author, the magical circumstances in which Tar undergoes is a great representation of harm OCD. I found myself sending highlighted moments of the texts to my mental health buddies going: "OMG! This is it! She's describing what it feels like!" Overall, she was just such a sweet, powerful character. Through her Hallow (power), she is able to see the history of people, and objects. Because of this, Tar has learned to see the world and everyone in it as stories. It adds this extremely empathic softness to her character that I found beautiful, because of her lonely past. "'Wherever I come from,' I told Kirah as irubo dancers whirled around us, 'I think music was forbidden. Whenever I hear a song, it feels like I'm stealing something.'" Let me also say: a lot happens in this book. A LOT. It definitely does not follow the traditional YA plot or pacing, whatsoever. The time jumps in the first part did take a little to get used to and made me feel as if we were missing out on some key characterization, but it only added more depth to the tale. I've never read anything inspired by West African folklore, and apparently, I need to read more about these types of fantasies because—I AM OBSESSED; from everything to the tutsu sprites, the Ray magic, the animals, the vibrant settings. Just. . . ALL OF THE THINGS. They were so beautifully written, and I felt like I was there; as if I could feel the warm breeze, and the aroma of the villages, and the spirit of the people. Tar's relationship with Sanjeet was also adorable. We love a brooding, secretly fuzzy-boy. And not to mention, Tar's many other friendships with the rest of the council, especially Kirah. I also love Woo In and Kirah's little romance ? With my entire soul ? My only complaint is that I wish we had gotten to know more about the rest of the council members, and their stories! Who knows? Maybe we will in the next book *fingers-crossed*Also, can we talk about The Lady (Tar's mother)? She was such an intriguing anti-heroine. The complexity of her relationship with her own daughter was confounding, and heart-breaking. Another great aspect was the storytelling through song. A HUGE round of applause for Ifueko's writing on the tiny little snippets of lyrics that are littered like delightful, little poetic treasures throughout the book. It only further enriches the world: "Drums beat out the introduction for the day's catechism:T-dak-a, tdak-a. Gun, bow-bowbow. Hear the sacred story of creation. 'Queen Earth and King Water are lovers,' sang one priest, as the other kept time on an hourglass-shaped talking drum. 'Their children are many. Trees. Rivers. Creatures that creep, kedu, kedu, and swim, shwe, shwe...'"We desperately need more books such as this in the YA genre. I can't wait for book two! A BIG thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for sending me an ARC copy of this book!
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  • Amy Imogene Reads
    January 1, 1970
    Excited!Thank you to Amulet Books for an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.
  • Jessica Khoury
    January 1, 1970
    I LOVED THIS BOOK.
  • Kelsea
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars!This. Was. BRILLIANT. YA fantasy has become such a tough sell for me (I've just read so much of it), but I'm still tempted to read it -- especially when a new #ownvoices / diverse read comes out!Raybearer strikes a lovely balance between keeping familiar elements of YA fantasy and incorporating things that are new and different and that I've rarely or never seen done before. I *thought* I knew where the story was going and I was very pleasantly surprised to find I'd been wrong.I'm not 4.5 stars!This. Was. BRILLIANT. YA fantasy has become such a tough sell for me (I've just read so much of it), but I'm still tempted to read it -- especially when a new #ownvoices / diverse read comes out!Raybearer strikes a lovely balance between keeping familiar elements of YA fantasy and incorporating things that are new and different and that I've rarely or never seen done before. I *thought* I knew where the story was going and I was very pleasantly surprised to find I'd been wrong.I'm not going to say much, because I think it's best enjoyed if you go in without too many expectations, so I'll just say I enjoyed this one greatly and highly recommend it! This very impressive debut novel comes out April 14.Thank you Pique Beyond for providing a free advanced copy of the book! All opinions are my own.
