Instant New York Times bestseller
"A remarkable, breathtaking, earthshaking, poetic thrillride." --Daniel Jos Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper In this riveting, keenly emotional debut fantasy, a Black teen from Houston has her world upended when she learns about her godly ancestry and must save both the human and god worlds. Perfect for fans of Angie Thomas, Tomi Adeyemi, and The Hunger Games "Make a way out of no way" is just the way of life for Rue. But when her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, life for her and her younger sister changes forever. Rue's taken from her neighborhood by the father she never knew, forced to leave her little sister behind, and whisked away to Ghizon--a hidden island of magic wielders. Rue is the only half-god, half-human there, where leaders protect their magical powers at all costs and thrive on human suffering. Miserable and desperate to see her sister on the anniversary of their mother's death, Rue breaks Ghizon's sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston, only to discover that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. And her sister, Tasha, is in danger of falling sway to the very forces that claimed their mother's life. Worse still, evidence mounts that the evil plaguing East Row is the same one that lurks in Ghizon--an evil that will stop at nothing until it has stolen everything from her and everyone she loves. Rue must embrace her true identity and wield the full magnitude of her ancestors' power to save her neighborhood before the gods burn it to the ground.
- ISBN-13: 9781534470675
- ISBN-10: 1534470670
- Publisher: Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster Books f
- Publish Date: January 2021
- Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds
- Page Count: 368
- Reading Level: Ages 13-17
Wings of Ebony
Rue is content with life in her childhood home in Houston, where she lives with her mother and younger sister. But after her mother’s unexpected death, her long-absent father returns and takes Rue to Ghizon, a secret, distant island where every citizen can use magic. Rue must integrate herself into Ghizon’s mysterious and rigid magical society, far from the only home she’s ever known.
When Rue escapes Ghizon to visit her sister, she sets off a chain of events that transcends realms and reveals the truth of Rue’s identity as half human, half god. With strength and determination, she rises to confront evil.
Wings of Ebony presents a fresh and complex take on the “chosen one” trope. Honest and often humorous as she explores what it means to balance her magic and her humanity, Rue retains a cutting, clear voice no matter what she’s facing, and her personality often eclipses the magical world around her.
As Rue paints a vibrant picture of her life in Houston, she’s as critical of her hometown’s systemic racism as she is nostalgic for her neighbor’s cooking. Eventually she learns to recognize the beauty of her magical heritage, too, and she is just as vocal about the racism, colonialism and privilege that plague Ghizon. She is determined to survive, succeed and protect her loved ones, whether they’re from Houston or Ghizon.
Thanks to her fiery nature, Rue develops dynamic relationships with the rest of the novel’s characters. Some see her as an enemy, but others stand beside her to fight for justice. By conveying all of these perspectives, Wings of Ebony asks readers to reflect honestly on their own beliefs and where they would stand.
Debut author J. Elle’s depiction of a young woman embracing the seemingly conflicting sides of her identity is masterful and moving. Bursting with insight, a deeply felt sense of community and an imaginative magic system, Wings of Ebony tells a thrilling, fast-paced story that illuminates serious issues and is sure to resonate with readers.