Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James
My Own Copy ~ Hardback
‘The child is dead. There is nothing left to know.’
Tracker is a hunter, known throughout the thirteen kingdoms as one who has a nose – and he always works alone. But he breaks his own rule when, hired to find a lost child, he finds himself part of a group of hunters all searching for the same boy. Each of these companions is stranger and more dangerous than the last, from a giant to a witch to a shape-shifting Leopard, and each has secrets of their own.
As the mismatched gang follow the boy’s scent from perfumed citadels to infested rivers to the enchanted darklands and beyond, set upon at every turn by creatures intent on destroying them, Tracker starts to wonder: who really is this mysterious boy? Why do so many people want to stop him being found? And, most important of all, who is telling the truth and who is lying?
Marlon James weaves a tapestry of breathtaking adventure through a world at once ancient and startlingly modern. And, against this exhilarating backdrop of magic and violence, he explores the fundamentals of truth, the limits of power, the excesses of ambition, and our need to understand them all.
Black Leopard, Red Wolf is the first novel in Marlon James’s Dark Star Trilogy.
My Review ~
‘Not everything the eye sees should be spoken by the mouth’
In this highly anticipated fantasy novel, we follow the story of Tracker. His past is vague and as the reader, you become unsure who to trust. Is Tracker a trustworthy narrator of his own story?
There is a long and in-depth introduction to who Tracker is. His search for a young boy presumed to have been stolen by a witch, his body parts for sale.
But this title is so much bigger than just Tracker, prepare yourself for a shape-shifting leopard, a mysterious smoke girl and a giraffe boy…
“I need you to help me find a fly” he said
“Then consult the spider”
At times I will confess to feeling slightly ‘lost’ in the whole story. But after watching various interviews with the author, this is how we are supposed to be feeling and he reminds the reader it’s only #1 in a trilogy.
The title definitely picks up more after pg97.
Be aware, there are stories within stories and you have to pay attention!
I usually read at a pretty impressive speed of 100 pages an hour. However, with Marlon James’s titles I am much slower. It takes me (as an experienced reader of 300+ titles per year) a lot longer to digest. I’m unsure if this is due to the genre (I am a newb at fantasy), the dialogue and dialect or the intensity of the novel itself. Perhaps a combination of all of these points.
“You speak of witches?”
As said above this is #1 in the trilogy and we will be treated to three narrators and three variations of the same story. This is in keeping with African mythology and I have huge respect for the author in maintaining these levels of detail and accuracy within this trilogy. I found myself reading huge chunks of the story and then wanting to saviour it all, leaving gaps between reading and even reading entire novels in between.
Marlon James is a confident and skilled writer. 4*
“The boy we seek. He is alive. And I know where he is”