Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

Shadow Speaker: Book summary and reviews of Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor

Shadow Speaker

The Desert Magician's Duology: Book One

by Nnedi Okorafor

Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor X
Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor
Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

Deluxe, expanded edition of an out-of-print early novel from Africanfuturist luminary Nnedi Okorafor, with a brand-new introduction from the author.

Niger, West Africa, 2074

It is an era of tainted technology and mysterious mysticism. A great change has happened all over the planet, and the laws of physics aren't what they used to be.

Within all this, I introduce you to Ejii Ugabe, a child of the worst type of politician. Back when she was nine years old, she was there as her father met his end. Don't waste your tears on him: this girl's father would throw anyone under a bus to gain power. He was a cruel, cruel man, but even so, Ejii did not rejoice at his departure from the world. Children are still learning that some people don't deserve their love.

Now 15 years old and manifesting the abilities given to her by the strange Earth, Ejii decides to go after the killer of her father. Is it for revenge or something else? You will have to find out by reading this book.

I am the Desert Magician, and this is a novel I have conjured for you, so I'm certainly not going to just tell you here.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"The postapocalyptic Saharan landscape is striking; technology, magic, and awe-inspiring nature all weave together in the background of this vivid adventure centered on the coming-of-age theme that is a hallmark of Okorafor's work. The characters, meanwhile, are expertly realized­... a mind-blowing expedition into a not too distant future world." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[T]he 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." —Kirkus Reviews

"Crafted around complex themes of identity, morality, and empowerment, this bildungsroman, originally published in 2008, will appeal to young adult and adult readers alike with its highly original and imaginative Africanfuturism elements." —Booklist

"As wildly inventive and suspenseful as her first novel, [Shadow Speaker] is at the same time more ambitious and thematically complex, and represents a major step forward for a storyteller who, in the tradition of Octavia Butler and Nalo Hopkinson, is equally adept at combining that most contemporary of forms, science fiction, with the ancient beliefs and values of non-western cultures that have for too long been underrepresented in modern fantastic literature." —Gary Wolfe, lead reviewer for Locus Magazine

"There's more vivid imagination in a page of Nnedi Okorafor's work than in whole volumes of ordinary fantasy epics." —Ursula K. Le Guin, author of The Left Hand of Darkness

This information about Shadow Speaker was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Nnedi Okorafor Author Biography

Nnedi Okorafor is a Nigerian-American author of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism for children and adults. Her works include Who Fears Death (currently in development at HBO into a TV series), the Binti novella trilogy, The Book of Phoenix, the Akata books, and Lagoon. She is the winner of Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Locus, and Lodestar Awards, an Eisner Award nominee, and her debut novel Zahrah the Windseeker won the prestigious Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature. Nnedi has also written comics for Marvel, including Black Panther: Long Live the King and Wakanda Forever (featuring the Dora Milaje) and the Shuri series. Her science fiction comic series LaGuardia (from Dark Horse) is an Eisner and Hugo Award nominee and her memoir Broken Places & Outer Spaces is a ...

... Full Biography
Link to Nnedi Okorafor's Website

Other books by Nnedi Okorafor at BookBrowse
  • Noor jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more YA fantasy, sci-fi, speculative, alt. history...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Change
    Change
    by Edouard Louis
    Édouard Louis's 2014 debut novel, The End of Eddy—an instant literary success, published ...
  • Book Jacket: Big Time
    Big Time
    by Ben H. Winters
    Big Time, the latest offering from prolific novelist and screenwriter Ben H. Winters, is as ...
  • Book Jacket: Becoming Madam Secretary
    Becoming Madam Secretary
    by Stephanie Dray
    Our First Impressions reviewers enjoyed reading about Frances Perkins, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's ...
  • Book Jacket: The Last Bloodcarver
    The Last Bloodcarver
    by Vanessa Le
    The city-state of Theumas is a gleaming metropolis of advanced technology and innovation where the ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
A Great Country
by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
A novel exploring the ties and fractures of a close-knit Indian-American family in the aftermath of a violent encounter with the police.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The House on Biscayne Bay
    by Chanel Cleeton

    As death stalks a gothic mansion in Miami, the lives of two women intertwine as the past and present collide.

  • Book Jacket

    The Stone Home
    by Crystal Hana Kim

    A moving family drama and coming-of-age story revealing a dark corner of South Korean history.

Win This Book
Win The Funeral Cryer

The Funeral Cryer by Wenyan Lu

Debut novelist Wenyan Lu brings us this witty yet profound story about one woman's midlife reawakening in contemporary rural China.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

M as A H

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.