"Black Leopard, Red Wolf" by Marlon James

By Marlon James

Reviewed by Alyssa

ISBN 9780735220188

When visiting any new land or people, learning the local language and the stories that inform it is the most effective and immersive way of walking the path to make the unfamiliar familiar. It is tricky and confusing and sometimes difficult to make sure you aren't reading your own cultural narrative and home into this new place, but if you're able to check that impulse and continue to drop down into your surroundings, new layers of yourself and the deep humanity of those who once seemed so foreign can be mined from the depths. "Black Leopard, Red Wolf" offers just such an opportunity in this, the first in a trilogy of epic fantasy steeped in African myth. It is well-worth the effort in getting to know Tracker and his compatriots as he (sometimes unreliably) narrates the tale of finding a lost child with his fellowship of a werecat, a giant, and a wtich.

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