Publisher: Penguin books
Rating: 5/5 stars
Category: YA, romance, fantasy, adventure
Hello Readers, welcome back to my blog.
I am back with another fairyloot subscription book review; this is the second book in this year’s September box. I loved the fact that there were two books in this box; it was just great to be introduced to another book I wouldn’t have picked up myself.
Magic doesn’t exist in the broken city of Lkossa anymore, especially for girls like sixteen-year-old Koffi. Indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, she cares for its fearsome and magical creatures to pay off her family’s debts and secure their eventual freedom. But the night her loved ones’ own safety is threatened by the Zoo’s cruel master, Koffi unleashes a power she doesn’t fully understand–and the consequences are dire.
As the second son of a decorated hero, Ekon is all but destined to become a Son of the Six–an elite warrior–and uphold a family legacy. But on the night of his final rite of passage, a fire upends his plans. In its midst, Ekon not only encounters the Shetani–a vicious monster that has plagued the city and his nightmares for nearly a century–but a curious girl who seems to have the power to ward off the beast. Koffi’s power ultimately saves Ekon’s life, but his choice to let her flee dooms his hopes of becoming a warrior.
Desperate to redeem himself, Ekon vows to hunt the Shetani down and end its reign of terror, but he can’t do it alone. Meanwhile, Koffi believes finding the Shetani and selling it for a profit could be the key to solving her own problems. Koffi and Ekon–each keeping their true motives secret from the other–form a tentative alliance and enter into the unknowns of the Greater Jungle, a world steeped in wild magic and untold dangers. The hunt begins. But it quickly becomes unclear whether they are the hunters or the hunted.
The book is written from 3 perspectives; the main 2 are from Ekon’s POV and Koffi’s. Some chapters are from Adiah’s OV as well but they are few in-between Ekon and Koffi’s. The story is set in Lkossa which seems to me like an amalgamation of a Nigerian and Ghanaian city. Nobody believes in magic anymore although there are stories of it being present once in Lkossa. Ekon comes from a prestigious line of warriors that have served the city, his brother is a Kapteni – which means a captain – in the sons of six rankings and Ekon was a candidate to become a warrior until he did something that went against the warrior code and was expelled. Koffi is a maiden in debt and serving at the night zoo to pay off her debt until a fire breaks out in the night zoo. The incident results in the injury of her mother and she escapes from the zoo with the help of Ekon. Both Koffi and Ekon need to get their lives back on track; they have each decided to go after the most dangerous beast in their city, the Shetani. They each want to find the Shetani for reasons of their own and what they want with the beast is different but they need to work together to be successful in obtaining the beast.
I love all the names mentioned in the book and the world it describes. There isn’t a lot of world building done in the first chapters of the story which could be a little confusing but it is worth sticking to because the characters really come alive on the pages. They are not one dimensional at all and sometimes it is hard to guess what actions they will take. I love that the characters are not set in a particular parameter of behaviour.
Ekon’s older brother pisses me off. He likes the sound of his own voice too much and he talks over Ekon; he won’t let him finish a sentence. At times I wished Ekon would tell him to shut up for one minute. The end threw me; I had no idea that it would end on a cliff hanger and I very deliberately haven’t looked on the internet to see if there would be a second book. I hope there is one because I loved this book and the African cultural richness it had. I gave 5 out of 5 stars for all the above reasons and more. I will be recommending this book to everyone who is interested in a book inspired by African folklore and tradition.
If you like this review and are interested in reading this book, you can purchase it using the links below:
Waterstones (UK) – https://tidd.ly/3BkkWIF
Book Depository (Free shipping worldwide) – https://tidd.ly/3BrJboo
Audible (audio books) – https://tidd.ly/3oGzWgs
The links above are affiliate links, which means I will get a small commission which helps me continue my blog, if you buy the book using any of these links. The purchasing price does not change for you as the customer so there is no added cost to you. You can also support me by buying me a cup of coffee – https://ko-fi.com/book_latte_kech