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  • Ms. Woc Reader
    January 1, 1970
    This book took me on a journey that tested my sense of love, loyalty, and family. If you're looking for your next fantasy read I suggest you pick this one up. I felt for Tarisai and hope that other readers will as well. Raybearer had just the right balance of world building and characterization along with great pacing to keep me hooked. See full in depth review at blog belowhttps://womenofcolorreadtoo.blogspot....
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  • Jessi (Novel Heartbeat)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5What a beautiful debut!! The world of Aritsar as well as Ifueko's prose were stunning and vivid. I loved the culture! It felt a lot like a mashup of Children of Blood & Bone and City of Brass, but was everything I wanted from both of those books (and didn't get). This was the gorgeous Nigerian fantasy that I expected jumping into CoB&B, which left me feeling disappointing. This one did not!I was utterly hooked from the first chapter! It was so magical and enchanting it drew me in. 4.5/5What a beautiful debut!! The world of Aritsar as well as Ifueko's prose were stunning and vivid. I loved the culture! It felt a lot like a mashup of Children of Blood & Bone and City of Brass, but was everything I wanted from both of those books (and didn't get). This was the gorgeous Nigerian fantasy that I expected jumping into CoB&B, which left me feeling disappointing. This one did not!I was utterly hooked from the first chapter! It was so magical and enchanting it drew me in. I loved the world and its magic - the alagbato (fairies), abiku (death spirits), ehru (enslaved spirits), the sprites, and the concept of Redemptor children that have to enter the Underworld to keep the abiku at bay. I especially loved the emi-ehran (spirits of the underworld)! I freaking LOVED Hyung, Woo In's giant cat emi-ehran!The concept of the Ray was phenomenal! So basically, to unite the different peoples, the emperor - a Raybearer - chooses 11 other council members to help him rule equally by bonding mentally with them using the Ray. But they have to love him for the Ray to work. Each emperor is born with one natural immunity (i.e. poison, or burning) but when he anoints his council members after bonding with the Ray, each member lends another immunity until the emperor is completely immune to all forms of death except old age! Epic, right?! It's unlike anything I've ever read before!I can't praise the world building enough. It was vivid and captivating - I never once forgot about the surroundings and was able to picture it completely in my head. The culture positively saturated this story! You could tell that Ifueko spent a long time on the world building - there was a very detailed culture, history, and politics to the world. There's even a glossary in the back!! I would have loved to see a map though, hopefully there's one in the finished copy. I adored the backstory, and how there were scandals and coverups involving the history. (view spoiler)[I LOVE that women actually can have the Ray, and there used to be two rulers, an empress and an emperor, ruling side by side! It was a nice little twist that Tarisai had the Ray, as did her mother - who got banished for it. I didn't see that coming!! (hide spoiler)] I love when history has been twisted and covered up, and we get to take that journey to discovering the real backstory. LOVE. (All the Stars and Teeth is another good story like that!)Tarisai was fantastic! It was easy to feel for her. She grew up without the love of her own mother, being used as a tool, not even deserving of being called by her real name. Her mother called her Made-of-Me and never called her by her real name, poor thing! She also didn't have a choice in her life with her mother's third wish ruling her future. (view spoiler)[I like how that all played out too, and how she overcame it in the end! I also like how she sacrificed herself to save the Songland children from being Redemptors. I can't wait to see where this goes in the next installment when she has to fulfill her promise to the abiku and go to the Underworld in place of the children! (hide spoiler)]The romance was sweet, and I liked Sanjeet, but it didn't quite give me the feels I was hoping for. It felt like they were lacking some sort of chemistry that would make it click for me - the sort of chemistry that the friendships in the book had. The two main friendships - Dayo and Tar, and Tar and Kirah - were absolutely beautiful! I don't know why I didn't feel the same way about the romance. (I mean, ya'll know I don't care that much about romance, but still.) I loved Kirah!! She was such a great sidekick, and a wonderful best friend for Tarisai. She stood by her no matter what and protected her. I adore good wholesome female friendships that aren't catty! I also adore wholesome, strictly platonic friendships; and Dayo and Tar were a perfect example of that. That kind of strong boy/girl friendship is not something we see very often in YA fiction, and something I really wish we did! There was nothing romantic whatsoever between them (think Harry + Hermione!), and I freaking loved that. Even the few times they considered it (mainly out of expectation), they were like Nah, that's too weird, I just don't like you that way. SO. RARE.All in all, this book was gorgeous. I highly recommend this magical Nigerian fantasy!This review was originally posted on Novel Heartbeat. To see a breakdown of my assessment, please visit the full review here.
