Instant New York Times bestseller!
“A remarkable, breathtaking, earthshaking, poetic thrillride.” —Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper
In this riveting, keenly emotional debut fantasy, a Black teen from Houston has her world upended when she learns about her godly ancestry and must save both the human and god worlds. Perfect for fans of Angie Thomas, Tomi Adeyemi, and The Hunger Games!
“Make a way out of no way” is just the way of life for Rue. But when her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, life for her and her younger sister changes forever. Rue’s taken from her neighborhood by the father she never knew, forced to leave her little sister behind, and whisked away to Ghizon—a hidden island of magic wielders.
Rue is the only half-god, half-human there, where leaders protect their magical powers at all costs and thrive on human suffering. Miserable and desperate to see her sister on the anniversary of their mother’s death, Rue breaks Ghizon’s sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston, only to discover that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. And her sister, Tasha, is in danger of falling sway to the very forces that claimed their mother’s life.
Worse still, evidence mounts that the evil plaguing East Row is the same one that lurks in Ghizon—an evil that will stop at nothing until it has stolen everything from her and everyone she loves. Rue must embrace her true identity and wield the full magnitude of her ancestors’ power to save her neighborhood before the gods burn it to the ground.
Abruptly separated from her beloved 12-year-old half-sister Tasha after their mother's murder a year ago, 17-year-old Rue was taken from Houston by her father, whom she's never met, to a secret island, Ghizon, "thousands of nautical miles off the coast of Madagascar." Wrestling with her mother's death, Rue must navigate meeting her father, discovering her half-magical heritage, and investigating why she and her dad are the only Black people, or people of color at all, on Ghizon. With the help of Bri, an anxious Ghizoni tech wiz, Rue transports back to her Houston block, intending to slip Tasha a gift on the anniversary of Mom's death. But after Rue uses magic to save Tasha from an accident and touches her, a Ghizoni cardinal sin, the Ghizoni officials want Tasha dead—and Rue soon discovers that a cartel wants the same, in addition to destroying East Row, her home neighborhood, whose residents she considers family. Elle relentlessly highlights the ancestral trauma of genocide, colonialism, and institutional racism that Black people endure to this day. Full of grief, love, and vengeance, this poignant debut encourages readers to embrace the whole of their identities to overcome pain. Ages 14–up.
This book started off really slow and I thought omg I made a bad decision but at like chapter maybe 20, it picked up and I was like ok this is getting good. I am glad I got to the end and hopefully the second book finishes this the right way.