Publishers Weekly Review
Turpin's bold reading of Adeyemi's Afro-futurist fantasy solidifies her reputation as one of the best voice actors working today. Since he took power 11 years earlier, King Saran has brutally suppressed the use of magic in the fictional African kingdom of Orïsha. When his 17-year-old daughter, Amari, is motivated by her father's violence to flee the palace and head for the unknown, she teams up with the embattled teen diviner Zélie to restore magic-and justice-to Zélie's people. Turpin is a star at voicing the novel's characters, but the contralto depth she employs for Zélie stands out-particularly during religious rituals, in which Zélie cries out to the gods for help in her quest. Turpin's sonorous incantation of prayers, as well as her brisk pacing during exciting moments of danger, will have listeners on the edge of their seats. Her depiction of the king's rage is also downright terrifying, as Turpin is unafraid to roar. Her hypnotic performance is one to be reckoned with. Ages 14-up. A Holt hardcover. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-After King Saran brutally murdered the maji (or "maggots," according to the king), Orïsha is no longer a magic-filled world of Burners, Healers, Reapers, and Connectors, and Zélie and her older brother Tzain struggle to make ends meet. Zélie's white hair marks her as a divîner, with potential for magic, and she trains and plots against Saran's heavy-handed rule. When King Saran's daughter, in possession of a stolen scroll, begs for Zélie's help, the two go on the run with Tzain as an initially reluctant accomplice. The trio risk their lives on the seemingly impossible task of uniting the scroll with sacred objects, which will restore magic to the world. Working against them is the crown prince, Inan, tasked by the king to retrieve the scroll at any cost. Gory killings erupt throughout, with a final battle drenched in blood. Narrator Bahni Turpin juggles voices as Zélie, Amari, Tzain, and Inan alternate as narrators, along with many secondary characters. Turpin slides easily from rolling r's to a lilting cadence to distinguish one from another. VERDICT Adeyemi's epic fantasy delivers an Afrocentric world of jungles and oceans, leopanairs and coconut boats. Consider for high school and public libraries.-Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley Sch., Fort Worth, TX © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.