Mar. 29th, 2017

kenjari: (Eowyn)
Who Fears Death
by Nnedi Okorafor

This post-apocalyptic fantasy is set in a future Africa. Onyesonwu, daughter of the only survivor of a massacred village, grows to be a powerful sorceress who is destined to change the fate of both her own people, the Okeke, and the genocidal Nuru. In order to accomplish this, Onyesonwu must undertake difficult magical training, travel far from her home, and face down death. She must also struggle with living in and resisting a patriarchal culture, managing interpersonal relationships, and her own volatile temper.
Okorafor breathes new life into the hero's journey story and the trope of the chosen one. The setting is rich and original, and the narrative takes on the sheen of a folktale or legend. The characters have aspects of archetypes without being flat or stereotypical. Onyesonwu herself is prickly, complicated, and impulsive, yet always a sympathetic character. It is largely through her and her relationships with her lover Mwita and her teacher Aro that Okorafor explores complex and nuanced feminist themes.

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