Beasts Made of Night

Tochi Onyebuchi
iBooks Most Anticipated YA Books of the Fall io9's All the Science Fiction and Fantasy Books to Keep On Your Radar This Fall BuzzFeed's 22 YA Novels You'll Want To Read From Cover To Cover This Fall A 2017 BookExpo Buzz Book A Junior Library Guild Selection  "...Unforgettable in its darkness, inequality, and magic." --VOYA, Starred Review "...A paean to an emerging black legend."--Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review  Debut author Tochi Onyebuchi delivers an unforgettable fantasy adventure that powerfully explores the true meaning of justice and guilt. Packed with dark magic and thrilling action, Beasts Made of Night is a gritty Nigerian-influenced fantasy perfect for fans of Paolo Bacigalupi and Nnedi Okorafor. In the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts--lethal creatures spawned from feelings of guilt. Taj is the most talented of the aki, young sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. But Taj's livelihood comes at a terrible cost. When he kills a sin-beast, a tattoo of the beast appears on his skin while the guilt of committing the sin appears on his mind. Most aki are driven mad by the process, but 17-year-old Taj is cocky and desperate to provide for his family. When Taj is called to eat a sin of a member of the royal family, he's suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves--and his own life.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2020-12-01

“‘It hurts,’ Omar says again. Quieter. To himself. ‘It won’t forever,’ I lie.” Tochi Onyebuchi’s debut novel builds an incredible fantasy world steeped in African, European, Christian, and Muslim tradition, weaving in math and science along with magic. Taj, the narrator, is an aki - one who Eats sins to keep the community pure. He and his peers are frowned on, despised, but someone has to take care of the sin problem. Taj is so good at his job that he lands a cushy position at the palace - finally, an easy life! But it means leaving his fellow aki behind, and it means entering a world more cutthroat and deadly than his life on the streets. The novel reads as though it’s the middle book in a series, though it is a debut, which can leave readers grasping for straws and rereading to see where they missed what the characters are talking about now. Taj describes his struggles with others’ sins - and his own - leading him all over the city of Kos, and into ever-deepening danger. It breaks the mold of the Tolkien-esque model that the fantasy genre has fallen into, and it breaks it boldly. Fantasy aficionados will be engrossed in the world that Onyebuchi creates.

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