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Black Leopard, Red Wolf
“If I had to pick one word to describe this book, it would be feral. James creates a fantastical Africa that invokes the violence and brutality of the old world, but wraps it in delicate layers of myth and magic that make the reader want to cozy up to the savagery in order to get a better look. The characters add to the effect, as they are mysterious enough to entice and real enough to despise. The sense of displacement and lack of certainty enforces the message that nothing and nobody in this world can be trusted, not even the self. If people want to call this the African Game of Thrones, I won’t necessarily argue, but I will say that the Tracker and his frenemies would make any of the big baddies in Westeros run for cover with their tail cut off. ”Linda Sherman-Nurick,
Cellar Door Books
“Black Leopard, Red Wolf is fantastically queer, black, and confounding! It is an enticing read, filled with love, sex, betrayal, and truths that are not so true.”Dartricia,
“Marlon James’ Black Leopard, Red Wolf is a shot across the bow of fantasy literature: bold, fresh, and filled with brutal wonder and endless imagination. James’tale set in a fantastical ancient Africa follows a hunter known only as Tracker as he trails the scent of a lost boy, meeting a shape-shifting leopard along the way. At turns hallucinatory, dreamlike, and nightmarish, Black Leopard, Red Wolf’s world envelops the reader in its stink, grime, sweat, and blood. Never has a magical world felt quite so otherworldly and yet frighteningly tactile at the same time. This is literary fantasy as you’ve never encountered it before and a truly original tale of love, loss, power, and identity.”Caleb Masters,
“An ambitious read of epic proportions! African mythology, history and James' phenomenal imagination come together to make an adventure tale like no other. Engrossing! Daring! Beautifully strange!”Zinna,
A Great Good Place for Books
One of TIME’s 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time
Winner of the L.A. Times Ray Bradbury Prize
Finalist for the 2019 National Book Award
The New York Times Bestseller
Named a Best Book of 2019 by The Wall Street Journal, TIME, NPR, GQ, Vogue, and The Washington Post
"A fantasy world as well-realized as anything Tolkien made." --Neil Gaiman
"Gripping, action-packed....The literary equivalent of a Marvel Comics universe." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
The epic novel from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings
In the stunning first novel in Marlon James's Dark Star trilogy, myth, fantasy, and history come together to explore what happens when a mercenary is hired to find a missing child.
Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: "He has a nose," people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.
As Tracker follows the boy's scent--from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers--he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?
Drawing from African history and mythology and his own rich imagination, Marlon James has written a novel unlike anything that's come before it: a saga of breathtaking adventure that's also an ambitious, involving read. Defying categorization and full of unforgettable characters, Black Leopard, Red Wolf is both surprising and profound as it explores the fundamentals of truth, the limits of power, and our need to understand them both.