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  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    This book is nothing short of incredible. I'm not usually into Fantasy but Jordan Ifueko's world hooked me from the first page. She skilfully combines lush prose with an immensely creative fantasy world and a brilliantly compelling cast of characters. I couldn't put it down and I can't wait for book two!
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    Raybearer hooked me from the first page. Jordan did a great job of showing how much Tarisai craved her mothers attention and would do anything for it. That being said, I wish we got more interaction between Tar and her fellow council members. Council members talk about how close they are, but I didnt really believe that because we dont see them spend much time together. Or we only see Tar interacting with Kirah and Sanjeet, but there are supposed to be 11 council members total. Thats the one Raybearer hooked me from the first page. Jordan did a great job of showing how much Tarisai craved her mother’s attention and would do anything for it. That being said, I wish we got more interaction between Tar and her fellow council members. Council members talk about how close they are, but I didn’t really believe that because we don’t see them spend much time together. Or we only see Tar interacting with Kirah and Sanjeet, but there are supposed to be 11 council members total. That’s the one thing I didn’t like about Raybearer. If the council was only 3 or 4 people, then it would have been more manageable. For what Jordan was trying to do, I don’t think a council of 11 people works. I am hoping we get to know more of the council members later, as there will be more books. Still, I’m super invested in Tar’s story and I want to see where she goes.Raybearer focuses heavily on the idea of identity. From the start, Tar is referred to as “Made-of-me” by her mother. This gives Tarisai a challenging upbringing where she always feels like she needs to make her mother proud. Then she gets taken to the Children’s Palace where she is supposed to become a council member for the prince. Again, Tar is stripped of any identity she has and becomes part of a larger group. Tar does wrestle with these things and I appreciate how Jordan handled it. Jordan also did a great job bringing colonialism into the story, and showing how harmful it is to erase, not just an individual’s identity, but an entire culture. We see how people are affected as their people are taken away and changed. This isn’t anything new. If you open your eyes to the world, then you can see this in your day-to-day life. But it never stops being heartbreaking, and Jordan beautifully weaves this into her fantasy world. Jordan also takes the time to incorporate conversations where characters struggle with the gender expectations put upon them, like reproduction. It feels like a lot of this story hinges on the male/female binary, but it’s still nice to see characters in power say that they don’t want children even though it’s expected of them. Or for Tar to say that she doesn’t want to be with the prince, even though other characters try to push them together.I could say a lot more about Raybearer, but this review is already longer than most of my reviews. I enjoyed Raybearer a lot, and I’m eagerly looking forward to more books in this world.
