by Jordan Ifueko

Amulet Books, 2020

YA Fantasy

Summary: Tarisai was born for one purpose: to fulfill her mother’s wish. She is sent away to become part of the trusted council of a boy her mother wants her to kill. But as Tarisai grows to love him and her fellow council members, she fights to find her own purpose.

“But we can’t defeat monsters that we won’t face.”


Likes: Tarisai is a really interesting protagonist. When the story begins, she’s a kid in a big magical house with servants and tutors but the person she longs for the most is her mom who is emotionally unavailable to say the least. Seeing her grow as a person, especially when she goes to the capital and makes friends was really rewarding. She makes some hard decisions and I was cheering for her the whole time. Sanjeet, Dayo, and Kirah stood out from the ensemble. Their stories differ and so do their personalities. I love the world-building. A bunch of it comes through in the ensemble cast but also in how history is told.

“Your heart is not your friend unless you know who you truly are.”


Dislikes: This often happens with big ensemble fantasies but multiple council members and other characters blurred together for me.

“Stories are meant to be shared but no one was made for another person.”


Overall I can see why this one was chosen as a finalist in the Andre Norton Award part of the Nebulas. It hits hard issues and is entertaining. I felt for these characters. Even though I didn’t like Tarisai’s mom, I could still understand her by the end. And what a dramatic ending that was. I definitely want to read the sequel.

3 thoughts on “Review: Raybearer

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