Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be participating in the Blog Tour for Son of the Storm today thanks to Caffeine Book Tours! Son of the Storm is a West-African inspired fantasy filled with beautiful, intricate worldbuilding and a cast of complex characters. If you love books that paint scenes in vibrant detail, from cities, to jungles, to savannahs, you need to pick this one up.
A young scholar’s ambition threatens to reshape an empire determined to retain its might in this epic tale of violent conquest, buried histories, and forbidden magic.
In the thriving city of Bassa, Danso is a clever but disillusioned scholar who longs for a life beyond the rigid family and political obligations expected of the city’s elite. A way out presents itself when Lilong, a skin-changing warrior, shows up wounded in his barn. She comes from the Nameless Islands–which, according to Bassa lore, don’t exist–and neither should the mythical magic of ibor she wields. Now swept into a conspiracy far beyond his understanding, Danso will have to set out on a journey that reveals histories violently suppressed and magic only found in lore.
A Son of the Storm is a multi-pov story that focuses on three main characters. Danso is a young scholar who dreams of a life of freedom from the expectations placed upon him. When he meets the mysterious Lilong, a warrior with magic that shouldn’t exist, he’s flung into an adventure beyond the city limits. Eshme remains in the city of Bassa as it sits on the brink of change, reaching for the power she’s always longed to have.
This book has brilliant worldbuilding. Suyi Davies Okungbowa has truly created a world that feels rich and alive. As the main characters meet new people, unearth discoveries, and visit new places, a world of epic proportions comes to life. I could vividly visualise the setting due to the evocative writing style. If you’re one of those fantasy readers that loves new places and adventure, this would be a great book for you.
The characters were all complicated and multi-dimensional. I found Danso’s character annoying, but not in a way that disrupted my enjoyment of the book. In the beginning, he’s incredibly naive, and despite being an intelligent scholar, he has no idea how the world works. His character development was especially interesting, and I’m looking forward to how that continues in the next book.
My favourite character has to be Eshme; sometimes you just need to stan a powerful, ruthless woman. I loved watching her reach towards power, and despite being thoroughly horrible at times, she was so entertaining to read. I loved her scenes back in the city, how she manipulated people and turned situations in her favour. I can’t wait for more.
Lilong was also very interesting, and especially the discussion surrounding her people having albinism. I haven’t read many books where albinism is tackled, and especially alongside colourism and discrimination. I’m interested to know more about the community from where she originates.
This book tackles power very well – from personal desires to the power the city has. Colourism links strongly to this. There’s a strict caste-system linked skin tone, and outsiders are particularly oppressed. Even the history is rewritten to paint the city in a powerful, sympathetic light. Son of the Storm is based on a pre-colonial west-Africa, but these themes remain relevant today. I’m very interested to know how the city might change, grow, or fall in later books.
Overall, this was a brilliant book with interesting themes, characters, and worldbuilding. I’d recommend it to those who enjoy slower-paced, character-focused fantasy, especially if you love a good adventure.
CW: Ageism, bones, colourism/discrimination, emotionally manipulative relationship, fire, misogyny, pain, pregnancy and miscarriage/abortion, violence, blood and murder.
Thanks to Orbit, Netgalley, and Caffeine Tours for providing me with an Advanced Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
About The Author
Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a Nigerian author of speculative fiction inspired by his West-African origins. He is the author of David Mogo, Godhunter and his shorter works have appeared in Lightspeed, Nightmare, Strange Horizons and other periodicals and anthologies. He lives between Lagos, Nigeria and Tucson, Arizona where he teaches writing while completing his MFA in Creative Writing. He tweets at @IAmSuyiDavies and is @suyidavies everywhere else.
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Get this book
Son of the Storm releases tomorrow: May 11th 2021! There’s never been a better time to go pick up a copy!
If you want to remember to check out this book you should add it to Goodreads!