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  • Laura (Bookie_mama_bear)
    January 1, 1970
    ☀ BOOK REVIEW ☀ Thank you so much to Hotkey Books & Jordan Ifueko for my gifted copy of Raybearer in return for an honest review.I was so excited to read this and I can honestly say it completely surpassed all of my expectations. Its got an instant hook but more than that the writing is astonishing, its so beautiful and full of description. The world building is just wonderful, seen initially through the eyes of child and further developed by the same character as a young adult. The cultures ☀️ BOOK REVIEW ☀️ Thank you so much to Hotkey Books & Jordan Ifueko for my gifted copy of Raybearer in return for an honest review.I was so excited to read this and I can honestly say it completely surpassed all of my expectations. It’s got an instant hook but more than that the writing is astonishing, it’s so beautiful and full of description. The world building is just wonderful, seen initially through the eyes of child and further developed by the same character as a young adult. The cultures are colourful, religious and complex but it’s all painted in such a way that it’s digestible while keeping its rich depth of detail. The story itself is so heartbreaking, full of loneliness, lack of self worth & betrayal. That said it’s also full of love, friendship, self discovery & hope for better futures. It’s fantasy at its best, it’s fantasy we mere mortals can relate to. I saw pieces of my younger self in these characters, I desperately wanted the world on a stick for Tarisai (MC) she’s so loveable. Oh Jordan what have you done to me 🙈 I need there to be a book 2, I have to know what happens to my girl!! This book should have been published this week, but covid-19 has pushed it back until August. I’m sad you’re all having to wait to read this but I promise you it is worth the wait ❤️
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  • Aoife
    January 1, 1970
    Tarisai longs for a family, after being raised by indifferent tutors in a hidden compound. But when she finally has the chance to find that family, the reason for her upbringing becomes clear; her mother expects her to kill her new found family and has used powerful magic to ensure she complies. Tari must find her own power in time to save her emperor and her entire world...I'll be honest, as I always try to be in my reviews. I wasn't sure about this book. The cover, the blurb, they both said Tarisai longs for a family, after being raised by indifferent tutors in a hidden compound. But when she finally has the chance to find that family, the reason for her upbringing becomes clear; her mother expects her to kill her new found family and has used powerful magic to ensure she complies. Tari must find her own power in time to save her emperor and her entire world...I'll be honest, as I always try to be in my reviews. I wasn't sure about this book. The cover, the blurb, they both said 'sort of ok' to me. However, I took the leap and I'm so glad I did. Far from the impenetrable read I was fearing, this is an instantly readable high fantasy, far more Eddings than Tolkien. The mythology of the world is shown to us at just the right speed, building interest and curiosity. The characters are great, too. However, I wish there weren't so many on the Council; we barely met most of them, only three including Tar really had any bearing on the story. Maybe in future stories we'll learn more about them.Future stories! This book doesn't cliffhang, which is great because I hate those ones. However, it's clear that there's a lot more story to tell, and I hope Jordan doesn't keep us waiting for too long. (Largely because I'll forget who everyone is if she does; I tend to forget characters after a year or so.)I loved the colourful descriptions of clothes and buildings, and the different cultures. Jordan touches on a lot of topics, from gaslighting to colonialism, but she does it so lightly that it never feels like a lecture. I'm so glad I overcame my uncertainty and tried this book. I'll be recommending it to as many people as possible.
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  • Meg Chia (bibliophilogy)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5Full review here!
  • biblio_mom (Aiza)
    January 1, 1970
    It follows Tarisai who was born in a way that even herself wished not to be born at all. She longed for mostly absent mother known as The Lady. Against her will, she was sent to Aritsar, the capital of the global empire to be chosen as one of the Crown Princes Council of 11. She will became one of the council siblings and connected through The Ray which they can talk to each other in their minds if she got picked.The Lady mission for her is to kill the Prince. But would she kill the person who It follows Tarisai who was born in a way that even herself wished not to be born at all. She longed for mostly absent mother known as The Lady. Against her will, she was sent to Aritsar, the capital of the global empire to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. She will became one of the council siblings and connected through The Ray which they can talk to each other in their minds if she got picked.The Lady mission for her is to kill the Prince. But would she kill the person who she had sworn to protect? Theres a plot twist to that when she's told who The Lady really is.I was hooked right from the second page. I love the character development, how each one of them is introduced alongside their hollow (ability), the settings of different realms and the aspect of it.The intro is just brilliant. It immediately plays with my immaginations. I thought that it would have a little bit of Alladin kind of story with the 3 wishes. But its not at all. Its different and unique. A page-turner and theres so much into it that you cannot skim through the pages because they needed to be enjoyed every words and sentences.Anyway, my favourite hollow would of those from the Songland. They can even fly and changed forms. How cool is that?I would highly recommend this especially to those who love characters that has superhuman abilities.Thank You #pansing for this ARC in return for my honest review. This book is coming on 14th April 2020 and will be available in any good bookstores.
