Reading guide for Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

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Black Leopard, Red Wolf

The Dark Star Trilogy #1

by Marlon James

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James X
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2019, 640 pages

    Paperback:
    Feb 2020, 640 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Natalie Vaynberg
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Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!

  1. Black Leopard, Red Wolf begins as a story told by a prisoner to his jailer. How does this structure inform the reader's experience of the novel?
  2. Over the course of the novel, Tracker reveals a complex family background. How do you think that background affects his relationships with other characters as the story unfolds?
  3. Tracker and Leopard's relationship is at the center of this novel. How would you describe that relationship? Why is it so hard for the two of them to get along for much of the book?
  4. Is Tracker the "hero" in this story? Do you find you trust him as a narrator? And if not, what parts of his tale do you think he might be lying about?
  5. Black Leopard, Red Wolf is populated with a lot of characters, many of them working together (at least sometimes) to accomplish the same goal. Other than Tracker, which member of the fellowship did you find most compelling and why? Who did you have the most questions about?
  6. Tracker has problematic ideas about and relationships with women. How do these issues inform the narrative?
  7. Sogolon and her quest loom large over the rest of the novel. What do you think of the choices she makes in pursuit of her goal?
  8. What aspects of Black Leopard, Red Wolf feel connected to the classic fantasy tradition? How does the book depart from that lineage?


Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Riverhead Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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