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Publisher Description

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, an African Game of Thrones, 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.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy
February 5
Penguin Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

Royal_13 ,

Solid Read

At first I thought this would be a book that I would give up a few chapters in. Both from my lack of interest of reading for the past ten years or so, and from how the book began. But then I got to the main story and I couldn’t stop reading. Solid read.

Pagan Zod ,


If you are a casual reader, or even just a casual reader of fantasy, this book might not be for you. If you are interested in reading a story that obliterates the typical expectations for fantasy, and carves a new path in the genre, pick up BLACK LEOPARD RED WOLF. If you are interested in reading characters who are round and nuanced and full of conflict and dramatic tension, this book is for you. If you are interested in reading a book that challenges you with elevated prose and writing that requires your brain to be engaged, then stop reading my review and start reading BLACK LEOPARD RED WOLF. There are a lot of reviews that say this book is boring, or too convoluted, or not like most fantasy (as if that’s a bad thing). You have to understand that you are entering a new world, with a style of storytelling we do not often digest in western culture (again, not a bad thing to have something new and unique). The first hundred or so pages are massively world-building, so be patient. Embrace the new, it’s good—dare I say better than the old, tired genre of sword & sorcery. I have read Game of Thrones. This is not Game of Thrones. This is better. I look forward to reading the next entry in this series. A second read through definitely helps to readdress the first hundred-ish pages & truly understand what’s happening, the world building is so dynamic and intricate. Brilliant piece of prose!

Narwhal Blue ,

Read it two times

So absorbing that I read if first as a downloaded book then bought a hard copy and read it again right away.

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