Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
Published by: Hot Key Books
Release date: 18/08/2020
Where to find: Goodreads | Waterstones
Summary: Nothing is more important than loyalty. But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?
Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as the Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of Eleven. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But the Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn–but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?
*I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
I have been so excited to read this book for most of the year. It sounded so amazing and I couldn’t wait to dive in. I definitely had high expectations. Raybearer MORE than lived up to my expectations. I found it to be a really unique and immersive fantasy.
First of all, I really enjoyed the writing. I was absolutely captivated by this book. I would sit down to read a chapter, only to find that 2 hours had passed and I had read over 100 pages. I would get so immersed in the world, and I could picture everything so well. I felt like I was there at times.
I also really loved the magic system in this world. Some people are born with a Hallow, which is a specific magical ability. I also really loved the whole concept of the Council bond. They could talk to each other in their minds, and they would get physically sick if they were apart from each other. I don’t know why, but I just really loved that whole idea.
Now on to the characters. Raybearer starts when Tarisai is very young (not sure how young exactly, but younger than 11) and the first part of the book follows her growing up. This, coupled with some emotional scenes, really helped me connect with Tarisai, and I really came to care for her and be invested in her story. I also really liked Kirah and Sanjeet. We got to see them grow up too, through Tarisai’s eyes. My only real complaint about the characters is that we didn’t get to see more of Tarisai’s other Council siblings.
If you love YA fantasy, read this book.