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  • Kiki Kramer
    January 1, 1970
    This book had be on the edge of my seat from the first chapter. The Raybearer is full of twists, adventure, magic, and a hint of romance. I highly recommend it.
  • Kristi
    January 1, 1970
    Publication date has been pushed to August of 2020. Review closer to this date.
  • Rachael Mills
    January 1, 1970
    A richly-detailed Nigerian-inspired fantasy with incredible world-building and complex characters. The prose was engaging and the plot gripped me from the first page. This is one of the best fantasy books I've ever read.
  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Love this book from the cover to the exciting plot twits, the settings, to the character development. It is a complex study about right and wrong, gender expectations, making hard decisions. I will be recommending it a ton!
  • Tara
    January 1, 1970
    This debut is SO GOOD! Aside from the fantasy, African mysticism and culture, and good old fashioned adventure, it is steeped in a place of longing so sincere that it leaps off the page.
  • Kerri
    January 1, 1970
    Note: The publication date of this book was pushed from April until August due to *vaguely gestures at everything* But I received an ARC from the publisher before that decision was made. I do plan on sharing this review again closer to the release date, but I couldnt NOT talk about this book now! Thank you so much to Amulet Books for sending me a free review copy in exchange for an honest review!Ive been sitting on this review for awhile because Raybearer is not a book you review off the cuff. Note: The publication date of this book was pushed from April until August due to… *vaguely gestures at everything* But I received an ARC from the publisher before that decision was made. I do plan on sharing this review again closer to the release date, but I couldn’t NOT talk about this book now! Thank you so much to Amulet Books for sending me a free review copy in exchange for an honest review!I’ve been sitting on this review for awhile because Raybearer is not a book you review off the cuff. No, this beauty needs to be sat with for a moment. Mostly because you need to let the emotions you’re feeling sort themselves out into some form of coherent thought. And partly because it takes awhile to actually emerge from the world of Aritsar once you turn that last page.In this story, we follow a young girl named Tarisai. She is the only child of a mysterious woman known only as The Lady. From birth, the only other people she has known were tutors who taught her in every subject imaginable. She has never known the love of a close family. She yearns to be held, to be loved, but The Lady has plans for Tarisai. All of Tarisai’s training has been so she can vie for a spot on the Crown Prince of Aritsar’s council, a council that is bound by a force called the Ray. A council that offers Tarisai a closeness she has yearned for. But The Lady has one wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: kill the prince.I honestly don’t know where to start when it comes to shouting the praises of this book. I loved absolutely everything about it! From the rich world-building, to the solid characters, to the intricate and well-developed plot, this book was a joy to read. This story evokes West African folklore and mythology and it’s just so beautifully done. It’s colorful and kinetic and something I didn’t know I needed.I suppose if we must start somewhere, let’s start with the world of Aritsar. Jordan Ifueko does a seamless job of developing this lush and beautiful world without being info-dumpy. You learn about the twelve regions of Aritsar in an effortless way as you follow Tarisai on her journey. The descriptions of the lands are just gorgeous! They are so evocative that you can see yourself sitting in the savannah, watching the tutsu sprites flit in the sun. And the story-telling! Not just the actual story, but how story-telling is described in the story. I felt the beat of the drums and I could envision the griot (the story-teller) as they sung their history and mythology. It was so immersive! Everything about the world-building and the writing makes it so easy to fall into this book and get lost.And the characters! I’m saying this right now so we can get it out of the way: I LOVE TARISAI! She is so complex and badass and pure and just UGH! She’s amazing. And I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to read about a young, black girl with a broad nose and kinky hair kicking ass in a gorgeous fantasy world where her race wasn’t a plot point. Her character arc was a beautiful thing to behold and I found myself so invested in her life and her dreams. I wanted her to have everything she ever wanted because, damnit, she busts her ass