Excerpt from Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Black Sun

Between Earth and Sky #1

by Rebecca Roanhorse

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse X
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
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  • Published:
    Oct 2020, 464 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Debbie Morrison
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Print Excerpt

"Will you come with me?" he asked.

Her breath hitched, and the sound scared him more than anything else she had done that day.


"Hush, Serapio. You ask too many questions. Silence will be your greatest ally now."

The needle pierced his eyelid, but he was only distantly aware of it. He could feel the stitches sealing his eyes shut, the pull and lift of the thread through his skin. The panic that had failed to rise earlier swelled up larger now, made him twitch in his chair, made the wounds on his back pull and sting, but the cords held him tight and the drugs kept his muscles lax.

A sudden pounding at the door made them both jump.

"Open the door!" a voice yelled, loud enough to shake the walls. "If you've touched that boy, I'll have your head, I swear it!"

It was his father. The boy thought to cry out to him, to let him know that he was okay. That the crow god's will must be followed, that he wanted this, that his mother would never hurt him.

She returned to her work, ignoring his father and his threats. "Almost done now."

"Saaya, please!" pleaded his father, voice breaking.

"Is he crying?" the boy asked, concerned.

"Shhh." The corner of his left eye tugged tight as she tied off the last knot.

Her lips pressed briefly to his forehead, and she ran a gentle hand through his hair.

"A child in a foreign place to a foreign man," she murmured, and Serapio knew she was talking to herself. "I've done everything required. Even this."

Even this was what he had suffered today, he knew it. And for the first time, a tendril of doubt crept through his belly.

"Who, Mama? Who asked you to do this?" There was still so much he didn't understand, that she hadn't told him.

She cleared her throat, and he felt the air shift as she stood. "I must go now, Serapio. You must carry on, but it is time for me to join the ancestors."

"Don't leave me!"

She bent her head and whispered in his ear. A secret name. His true name. He trembled.

And then she was moving away, her footfalls heading swiftly toward the open terrace. Running. Running to where? There was only the terrace that ended in the open sky.

And he knew she was running so she could fly.

"Mama!" he screamed. "No!"

He struggled to open his eyes, but the stitches held, and his lids did not budge. He thought to claw at his face, but the cords held him tight and the drink made time feel strange.

"Son!" his father screamed. Something huge hit the door, and the wood splintered. The door was coming down.

"Mama!" Serapio cried. "Come back!"

But his begging did no good. His mother was gone.

Excerpted from Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse. Copyright © 2020 by Rebecca Roanhorse. Excerpted by permission of Gallery Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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