Moon Witch, Spider King

Category: Book
By (author): James, Marlon
Subject:  FICTION / African American / Historical
  FICTION / Fantasy / Epic
  FICTION / Fantasy / General
  FICTION / Fantasy / Historical
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Published: February 2023
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 672
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in x 1.34in
Our Price:
$ 24.00
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*From Marlon James, author of the bestselling National Book Award finalist Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the second book in the Dark Star trilogy.

In Moon Witch, Spider King, Sogolon the Moon Witch takes center stage and gives her own account of what happened in the search for a mysterious boy who disappeared. But the novel is more than that: It's also the story of how an abused, overlooked girl focuses the love and anger within her to become the Moon Witch and defy the Aesi, the powerful chancellor to the king. It takes brains, courage, and cunning to challenge the Aesi, which Sogolon takes on for reasons that are distinctly her own.

Both a brilliant narrative device-seeing the story told in Black Leopard, Red Wolf from the perspective of an adversary and a woman-and a fascinating contrast between different versions of empire, Moon Witch, Spider King is the gripping account of Sogolon and her struggles to tell her own story. Part adventure tale, part chronicle of an indomitable woman who bows to no man, it is a propulsive novel that explores power, personality, and the unexpected places where they overlap.
Review Quote*An instant New York Times bestseller

Named one of the best books of 2022 by The TelegraphKirkus Reviews • NPR Book Riot

"The bildungsroman of a character scrappier than Arya Stark, cleverer than Jane Eyre, as foulmouthed as any gangster, with the world-weary humor of a noir private eye and the inscrutable morals of an antihero. . . . James's imagination is vast and fiery, and his numerous fight scenes are heart-pumping and vivid. But what has stayed with me are his more subtle observations on the human condition." -Eoywn Ivey, The New York Times

"Breathtaking. . . . James is one of the finest writers at work today, and Moon Witch, Spider King is a complex, enthralling novel. It is also utterly uncompromising, a book which the reader must meet on its own terms." -Toronto Star

"Moving, vivid and thought-provoking, this second book is, if anything, even more brilliant than the first." -BuzzFeed

"James makes the mythic tantalizingly real." -Esquire

"Moon Witch, Spider King is a rare sequel that is better than its predecessor. . . . James once again shattered my expectations. . . . Told in a mesmerizing dialect that scoffs at the very notion of Standard American English grammatical rules, Moon Witch, Spider King is a breathtaking book, one that functions as well as a standalone as it does a sequel. . . . Like its predecessor, this is a novel that begs to be read in one sitting. . . . This series is absolutely a must-read." -NPR 

"James . . . has crafted an imaginative story that advances the trilogy in a satisfying way, deepening and expanding an already epic world." -TIME

"If Black Leopard, Red Wolf is a penciled comic panel, Moon Witch, Spider King is the version rendered by James the inker: the geography, myth, magic and people of this epic setting are revisited to add shading and detail in a recursive procedure that results in a vibrant tapestry begging for infinite return trips." -Booklist

"James choreographs fight scenes that make Quentin Tarantino's movies feel comparatively tranquil. And there's a catalogue of diabolically ingenious creatures creeping along the ceilings, jumping from behind trees and even reaching through fourth-dimension portals to keep the pages simmering with terror. . . . Sogolon is a thrilling, haunting heroine." -The Washington Post

"Outstanding. . . . Moon Witch, Spider King is an impressive amalgamation of folklore, magic and mythology that weaves together several narratives, but the element that makes it memorable is James's prose. . . . Simple, rhythmic, and strangely elegant. . . . An epic fable drenched in African mythology. This is work that both meets the immersive worldbuilding standard in books by Tolkien and Martin and brings to the genre a voice unlike anything seen before." -The Boston Globe

"Moon Witch, Spider King is the second volume in James's outstanding Dark Star Trilogy. . . . In this ambitious new installment, James masterfully flips the first's plot on its head, probing the distance between two versions of the same events to ask powerful questions about truth, history and storytelling." -Esquire

"The 'African Game of Thrones' just keeps getting better. . . . This novel's prose style, inspired by the grammar of African languages, has an intoxicating swagger and energy." -Slate 

"If Black Leopard, Red Wolf was an exploration of masculinity, this companion volume examines the more restricted lives of women in the same violent, male-dominated world. Booker winner James's African-inspired imaginary kingdoms mark the series out from the usual run of epic fantasies, but his uniquely supple, powerful style is even more distinctive." -The Guardian

"A medieval feast of dazzling fantasy. It's vulgar and vivacious, big and brutal  . . . extraordinarily imagined. . . . Sogolon's voice is so engaging that it invites readers into this novel with more ease and generosity. . . . When I read the first book, I knew I was reading a genre-altering trilogy. . . . After reading Moon Witch, Spider King, I remain convinced that James is rebuilding the [fantasy] genre." -StarTribune 

"In the second book of his Dark Star trilogy, James coaxes beauty from dark thoughts, leaving readers with a concaved, mystical and African-inspired world. . . . Full figured and richly drawn, Moon Witch, Spider King is the bridge of a trilogy and also a creation that, like James' talent, stands alone." -Los Angeles Times

"If you're interested in delving into an epic fantasy series with brutality and grit . . . look no further than Marlon James's The Dark Star trilogy. . . . [It] has been called the 'African Game of Thrones' for a reason. This Man Booker Prize winner writes one hell of a book." -Book Riot

"Moon Witch, Spider King is even better than Black Leopard, Red Wolf. . . . [The books] are wildly inventive, genre-defining works of fiction on the level of The Lord Of The Rings and the Broken Earth trilogy that deserve to be studied, dissected and argued over." -AV Club

"The world created in these pages is wonderful, well-imagined and in some ways very close to reality. . . . A beautiful novel with well-developed characters enmeshed in a very real and terrifying fight, not only for their lives but also against a cycle of life that repeats from generation to generation. . . . It's impressive how much world-building and character development James manages in these pages." -San Francisco Chronicle

"Part adventure tale, part chronicle of an indomitable woman who bows to no man, it is a fascinating novel that explores power, personality and the places where they overlap." -LGBTQ Read

"James cements his status as a wildly inventive and lyrical storyteller. . . . Gripping. . . . A dense, sprawling phantasmagoria." -Financial Times

"An exhilarating tour de force that permits its reader voyage into a story world that utterly transcends the ‘one truth' version of reality that a reductive, contrivedly ‘objective' culture imposes on itself. . . . The magisterial sweep of Moon Witch, Spider King, combined with its nuanced characterisations, raise even more expectations of the final volume in this superb opus." -The Spectator

"This second volume in a projected trilogy set in a boldly imagined, opulently apportioned ancient Africa shows that the Man Booker Prize–winning novelist is building something deeper and more profoundly innovative within the swords-and-sorcery genre. . . . Witty, richly textured and musically captivating. . . . Beautifully orchestrated (and ferociously violent) set pieces and language both vivid and poetic. The second part of this trilogy is darker and, in many ways, more moving than its predecessor." -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Brilliant. . . . If book one centers on the nature of storytelling, this volume turns its focus to memory, archiving and history as Sogolon works to correct the record. The two stories run parallel to and contradict each other, and James mines the distance between them to raise powerful questions about whether truth is possible when the power of storytelling is available only to a few. A tour de force." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Biographical NoteMarlon James is the author of the New York Times bestselling National Book Award finalist Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the Booker Prize-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings, and The Book of Night Women and John Crow's Devil. In addition to the Booker Prize, his novels have won the American Book Award, the Los Angeles Times' Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Born in Jamaica, James lives in New York City.