Epic Fantasy That Breaks the Rules: Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Release Date: May 11, 2021
Series: The Nameless Republic #1
Publisher: Orbit
Genre: Epic Fantasy


In the ancient city of Bassa, Danso is a clever scholar on the cusp of achieving greatness—only he doesn’t want it. Instead, he prefers to chase forbidden stories about what lies outside the city walls. The Bassai elite claim there is nothing of interest. The city’s immigrants are sworn to secrecy.

But when Danso stumbles across a warrior wielding magic that shouldn’t exist, he’s put on a collision course with Bassa’s darkest secrets. Drawn into the city’s hidden history, he sets out on a journey beyond its borders. And the chaos left in the wake of his discovery threatens to destroy the empire.

My Thoughts

The whole novel is strong all around, but Son of the Storm does two things very, very well: worldbuilding and character development. The world in the Nameless Trilogy feels multilayered and, well, epic. Inspired by pre-colonial West Africa, Okungbowa infuses his landscape with vivid descriptions of tastes, scents, textures, sounds, and sights. Danso and Esheme don’t just walk through the city streets; we experience it with them. The amount of detail he puts into each scene is impressive. I tend to turn what I’m reading into an image in my head so I’m “seeing” what I’m reading. Okungbowa makes that visualization easy, especially with the magic. By the end of the first book, readers have a good sense of how the magic of this world works as well as how little the characters actually understand about it. We are learning about ibor at the same time as Danso, Esheme, and Lilong…

Read the rest of this review at Tor.com.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy.

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