Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse (Between Earth and Sky #2)

There are no tides more treacherous than those of the heart. —Teek saying

The great city of Tova is shattered. The sun is held within the smothering grip of the Crow God’s eclipse, but a comet that marks the death of a ruler and heralds the rise of a new order is imminent.

The Meridian: a land where magic has been codified and the worship of gods suppressed. How do you live when legends come to life, and the faith you had is rewarded?

As sea captain Xiala is swept up in the chaos and currents of change, she finds an unexpected ally in the former Priest of Knives. For the Clan Matriarchs of Tova, tense alliances form as far-flung enemies gather and the war in the heavens is reflected upon the earth.

And for Serapio and Naranpa, both now living avatars, the struggle for free will and personhood in the face of destiny rages. How will Serapio stay human when he is steeped in prophecy and surrounded by those who desire only his power? Is there a future for Naranpa in a transformed Tova without her total destruction?

PUBLISHER: Gallery/Saga Press
YEAR: 2022
LENGTH: 388 pages 
AGE: Adult
GENRE: Fantasy

Queer Rep Summary: Lesbian/Sapphic Main Character(s), Bi/Pan Main Character(s), Genderqueer/Nonbinary Minor Character(s).

FEVERED STAR picks up where BLACK SUN left off, handling multiple perspectives in an excellently crafted way that was easy to follow. Now that Serapio is the embodiment of the Crow God, separated from Xiala, Serapio is dealing with the sudden change from being an isolated person to a religious figurehead, having lost everything that grounded him even as he gains immense power. Xiala is trying to rejoin Serapio, but gets caught up with a charismatic ex-priest, who has xer own agenda. Naranpa is an avatar without a temple, trying to connect to the brother she left behind years ago and figure out whether there's a life where she can fit. The worldbuilding focuses on different areas than what was established in BLACK SUN. No longer insular, many factions have moved in order to take advantage of alliances, and set up for the conflict that seems inevitable. 

FEVERED STAR is the lull between storms, the midgame when all the players trade promises and pledge loyalties. The Sky Made has several factions, but most of the perspective characters are on the outside in some way, removed from the major factions by training, distance, or a estrangement. This is one of the best examples I’ve read in a while of intricate but understandable politics in fiction, with many factions who all have slightly different goals and motivations. It also does an excellent job of allowing people within the factions to disagree, each having their own motivations. I love political wrangling and intricacy in fantasy and so I enjoyed this middle book of a trilogy where everyone’s trying to reposition after the gods are returned to the world. It could be said that either every character has a new storyline, or no character has a new story of their own that wasn’t present to the previous book. Everyone in their own way of dealing with what happened on the day of Black Sun, it represents such a monumental shift that even ignoring it would have to be a deliberate choice (albeit it one that I cannot recall any characters making). Several people’s access to power has changed either in a political or magical sense, and some minor characters from BLACK SUN gain new importance as they hatch their own schemes, taking advantage of the shifts caused by the eclipse.

This would mostly makes sense to someone who read the first book a while ago, but if they tried to start here without having read BLACK SUN at all, it would likely be confusing for a while. It's a well-told story, but one which fundamentally is concerned with moving things in place for whatever is to come in the third book. Part of how it maintains that balance is that many of the characters have a sense of this as a lull between conflicts, whether literal or metaphorical. Almost everyone is making moves to position themselves better for what is to come, or to control what the next change might end up being.

This is an excellent continuation of the series, and I'm excited to read how it all turns out.

Moderate CW for grief, confinement, blood, racism, xenophobia, alcoholism, emotional abuse, toxic relationship, bullying, injury detail, violence, self harm, suicide, war, murder, death.

Minor CW for sexual content, sexism, ableism, excrement, child abuse, adult/minor relationship, parental death, animal death.

Bookshop Affiliate Buy Link

Add this on TheStoryGraph

The face of a woman, glowing like burnished bronze with gold streaks like sunbeams crowning her where her hair should be


Popular Posts