Kirkus Reviews QR Code
TREAD OF ANGELS by Rebecca  Roanhorse Kirkus Star


by Rebecca Roanhorse

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-982166-18-2
Publisher: Saga/Simon & Schuster

When her younger sister is arrested for murder, Celeste Semyaza must scramble to prove her innocence.

In the world of Roanhorse's new novel, society is divided between the Elect and the Fallen. The Fallen are descendants of the demons who followed Lucifer and rebelled against God. As a result, they are largely discriminated against and looked down upon as sinful and evil by the privileged Elect. In the mining town of Goetia, however, the Fallen and the Elect live together in order to mine a precious substance called divinity, which the Fallen are better equipped to handle than the Elect. Celeste, a card dealer, and her sister, Mariel, a singer, are half Fallen, half Elect. When Mariel is accused of murdering a Virtue, the most respected of all the Elect humans, Celeste is determined to find evidence of her innocence and set her free. Roanhorse, an expert worldbuilder, sets up her fantasy-Western universe and her take on angels and demons as fantasy tropes with impressive efficiency. And when her world is so quickly and easily understood by the reader, Roanhorse has plenty of space to engage with noir storytelling and the trope of the “tragic mulatto,” as she mentions in her acknowledgements. Too much description of her excellent plot would risk spoiling an inventive and propulsive narrative, but readers accustomed to Roanhorse’s richly detailed characters and beautifully executed action sequences will not be disappointed.

A superb dark fantasy.