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Cover image for Black leopard, red wolf
Format:
Title:
Black leopard, red wolf
ISBN:
9781984882905
Edition:
First large print edition.
Publication:
New York : Random House Large Print, [2019]
Physical Description:
906 pages (large print) : illustrations ; 24 cm
Series title(s):
Number in series:
1.
General Note:
Title from web page.
Summary:
"Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: 'He has a nose,' people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard. As Tracker follows the boy's scent--from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers--he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?"-- Provided by publisher.
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Status
Searching...
LP James, M.
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

The New York Times Bestseller

"A fantasy world as well-realized as anything Tolkien made." --Neil Gaiman

"Gripping, action-packed....The literary equivalent of a Marvel Comics universe." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

The epic novel, an African Game of Thrones , from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings

In the stunning first novel in Marlon James's Dark Star trilogy, myth, fantasy, and history come together to explore what happens when a mercenary is hired to find a missing child.

Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: "He has a nose," people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.

As Tracker follows the boy's scent--from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers--he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?

Drawing from African history and mythology and his own rich imagination, Marlon James has written a novel unlike anything that's come before it: a saga of breathtaking adventure that's also an ambitious, involving read. Defying categorization and full of unforgettable characters, Black Leopard, Red Wolf is both surprising and profound as it explores the fundamentals of truth, the limits of power, and our need to understand them both.


Author Notes

Marlon James was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1970. He studied literature at the University of the West Indies. He worked in advertising for more than a decade, as a copywriter, art director and graphic designer. He took a writing workshop in Kingston, Jamaica, and later enrolled in a writing program at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. His first novel, John Crow's Devil, was published in 2005. His other novels include The Book of Night Women and A Brief History of Seven Killings, which won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2015. He teaches at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

Booker winner James (A Brief History of Seven Killings) kicks off a planned trilogy with a trek across a fantastical Africa that is equal parts stimulating and enervating. Centering on the search for a lost boy, the plot is relatively straightforward, though the narrator, Tracker, moves his story obliquely "as crabs do, from one side to the next." Tracker is a "hunter of lost folk," an ornery loner with an extraordinary nose that lets him pick up the scent of his quarry from miles away. Along with several other mercenary hunters, he is hired by a slave trader to find a kidnapped boy, though who the boy is and why he is so valuable are mysteries to Tracker. Storytelling is a kind of currency in this world, as people measure themselves not only by their violent feats but also by their skill in recounting them, and they have plenty of material: giants, necromancers, witches, shape-shifters, warring tribes, and unspeakable atrocities. Indeed, there is a narrative glut, which barely lets readers acclimate to a new, wondrous civilization or grotesque creation before another is introduced. It's altogether overwhelming, but on the periphery of the novel are intriguing ideas about the performance of masculinity, cultural relativism, kinship and the slipperiness of truth. Though marred by its lack of subtlety, this is nonetheless a work of prodigious imagination capable of entrancing readers. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

Wrought with blood, iron, and jolting images, this swords-and-sorcery epic set in a mythical Africa is also part detective story, part quest fable, and part inquiry into the nature of truth, belief, and destiny.Man Booker Prize winner James (A Brief History of Seven Killings, 2014 etc.) brings his obsession with legend, history, and folklore into this first volume of a projected Dark Star Trilogy. Its title characters are mercenaries, one of whom is called Leopard for his shape-shifting ability to assume the identify of a predatory jungle cat and the other called Tracker for having a sense of smell keen enough to find anything (and anybody) lost in this Byzantine, often hallucinatory Dark Ages version of the African continent. "It has been said you have a nose," Tracker is told by many, including a sybaritic slave trader who asks him and his partner to find a strange young boy who has been missing for three years. "Just as I wish him to be found," he tells them, "surely there are those who wish him to stay hidden." And this is only one of many riddles Tracker comes across, with and without Leopard, as the search takes him to many unusual and dangerous locales, including crowded metropolises, dense forests, treacherous waterways, and, at times, even the mercurial skies overhead. Leopard is besieged throughout his odyssey by vampires, witches, thieves, hyenas, trickster monkeys, and other fantastic beings. He also acquires a motley entourage of helpers, including Sadogo, a gentle giant who doesn't like being called a giant, Mossi, a witty prefect who's something of a wizard at wielding two swords at once, and even a wise buffalo, who understands and responds to human commands. The longer the search for this missing child continues, the broader its parameters. And the nature of this search is as fluid and unpredictable as the characters' moods, alliances, identities, and even sexual preferences. You can sometimes feel as lost in the dizzying machinations and tangled backstories of this exotic universe as Tracker and company. But James' sensual, beautifully rendered prose and sweeping, precisely detailed narrative cast their own transfixing spell upon the reader. He not only brings a fresh multicultural perspective to a grand fantasy subgenre, but also broadens the genre's psychological and metaphysical possibilities.If this first volume is any indication, James' trilogy could become one of the most talked-about and influential adventure epics since George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire was transformed into Game of Thrones. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

