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    One of the best fantasy books I've ever read

    This is book 1 of the trilogy "Between Earth and Sky", and is one of the best fantasies I've ever read. The setting, the people, and the customs, according to the author, were inspired by the pre-Columbian cultures of the Americas. I really liked that non-binary people are recognized in this book and that the pronouns xe and xis were used instead of he/she and his/hers. As a warning, the book opens with a horrific scene, but it is there for a reason. The next chapter takes place years later, in the city of Tova when the winter solstice is approaching. This winter solstice, a cause for celebration, is unusual this year because it will be combined with a rare eclipse of the sun, leading to the title (Black Sun). If I could only pick two words to explain this book, they would be 'converge' and 'explosive'. There are three main characters in focus in this book: Naranpa, the Sun Priestess; Serapio, a young blind man anxious to get to Tova to be there for the eclipse; and Xiala, captain of the very large canoe that is carrying Serapio to the city of Tova. The explanation of how Xiala navigates the featureless ocean (featureless to us) is fascinating. She pays attention to the action of the waves, as well as the positions of the sun and the moon. There is a fourth character, Okoa, who also plays a pivotal role. Okoa receives bad news and travels to Tova ... on the back of a giant crow. I'm imagining what that would be like, and I'm envious, terrified, and airsick - and ready for the next book.

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