for it! She goes Through It and deserves some damn happiness!Now, having one expertly crafted character is nice, but it can all be ruined if the secondary characters fall flat. Thankfully, that is not the case in Raybearer! I was so enchanted with the crown prince, Ekundayo, who is a cinnamon roll and I would die for him. No joke. Sanjeet, another councilmember (and possible love interest *eyebrow wiggle*), is the typical Dark and Brooding type, but is still layered and intriguing. And Kirah, Tarisai’s best friend, is a literal ray of sunshine. I will say that we don’t get an in-depth look at quite a few of the councilmembers (there are eleven in total), but I don’t think that detracted from the story at all. After all, the focus is Tarisai and her struggles and I think trying to get inside all the other characters would have been distracting and confusing.As for the plot, this book was a page-turner from go! You are immediately pulled into Tarisai’s world. You gobble up the pages as you yearn to know what is going to happen to her next and how she will get herself out of the situations she finds herself in. Even in times of apparent peace, you’re on the edge of your seat, waiting for what’s next. At no point did I feel the story lagging or bored in the slightest. I was engaged from beginning to end, so much so that I was kind of upset when the book was over 😂 And just in case you immediately go to Goodreads to see if there is a book two and find no information, don’t fret like I did! Jordan Ifueko mentioned on her Twitter that she was working on book two and I, for one, CAN. NOT. WAIT!Final thoughts: This is an exquisite story weaved around West African culture. The story-telling is pure magic and will have you tearing through the pages. If you’re looking for an immersive fantasy story with unique characters and plot that keeps a perfect pace, you will love this book. And if, like me, you’ve been waiting for a fantasy story where the hero looks like you, this will find a special place in your heart.
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  • Gemma
    January 1, 1970
    I was excited to be offered a review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I haven't really read a fantasy inspired by West African folklore and I was keen to dive into this one because it sounded so good. After finishing this book I can say I enjoyed the story overall but i definitely have some mixed feelings about it. I will be honest after about 100 pages I was considering DNFing this book. I will say now that I've finished it I'm really glad I didn't however, I was excited to be offered a review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I haven't really read a fantasy inspired by West African folklore and I was keen to dive into this one because it sounded so good. After finishing this book I can say I enjoyed the story overall but i definitely have some mixed feelings about it. I will be honest after about 100 pages I was considering DNFing this book. I will say now that I've finished it I'm really glad I didn't however, for the first 100-200 pages I really struggled to get into the story. The writing was fine, but I felt the pacing of the story was a bit off. There was several big time jumps in the beginning and I think this hindered the character development and the world building. There were things happening that I didn't really understand and their were aspects of the story that I didn't feel were explained well enough which was a shame as the plot itself was really interesting. The story picked up in the second half and there wasn't really any large time jumps which helped me to follow the plot better and I found myself wanting to keep reading as I was keen to see how it ended. I loved the characters however, I really liked the idea of challenging the stereotype of this world where only men can rule and woman are seen as a lesser being in the royal circle. Our main character Tar was quite complex, it often felt like she was being pulled in many different directions and I liked how she didn't just give in to the easy option. She continued to fight for what was right even though she could hurt herself and the people around her. I thought the idea of a sacred council all linked together was really interesting. I really liked the strong found family vibes this story gave off and I liked that the romance that went along with this was very much a slow burn as it could of quite easily been quite 'instalovey' with the way the characters bonded together. Overall a bit of a mixed one for me. I enjoyed the plot and the characters however, I felt the execution wasn't quite right for my taste. I'm not sure if this is part of a series or if there will be any more books in this world but if it is then I may look at picking up the next one from my library. 3.5 stars.
