Fevered Star

Fevered Star (2022) by Rebecca Roanhorse, is the sequel to Black Sun (which was one of the first reviews on this blog and a 2021 Hugo, Nebula, and Lambda Finalist!) and second book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy. I was anxiously awaiting its release so I could find out what happened after Serapio, the Crow God in human form, attempted to take the life of the Sun Priest, Naranpa, in fulfillment of his destiny.

I was not disappointed–Roanhorse expanded on the the world, showing us more of The Meridian and introducing more depth into the Clans of Tova, Cuecola, and Hokaia. I was thrilled that some of my favorite characters lived through the events at the end of Black Sun and I loved seeing them in new ways. The audiobook had several narrators for the varying chapters, which helped a lot to keep the voices separate.

Serapio is at odds, having failed in his mission and now separated from Xiala, his lover and Teek ship captain. He is now being sheltered by Carrion Crow, but doesn’t completely trust their new matron and her Shield. Naranpa finds herself back in the Maw where she grew up, far from Sun Rock and the slaughter of the Watchers but back in the company of her brother and Maw bosses. Xiala tries to find Serapio, camping at Carrion Crow with hundreds of others seeking the Crow God, but she cannot get close. She makes the choice to follow a mysterious, hooded person as they escape from pursuit by the Crow Shield, but finds herself accompanying Golden Eagle and the hooded person, who turns out to be Iktar, the Priest of Knives, who might be a spy for Golden Eagle, but might also be a free agent assassin, on an overland trip to meet Golden Eagle’s Cuecola contacts.

The Cuecola merchant Balam’s foray into Dreamwalking seems to set him up as the clear villian, but the Golden Eagle matron Nuuma, and leader of the Spearmaidens, Seuq, also vie for that title. But it wasn’t all politics and scheming! I loved the friendship growing between Xiala and Iktar–they are two of my favorite characters, and I love Iktar’s sly sense of humor. Okoa, the Crow Shield Captain, seems to come into his own after dealing with the death of his mother and witnessing Serapio trying to fulfill his destiny. And Naranpa seeks answers to why she seems to glow with light sometimes and why the Watchers were put in place after a long-ago war. The audiobook had several narrators depending on which character’s perspective each chapter was told from, which helped a lot to keep the voices separate.

It goes without saying that Between Earth and Sky continues to be very queer–Iktar is nonbinary with xe/xir pronouns, Xiala is bi/pansexual, and there are references to Naranpa’s brother in same-sex situations. And there is not a hint of anti-fat bias. I can’t wait for the conclusion, expected to come out in 2023!

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