Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

Title: Raybearer
Author: Jordan Ifueko
Publication Date: April 2020
Nothing is more important than loyalty.
But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood.

That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?

But now, when I dream of Mama... I say things that make her frown." Kirah paused, watching a flock of synchronized swallows soar across the red-streaked sky. "I say, 'Why don't ever blessids ever let women lead the caravans? They do just as much work as men.'. Or, "Why do blessids wash their hands after trading with other realms? Those people are no dirtier than we are.' And Mama cries and say, 'Where did my Kirah go? Who is this sneering girl who spits on her home, who questions her elders? Does the world love you better than your family?Does it swaddle you at night, and fill your belly with goat's milk? Where is my Kirah?'
This book certainly did not disappoint me. I enjoyed the execution of the story's premise. The book did not lean towards romance rather than friendship, and finding your own destiny.

There are three things I would like to highlight why I find this book one of my best read for 2020:

Character Development. I just love how the characters started out in the story as young children competing for the 'Council', and growing and developing their own identity and choosing their own destiny, instead of letting what their heritage and society dictates them to be. Tarisai started as an outcast and believed to be a spawn of the devil. But as she embarks on her journey to the Empire, she started to build relationship with the Prince, Kirah and Sanjeet. It was such a refreshing story of friendship, loyalty and unity. Until the very end, I find the characters very much interesting and likable. All Characters have their own story to tell and there is no one I don't like.

World-Building. This is totally unique in this aspect. I was totally at awe until now how the author was able to deliver a very complex and interesting setting. Not only was the plot building strong, it was also absolutely super easy to read. Characters just come naturally alive in my imagination, never a dull moment. 

Fast Paced. The book was divided into Four parts and quite long in my opinion, but I couldn't barely put it down. There was enough interesting revelation until the very end. Info-dumped was absent which I really do appreciate from this book.

Overall, I can’t deny that Ifueko's writing style is incredible with an persuasive flair that makes readers at the edge of their seats and wanting more. I highly recommend this book especially to those young readers out there. If you love characters with superhuman abilities, this book is definitely for you.

Thank You @definitelybooks, #Pansing for the ARC of this book. This book will be available in all goodbookstore by April 2020! 


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