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  • Elvina Zafril
    January 1, 1970
    Raybearer is fascinating. It is so good. I didnt expect it could be this good. This is one of the best fantasy books Ive read so far. I just love how the characters started out as young children who are competing for the Council. They are growing and their characters have developed and they are starting to choose their own destiny instead of just follow what has been inherited to them. I really like Tarisai. All the characters are interesting and likeable. All of them have their own story to Raybearer is fascinating. It is so good. I didn’t expect it could be this good. This is one of the best fantasy books I’ve read so far. I just love how the characters started out as young children who are competing for the ‘Council’. They are growing and their characters have developed and they are starting to choose their own destiny instead of just follow what has been inherited to them. I really like Tarisai. All the characters are interesting and likeable. All of them have their own story to tell and I enjoyed reading every single story.The world building is top notch. I still in awe. It is very interesting setting. Until now I am amazed that the author was able to deliver such complex world building. The plot is amazing and it’s an amazing read to me.This is a fast paced book and it was divided to 4 parts and it was enjoyable ride. Overall, I have to say that this is absolutely amazing fantasy read I’ve read so far. Thank you Pansing, @definitelybooks for sending me a copy of Raybearer in return for an honest review. This book will be available on April onwards.
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  • Tilly
    January 1, 1970
    3 starsIt seems that I am an odd one out in the reviews so far as they are all 4 or 5 stars.Raybearer started off with so much promise. I loved the worldbuilding which was a beautiful mix of africa and magic. I was really intrigued by the plot to begin with and couldn't wait to see how the story continued. I felt a real connection with the female lead and loved the idea of a council joined by magic so they are incredibly close.Sadly at about the half way point, I started to get a little bored. I 3 starsIt seems that I am an odd one out in the reviews so far as they are all 4 or 5 stars.Raybearer started off with so much promise. I loved the worldbuilding which was a beautiful mix of africa and magic. I was really intrigued by the plot to begin with and couldn't wait to see how the story continued. I felt a real connection with the female lead and loved the idea of a council joined by magic so they are incredibly close.Sadly at about the half way point, I started to get a little bored. I guessed a few of the twists which never helps and I also cared less about the characters. I felt more time should have been taken on their personalities and of more than the main 3 characters as it seemed quite narrow in view. The book is 400 pages and I think it could have been 300 and been a better and less drawn out book.It was a decent read and different to others I have read that have an african theme but it just didn't work too well for me.Please note that I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Andhisnosestuckinabook
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing content, beautiful magic system. If you want a book with beautiful culture, fleshed out characters and a world of politics. The only thing that let this book down for me was the pacing was to slow for me at times.
  • Naomi
    January 1, 1970
    *ARC from NetGalley*Enchanting from the beginning. Well-written. A good story of mind over matter and that family isn't necessarily those with whom you share blood. Superb, especially considering it's a debut novel.
  • Angelina
    January 1, 1970
    For a débuté novel I didn't expect it to be so good. This book is right up my ally and it's so hard to find good books these days. I'm looking forward to seeing more from this author. Its a wonderful fantasy novel but I think this will be a series ? For a débuté novel I didn't expect it to be so good. This book is right up my ally and it's so hard to find good books these days. I'm looking forward to seeing more from this author. It’s a wonderful fantasy novel but I think this will be a series ?
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  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    I loved everything about this book - from the worldbuilding, the warmth of the characters, to not being able to guess where it was going. It's refreshing, uplifting, immersive, and hard to put down. I need Book 2 right now.
  • Amanda - bookworms_take_shelfies
    January 1, 1970
    Wow what a book! One of the best YA original fantasies I have read in a while. The story is fantastic and so well written, I loved the characters and the settings. As it is a west African set fantasy it did take me a bit to get into the language and terms used, luckily there is a little glossary at the back to help, but it didn't detract from the story at all and I loved learning about the culture.The only thing I felt lacked a bit is that we didn't get to know about any of the other council Wow what a book! One of the best YA original fantasies I have read in a while. The story is fantastic and so well written, I loved the characters and the settings. As it is a west African set fantasy it did take me a bit to get into the language and terms used, luckily there is a little glossary at the back to help, but it didn't detract from the story at all and I loved learning about the culture.The only thing I felt lacked a bit is that we didn't get to know about any of the other council members apart from the main ones in the story. I get why this was done though as there are 11 of them and it could get confusing in a YA book.Overall l loved this and will definitely be looking out for future books from this author.
