With a refreshingly intricate but subtly flawed debut novel, Yongo blends the myth and lore of Africa with political intrigue, coming of age, and just a tiny bit of fantasy for flavor. The multi-perspective narrative features voices from diverse walks of life, though it focuses on Neythan, a newly sworn-in protector, who’s off on his first assignment for the Shedaím, the secretive brotherhood that raised him. His resolve is quickly shaken after a shocking betrayal by another of his order. His pursuit of a murderer takes him on a perilous journey toward a truth he may not be prepared for. In a world where worship of the old gods has been outlawed and magic is anathema, he and others traverse a twisted path filled with danger and, at times, enlightenment. Yongo’s keen attention to atmosphere and detail creates an immersive experience, but it’s undermined by spotty character development and clumps of exposition. Nonetheless, this is a strong work from a very promising new author. Agent: Robert Dinsdale, Independent Literary. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/25/2018 Release date: 07/03/2018 Genre: Fiction
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