The lands surrounding the Crescent Sea are ruled from the distant, northern city of Tova and the religious order of the Watchers. The power of the Watchers has been waning and now that a commoner, Naranpa, has the highest role of Sun Priest there is dissent in the order and city. Tova itself is broken into four districts each ruled by a different clan: Tsay (Golden Eagle), Titidi (Water Strider), Kun (Winged Serpent), and the looked down upon Odo (Carrion Crow). The Odo have been most resistant to the rule of the Watchers and years ago waged a rebellion to worship in their old ways. They were savagely defeated and have been weakened ever since. One woman’s desire for revenge set her on the path of bringing forth the Carrion Crow’s God reborn into the world and see the destruction of the Watchers.
As Sun Priest, Naranpa believes that the Watchers have become too separated from the common people as she attempts to bridge the gap and once again raise the importance of the Watchers. Her choices and actions do not sit well with certain powerful members of the city. Serapio’s mother was of the Carrion Crow clan but she fled to the distant southern mountains to conceive a child and mold him into the vessel for the Crow God to be reborn into. Once he reached the age of twelve, his mother cast powerful magic and sewed his eyes shut. Telling him that he would know when to reopen them. Xiala is a ship’s captain of Teek descent, a race with water magic that is highly distrusted due to how their singing can also manipulate mortals. She has been hired to ensure that Serapio makes it to Tova in time for the solar conjunction and eclipse.
Rebecca Roanhorse is of Spanish Indian and African American descent and Black Sun is the fruition of her desire to see more fantasy inspired by the Pre-Columbian Americas. After reading Western Europe inspired fantasy for much of my life, this book was a breath of fresh air. Filled with forbidden magic, prophesies, intrigue, and a creative world setting I highly recommend Black Sun for all fans of fantasy.