For the first time, an Empress Redemptor sits on Aritsar’s throne. To appease the sinister spirits of the dead, Tarisai must now anoint a council of her own, coming into her full power as a Raybearer. She must then descend into the Underworld, a sacrifice to end all future atrocities.
Tarisai is determined to survive. Or at least, that’s what she tells her increasingly distant circle of friends. Months into her shaky reign as empress, child spirits haunt her, demanding that she pay for past sins of the empire.
With the lives of her loved ones on the line, assassination attempts from unknown quarters, and a handsome new stranger she can’t quite trust . . . Tarisai fears the pressure may consume her. But in this finale to the Raybearer duology, Tarisai must learn whether to die for justice . . . or to live for it.
Redemptor, the second book in Jordan Ifueko’s young adult fantasy duology, begins not long after the events of Raybearer. As the newly anointed Empress, she reigns alongside Dayo, now the Emperor of Aritsar. The Abiku (monstrous creatures who inhabit the Underworld) agreed to stop taking Songlanders as Redemptors (children sent to the Underworld as sacrifices) in exchange for Tarisai becoming a Redemptor, but no deal with the Abiku is without its loopholes and tricks. Ojiji, spirits of Redemptor children who failed to escape the Underworld, begin haunting Aritsar. They taunt Tar with hateful words and terrorize anyone who resists her rule. Meanwhile, a masked activist calling himself the Crocodile is riling up peasants and miners across the empire and trying to overthrow the new rulers. Tarisai must decide whether to defend the status quo as she was taught or risk everything to fight for something better.
Read the rest of my review at locusmag.com.
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