Tempests Shout the Dual Moons’ Presence: A Review of Son of the Storm (Book Tour)

Tour banner for the Nameless Republic Tour. At the top, it reads, "Son of the Storm" in bold white serif font. Underneath, it says, "By Suyi Dacies Okungbowa." The text is on a blue background. The top of the face of the person on the cover is in view.

Hey there, traveler!

What happens when ambition meets fate — when disparate paths intertwine and intersect so intricately that those who trace it come to realize that the path never branched off; it was always one winding road to begin with? Lives connect in trembling, shocking ways. Intentions become clear when the night falls. 

Welcome, dear traveler, to Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa, a novel released on May 11, 2021, that stunned me as I completed it on a stormy night, crying out towards the final page as each thread of the plot converged into a complex point.  

I am honored and pleased to be part of the Nameless Republic Book Tour, hosted by Caffeine Book Tours! Ginormous thanks to Caffeine Book Tours and Son of the Storm’s publisher, Orbit Books, for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of the novel for my participation in this tour.

Feel free to peruse the launch post for the book tour here!

SYNOPSIS:

A young scholar’s ambition threatens to reshape an empire determined to retain its might in this epic tale of violent conquest, buried histories, and forbidden magic.

In the thriving city of Bassa, Danso is a clever but disillusioned scholar who longs for a life beyond the rigid family and political obligations expected of the city’s elite. A way out presents itself when Lilong, a skin-changing warrior, shows up wounded in his barn. She comes from the Nameless Islands–which, according to Bassa lore, don’t exist–and neither should the mythical magic of ibor she wields. Now swept into a conspiracy far beyond his understanding, Danso will have to set out on a journey that reveals histories violently suppressed and magic only found in lore.


Goodreads | Book Depository | IndieBound | Amazon


On-page Representation:

  • African/Black
  • Albinism
  • Disability
  • Nonbinary
  • Pan/polysexual

Content Warnings:

  • Ageism
  • Bones
  • Colorism/discrimination
  • Emotionally manipulative relationship
  • Fire
  • Misogyny
  • Pain
  • Pregnancy and miscarriage/abortion
  • Violence, blood and murder

tl;dr: Do I recommend this book?


MY RATING: ★★★★★


Traveler. This book is made of pure magic. 

We shall analyze it, spoiler-free, together!

Continue reading “Tempests Shout the Dual Moons’ Presence: A Review of Son of the Storm (Book Tour)”

Wells That Draw Water: A Review of Transcendent Kingdom

Hello there, traveler! Happy Belated Mother’s Day! 💜

To all the moms and parents out there, thank you for your loveliness. Shout out to eldest siblings, aunts, grandparents, and guardians. And to everyone who isn’t with a loved one today, or haven’t had much to celebrate lately, here’s a colossal hug. 🤗 You deserve the world.

Let’s talk about one of my recent reads, Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi, a short, surprising read about family life, immigrant experiences, religion alignments, and mental health that I absolutely adored.

The cover for Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi.

SYNOPSIS:

Gifty is a fifth-year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her.

But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive. Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief — a novel about faith, science, religion, love. 


Goodreads | Book Depository | IndieBound


Rep:

  • Ghananaian cast, protagonist, and author
  • Bisexual main character
  • Depression
  • Mental health representation
  • Religious representation (Christianity)
  • BIPOC characters

Content Warnings:

  • Death
  • Depression
  • Drug abuse
  • Overdose
  • Parental neglect
  • Racial slurs
  • Racism
  • Suicidal ideation

tl;dr: Do I recommend this book?

"Yes," written in bold, black text.

MY RATING: ★★★★★


“We read the Bible how we want to read it. It doesn’t change, but we do.”

I read this book for a school assignment — to analyze, dissect, and interpret as required by my English teacher (who is amazing, by the way) and her Google-Doc dissertation prompt. I had no idea how profoundly Transcendent Kingdom would affect me.

