THE SHADOW SPEAKER by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu

THE SHADOW SPEAKER

Age Range: 11 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ejii Ugabe, nervous and subservient, is an unlikely heroine in her semi-magical world. Though mystical shadows speak to her and mark her as different, Ejii would rather be the humble girl-child her despotic father wanted. When the shadows order her to join the folk hero Jaa, a mighty warrior woman, on a quest across Nigeria, Ejii resists the call. As a result, her quest begins far more dangerously, nearly alone but for a talking camel and an escaped slave boy who calls lightning. Ejii’s world is touched by magical realism, with technology interwoven with wild magic in a chaotic post-apocalyptic setting. Though the narrative and dialogue are thoroughly inexpert, the rich and complex world-building creates an intriguing setting for Ejii’s quest. Moreover, the intricacy of this Western African milieu, with its multitude of shades of Islam, its contemporary and fantasy tribes and its geographical variations, is very welcome in the still mostly Eurocentric genre of fantasy. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-4231-0033-1
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Disney-Jump at the Sun
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2007




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