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Onyebuchi, Tochi. Crown of Thunder.

Onyebuchi, Tochi. Crown of Thunder. Razorbill, October 2018. 320p. $17.99. 9780448493930.

5Q * 4P * J * S * NA (a)

Onyebuchi's latest offering picks up exactly where his lauded first novel, Beasts Made of Night (Razorbill, 2017/VOYA October 2017), leaves off. Taj is an aki, or sin eater, bound to destroy and consume sins of the royal family. The sins, or inisisa, are manifested as dangerous animals. Queen Karima has unleashed an army of inisisa to terrorize her subjects. Taj and Aliya, a mage, are on a mission to overthrow the corrupt queen and restore balance to their society. On the run from Karima, they find safety with other refugees in a faraway community. Through their struggles, Aliya and Taj both discover powers they did not think they had. The pair returns to battle the dangerous inisisa. There is a satisfying resolution, but there is a lingering feeling that Taj's adventures are not over yet.

Taj's world is a sophisticated, creatively wrought land with its own deep history and culture, influenced by Onyebuchi's Nigerian heritage. This series should be read in order. Readers are expected to be familiar with Taj's associates and his line of work, making the sequel a bit daunting to someone new to his world. As a whole, the characters are valiant, selfless, and deep in their convictions. There are values at the core of this story--such as the powers of healing and forgiveness--but they are presented in a nondidactic way. Taj's moral struggle is compelling. A romance between Taj and Aliya is hinted at but not explored in depth. Recommend this book to readers who enjoy series with rich world-building and captivating fight scenes.--Hannah Grasse.

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Author:Grasse, Hannah
Publication:Voice of Youth Advocates
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 1, 2018
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