Continue reading “Wells That Draw Water: A Review of Transcendent Kingdom”

Angels, Action, and an All-Queer Cast: An Interview with Debut Author Jameson Rivera

Welcome back to the blog, dear traveler! Happy April, too. 🙇🏻‍♀️ I am pleased to be presenting my first author interview on Sophie and Their Stories: a chat with my good friend and incredibly talented speculative author Jameson Rivera about his debut fantasy novel, Broken Stone, which is available for pre-order on Amazon.

Join us as we discuss worldbuilding, character arcs, LGBTQIA+ representation in the media, funky tunes, and all things in between! The interview will be entirely spoiler-free.

The cover for Broken Stone. The shadow of an angel looms over the shape of a gravestone against a bright landscape with mountains and a red sky.

SYNOPSIS:

Ruiz Gravenor longs to destroy the Kingdom of Lygos, to finally revenge himself on the imperialist regime that subjugates his homeland, the island of Fieroe. In a trick of fate, he is chosen by the eldritch god hibernating beneath the island and bestowed with otherworldly powers. As Ruiz travels Lygos, he uses his talents to incite resistance. Still, he is but one man with many enemies 一 including the Lygian Saint-King’s right-hand man, Gideon Minmose.

Despite their animosity, both are far from home, haunted by traumatic memories. And Gideon, burdened with responsibility, is also chosen by a god. For all that Ruiz and Gideon appear as enemies, they have forged a secret partnership to eliminate Lygos’ reign. When forgotten rituals to revive the ancient gods are suddenly unearthed, they must risk everything for a chance at victory. With the gods’ rebirth comes the promise of freedom, but failure means certain death. What’s more, the gods are old and unknowable, and meddling with them could tear reality apart.


Goodreads | Amazon | Pre-order Links


Rep:

  • Transmasc, Puerto Rican/mixed-race author
  • Neurodivergent author and characters
  • Queer author and characters
  • Trans characters
  • Latino-coded protagonist
  • Black protagonist
  • BIPOC-coded characters
  • mlm and wlw characters
  • Mental illness rep

Content Warnings:

  • Alcoholism/Alcohol dependence
  • Colonialism
  • Gore
  • Allusions to CSA and nonexplicit discussions of abuse
  • Consensual sex/explicit sexual content
  • Body horror

Let us take flight!

Continue reading “Angels, Action, and an All-Queer Cast: An Interview with Debut Author Jameson Rivera”

The Skies Sing for Revolution: A Review of The Unbroken (Book Tour)

Greetings, dear traveler! I’ve got a special treat for you today: welcome to my tour spot for The Unbroken by C. L. Clark, a brilliant, breathtaking debut adult fantasy inspired by North Africa, which was just released on March 23, 2021!

I extend my greatest thanks to the wonderful Caffeine Book Tours and the book’s publisher, Orbit Books, for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of The Unbroken for my participation in this tour.

Be sure to check out the launch post for The Unbroken book tour via this link!

SYNOPSIS:

Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought.

Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne.

Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren’t for sale.


Goodreads | Book Depository | IndieBound | Amazon


Rep:

  • Protagonists of color
  • LGBT protagonists
  • F/F main characters
  • M/M side characters
  • Nonbinary side character
  • Older women

Content Warnings:

  • Depictions of colonial violence (physical and emotional) and destruction
  • Gore
  • Past attempted rape
  • Threats of rape
  • Threats of torture

tl;dr: Do I recommend this book?


MY RATING: ★★★★★


“You’ll have to fight for one side or the other. Why not fight for the side that gives you freedom?”

In my eyes, fantasy is a perfect genre. 

What’s not to love? Through fantasy, traveler, I can flee to far-flung, exciting realms unlike any land I have ever touched; gain the power to cut dragons from paper, chase monsters from a metropolis, or jump-start my car without much strife; and I can explore all the deadly complexities of life and living, framed with a subtle hint of magic. 

Fantasy can be a receptacle for both discovery and education through its worldbuilding, characters, and commentary. (And it always makes me cry. 😃 Laugh the pain away!)

The Unbroken is an absolutely prime work of fantasy. I’m obsessed.

Let’s discuss it, traveler! (This review will be spoiler-free!)

Continue reading “The Skies Sing for Revolution: A Review of The Unbroken (Book Tour)”