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  • Andreia
    January 1, 1970
    I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH I JUST WANT TO SCREAM
  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Tarisai only wants to belong, she feels abandoned by her mostly absent mother, known only as The Lady, and trapped in a home where her only interactions are with tutors and servants. Then suddenly she is sent out into the world to compete with other children for a spot on the Crown Prince's council. Yet, if she is able to achieve that she will be compelled by the Lady's magical wish to kill him.This is high fantasy at it's best, full of intricate world building and complex characters. Theres a Tarisai only wants to belong, she feels abandoned by her mostly absent mother, known only as The Lady, and trapped in a home where her only interactions are with tutors and servants. Then suddenly she is sent out into the world to compete with other children for a spot on the Crown Prince's council. Yet, if she is able to achieve that she will be compelled by the Lady's magical wish to kill him.This is high fantasy at it's best, full of intricate world building and complex characters. There’s a large cast of characters, as the crown prince and his father have 11 people each on their councils, and Ifueko wisely focuses on only a few from each council. Ifueko’s world has the male heir at the center, with all the rights and power, but she raises a lot of questions about this system and women’s roles in it. Tarisai is a strong female who comes into her own as the story progresses. Another nation is paying a terrible price for the peace in Arit, and the unfairness of this is explored as well. This is a good book for those who enjoyed Children of Blood and Bone. I read at ARC provided by the publisher.
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  • The Bookish Faerie
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to @definitely.boks for sending me an ARC of this book. It will be available in all good bookstores starting 4th April 2020 #RayBearer.Tarisai is the only child of a powerful woman known to all as The Lady, even to her own daughter. Since a child, all she ever wanted was to feel the love and approval of her mother. All she wanted was her mother, isn't that so PURE? *shiny eyes* Born and raised in a mansion in the desert of her homeland, Tarisai was taught by the finest professors and Thank you to @definitely.boks for sending me an ARC of this book. It will be available in all good bookstores starting 4th April 2020 #RayBearer.Tarisai is the only child of a powerful woman known to all as The Lady, even to her own daughter. Since a child, all she ever wanted was to feel the love and approval of her mother. All she wanted was her mother, isn't that so PURE? *shiny eyes* Born and raised in a mansion in the desert of her homeland, Tarisai was taught by the finest professors and scholars in every subject possible to perfection. She was trapped in her luxurious home, unable to leave the mansion's compounds and her only companions were the endless tutors and servants. The Lady travels a lot so she doesn't get to see her mother often but when she does, she makes sure that she impreses her on her studying progress.One day, after The Lady comes back from a trip, she announces to Tarisai that she will get to finally leave her gilded cage to see the world. . . only to be sent headfirst into a competition to compete with other children for a spot of the empire's Crown Prince's council. However, if she can achieve that, she will be compelled by the Lady's a magical wish made years ago to kill the Crown Prince. Tied between her mother's wish and the kindness and affection of the Crown Prince, Tarisai will have to make a choice that will forever reveal the tangled ribbon of issues in the past that led up to a series of events is the ultimate domino outcome of an unsettled past filled with vengence and mystery. High Fantasy is a difficult genre to write and Jordan Ifueko does it with fierce grace and the magic of her words. There are many characters in the book, it was hard to keep track of it at first. I got the hang of the complex large expanse of the empire with the names and characters after the first half of the book. * phew * In this book, readers will get to experience a new concept of magic (at least for me) with multiple Nigerian cultural influences and ethnic folktales. As the author is a fan of Lord of the Rings, I can see how Middle-Earth inspired her to create a universe in Raybearer. All I can say is, you're gonna need more than second-breakfast to get you through this breathtaking book.
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