"A compelling, finely tuned fantasy with fantastic world building." –Shannon Hale, New York Times bestselling author
"Immediately captivated me." –Buzzfeed
“A bold new world.” –Seventeen
“Dazzling . . . All hail Raybearer.” –Entertainment Weekly
The epic debut YA fantasy from an incredible new talent—perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi and Sabaa Tahir
Nothing is more important than loyalty.
But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?
Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself? With extraordinary world-building and breathtaking prose, Raybearer is the story of loyalty, fate, and the lengths we’re willing to go for the ones we love.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
What’s more important: A true purpose or a loving family? In her stunning fantasy debut, Jordan Ifueko creates a magical African-influenced world to explore that question. Young scholar-warrior Tarisai has been trained since birth to win a coveted place on the Crown Prince of Aritsar’s Council of 11, a group of advisors united by a cosmic force known as the Ray. Having been raised by a cold, distant mother, Tarisai aches for camaraderie, especially since her magical ability to see people’s memories with a touch has isolated her from those around her. Ifueko builds a remarkably vivid society complete with distinct, fascinating cultures and its own mind-bending supernatural forces. She uses this world to examine an all-too-human experience, as Tarisai struggles in vain to please everyone in her life and still remain true to herself. Raybearer is a thrilling adventure that touches your senses, your mind, and especially your heart.
In Ifueko's stunning fantasy debut, a woman known as "the Lady" commands a djinn to build her an invisible stronghold and impregnate her with a child who must someday grant her third wish. She raises the resulting daughter, dark-skinned Tarisai, in ignorance of her origins, isolating and training her for an undisclosed reason. When the Lady dispatches 11-year-old Tarisai to Oluwan City to compete for inclusion on Crown Prince Ekundayo's governing Council of Eleven, the affection-starved girl is delighted; if chosen, she will bond eternally with Dayo, as the prince is known, and her Council siblings via a mystical Ray. The union will also render Dayo immune to all forms of premature death except murder by a Council member which is precisely what the Lady envisions. Tarisai, however, resolves to write her own destiny and protect Dayo, no matter the cost. By crafting a world plagued by imperialism, poverty, and institutionalized misogyny, and a mythology that literalizes the power of love, purpose, and sacrifice, Ifueko illustrates the need for social change and inspires readers to fight for it. Fierce, kindhearted characters from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds enhance the well-paced, exquisitely crafted plot, which thrills and inspires while fostering readers' hope for a sequel. Ages 12 up.