“Masterfully flips the first installment on its head... James makes the mythic tantalizingly real.’” —Esquire
"Even more brilliant than the first.” —Buzzfeed
From Marlon James, author of the bestselling National Book Award finalist Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the second book in the Dark Star trilogy.
In Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Sogolon the Moon Witch proved a worthy adversary to Tracker as they clashed across a mythical African landscape in search of a mysterious boy who disappeared. In Moon Witch, Spider King, Sogolon takes center stage and gives her own account of what happened to the boy, and how she plotted and fought, triumphed and failed as she looked for him. It’s also the story of a century-long feud—seen through the eyes of a 177-year-old witch—that Sogolon had with the Aesi, chancellor to the king. It is said that Aesi works so closely with the king that together they are like the eight limbs of one spider. Aesi’s power is considerable—and deadly. It takes brains and courage to challenge him, which Sogolon does for reasons of 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—as well as a fascinating battle between different versions of empire, Moon Witch, Spider King delves into Sogolon’s world as she fights to tell her own story. 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.
About the Author
Marlon James is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Black Leopard, Red Wolf, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and A Brief History of Seven Killings, which won the 2015 Man Booker Prize, as well as the novels The Book of Night Women and John Crow’s Devil. A professor at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, he lives in New York City.
Praise for Moon Witch, Spider King:
“This second volume in a projected trilogy set in a boldly imagined, opulently apportioned ancient Africa shows that the Booker Prize–winning novelist is building something deeper and more profoundly innovative within the swords-and-sorcery genre. . . . witty, richly textured, and musically captivating . . . . There’s barely enough space to talk about James’ many inventions. . . . So much is densely packed into this narrative that it sometimes threatens to leave the reader gasping for breath, especially at the start. But . . . . James’ tale picks up speed with 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)
“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. This is a tour de force.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)
“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 (starred)
“James masterfully flips the first installment on its head. . . .Through Sogolon’s roving journeys across landscapes and decades, James makes the mythic tantalizingly real. Pick up this titanic story of empire, adventure, and power to see why the trilogy has earned the title ‘the African Game of Thrones.’” —Esquire
“Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the first book in Marlon James’ Dark Star trilogy, was a violent, sprawling, thrilling read. The Man Booker Prize-winning author’s follow-up, Moon Witch, Spider King, promises to deliver more of the same, but with a twist. . . .James has an uncanny ability to use multiple perspectives to deepen and expand his worlds, and that bodes very well for his forthcoming book.” —AV Club
“Moving, vivid, and thought-provoking, this second book is, if anything, even more brilliant than the first.” —Buzzfeed
“In the much-anticipated second installment…James has crafted yet another dark fantasy that blends history and mythology in an epic setting.” —TIME
“[The] brilliant narrative device—seeing the story told in Black Leopard, Red Wolf from the perspective of an adversary and a woman—as well as a fascinating battle between different versions of empire, Moon Witch, Spider King delves into Sogolon’s world as she fights to tell her own story. 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 Reads