The first installment in the Dark Star trilogy has been touted as an African Game of Thrones," and, indeed, James, author of the Man Booker Prize winner A Brief History of Seven Killings (2014), throws pretty much every fantasy and horror creature known into this brilliantly chaotic mash-up of genres and styles. Readers will discover mermaids, vampires, zombies, and witches, along with edge-of-your-seat chills and cheeky humor. James' tale digs its hooks in and never lets go, rather like the claws of the flesh-eating Zogbanu trolls, or the teeth of a vicious ghommid. Yet for all the fantasy and action, James never loses sight of the human story as his hero, Tracker, searches for the truth about a mysterious boy. Tracker's quest across wildlands and through cities brings him tantalizingly closer to the elegant, shape-shifting Leopard. James' world building weaves in cultural references from Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Mali, Congo, Burkina Faso, and Senegal as he spins his griot's tale of love, revolutions, murder, and magic. Gender-bending romance, fantastical adventure, and an Afrocentric setting make for an inventive and engaging read. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The buzz is growing, thanks to James' powerful draw and the launch of a trilogy with appeal for fans of Afrofuturism and Black Panther.--Lesley Williams Copyright 2018 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

BLACK LEOPARD, RED WOLF, by Marlon James. (Riverhead, $30.) James, who calls his new epic fantasy an African "Game of Thrones," conjures the literary equivalent of a Marvel Comics universe in this novel (the first of a projected trilogy) about the search for a missing heir. THE DREAMERS, by Karen Thompson Walker. (Random House, $27.) In Walker's second novel, written with symphonic sweep and generous attention to parent-child relationships, panic spreads as swiftly as the sleeping sickness that's paralyzing a small California town. UNEXAMPLED COURAGE: The Blinding of Sgt. Isaac Woodard and the Awakening of President Harry S. Truman and Judge J. Waties Waring, by Richard Gergel. (Sarah Crichton/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27.) Gergel's riveting history examines a 1946 legal case that spurred the federal government to act in defense of racial equality at the dawn of the civil rights movement. MAID: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother's Will to Survive, by Stephanie Land. (Hachette, $27.) In her unstinting memoir - a portrait of working-class poverty in America - Land scrapes by on $9 an hour cleaning houses to support herself and her young daughter. THE UNWINDING OF THE MIRACLE: A Memoir of Life, m Death, and Everything That Comes After, by Julie gC"8 Yip-Williams. (Random House, $27.) Written before her 147 death last year from cancer at the age of 42, YipWilliams's book is a remarkable woman's moving exhortation to the living. AN INDEFINITE SENTENCE: A Personal History of Outlawed Love and Sex, by Siddharth Dube. (Atria, $28.) Dube, an activist for H.I.V. patients in India, here recounts growing up gay in a society that would not accept him. Confronted with the AIDS epidemic, Dube recognized its link to an "essential longing for sex and love, and with being outlawed, shamed and persecuted." THE BELL RANG, written and illustrated by James E. Ransome. (Atheneum, $17.99; ages 4 to 8.) Through the eyes of a slave, this picture book offers a bittersweet slice of plantation life in which innocence, familial love and safety are juxtaposed with pain, loss and the resilience of the enslaved. EINSTEIN'S SHADOW: A Black Hole, a Band of Astronomers, and the Quest to See the Unseeable, by Seth Fletcher. (Ecco/HarperCollins, $26.99.) What does a black hole look like? The scientists Fletcher profiles aim to produce the first real picture. THE ROOTS OF RAP: 16 Bars on the Pillars of Hip-Hop, by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Frank Morrison. (Little Bee, $18.99; ages 4 to 8.) Hip-hop's origins in jazz, poetry and urban culture come alive in this picture-book tribute. The full reviews of these and other recent books are on the web: nytimes.com/books


Library Journal Review

Borrowing from ancient lore and building upon common, human fears, this is a lush, imaginative fantasy set in an Africa inhabited by witches, monsters, were-animals, shape-changers, and other strange magic, such as a wolf Tracker whose nose leads him to others whom he seeks. He and a continuously changing group of occasional friends and former enemies search for a missing boy and find themselves in the middle of a political power struggle. No answers are clear, paths are murky, and motivations are hidden. Though fast-paced in adventure and dialog, the tale itself unfolds slowly as the listener is led through a labyrinth of stories within stories within stories. Reader Dion Graham's rich performance brings to life the multilayered characters, expertly conveying the wit and compassion as well as the anger and cynicism expressed by the large cast. Occasionally some of his characters sound enough alike that listeners may become lost in determining who is speaking. Frequent scenes of explicit physical and sexual violence reinforce recurring themes of brutality, misogyny, and power but may also repulse some listeners. Verdict This challenging book rewards listeners willing to commit time and mental energy to contemplating the meaning of truth, the consequences of decisions, and the depths of pain. Unfortunately, the many maps and lists of characters that appear in the print and ebooks are not available here. ["An unglorified if gloriously delivered story that feels eminently real despite the hobgoblins": LJ 2/19 starred review of the Riverhead hc.]-Lisa Youngblood, Harker Heights P.L., TX © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.