Oh, how I inhaled this. What a great start to this year’s Cannonball. Black Sun is the first book in a trilogy inspired by Pre-Columbian civilizations with magic, priests, clans and Gods. Serapio is the reincarnated (maybe just returned to the land, it’s a little fuzzy) Crow God. A merchant hires Xiala, a Teek, to get him to the city of Tova. The city is preparing for the solstice, where a ceremony will be lead by the Sun Priest, Naranpa. Tova is a city of riches and power. There are other clans than crow, although it is not entirely clear what the power structure is, but the Priests seem to control the city. In addition to the Sun Priest, there is a healer and a fighter and a scholar that are also head priests.
This was a very exciting introduction to the series. It never bogs down in world building or introducing the main players in the story. Key figures appear to die. This reminded me a bit of N.K. Jemisin’s Hundred Thousand Kingdoms book series. That also had a healthy dose of political intregue where some of the players don’t fully comprehend the danger they are in. The significant event in the past that is referenced is the Night of Knives, where the religious leaders of the city massacre members of the crow clan for believing in the old Gods. Serapio is raised to be a tool of revenge. He is blinded by his mother and trained by three tutors.
I really liked Xiala. She curses like a sailor and has relationships with men and women. She appears to be an outcast from her people. She has magic in her Song. I am looking forward to reading the next book and I was surprised it was available at the library. I guess it has been out for a bit. I also really liked that not everything is explained in the first book.