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Publisher's Summary

The epic debut YA fantasy from an incredible new talent - perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi and Sabaa Tahir.

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? 

With extraordinary world-building and breathtaking prose, Raybearer is the story of loyalty, fate, and the lengths we’re willing to go for the ones we love.

©2020 Jordan Ifueko (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Raybearer

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not bad!

I may not be the intended audience but I read/listened to this book when I received it in the Once Upon a Book Club subscription book for Christmas. 14 year old me would have absolutely loved it, 35 year old me saw paths and plot lines that she wished the author would have fleshed out a bit more. I enjoyed the back & forth tension between Tarisai and her mother because it is essentially realistic in so many ways. I ended the book still quite conflicted about the lady and wanting more! I guess this is the first in a series? I might check out the next book. Narration was great!

8 people found this helpful

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Worth your time

I almost didn't finish my research paper because I couldn't put this down. Ifueko builds a detailed and unique world and accompanies it with a plot that kept me fully engaged. The characters are nuanced and complex. The narrator did a beautiful job enhancing the story with distinct character voices. I'm left wishing there was more, hoping for a sequel while at the same time completely satisfied with the ending. I hope to see more work from Ifueko in the future!

5 people found this helpful

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I can’t wait for the sequel

Read this as part of our BIPOC bookclub and ended up talking as a group for 3 hours about this beautiful book. This book represents everyone, even the childfree and ace communities. It also has a morally ambiguous antagonist (as in your can relate to them even if they are going about things in the wrong way) and examines many complex themes about gender roles, government corruption, and the illusions of power and control.

Do yourself a favor and read this book!

3 people found this helpful

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One of the best fantasy books I've ever read!

Its soooo good! And the narrator is wonderful at making the characters feel alive!! Do yourself a favor and get this book! I can't wait for the sequel!

1 person found this helpful

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A Page Turner

I started this book on a road trip and listened the entire time. Each chapter left me wanting to know what happened next. I couldn't put it down. Great plot and strong characters that made me invested in each of their stories. I also appreciated the spin on magic and the creation of mankind.

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love it

I loved this book. it was slow at first, but it kept me captivated. I'm ready for the sequel.

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The perfect narrator for a beautiful story

Raybearer is a beautifully told and heartwarmingly inspirational story and this narrator brings it to life. This was quite possibly my favorite narration work I’ve ever listened to; she added a lyricism to the work I would not have gotten from the text (I did buy a physical copy & reread, so can confirm). This was an absolute joy of a listening experience. Ifueko gave us characters who thrived on compassion and empathy, who found strength in loving each other, and who make you feel like we have power to end harmful cycles. To quote her directky, “No, we don’t deserve the burdens that our parents gave us. But we can’t defeat monsters we won’t face.”

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A vivid world full of endearing characters

I absolutely loved this book from start to finish! what a beautiful world this author has created, complete with mythology and a history all their own. The characters are real; vulnerable and relatable.

The interpretation of the reader adds so much inflection to the story, and each of the characters even have distinctive voices that adds excitement to the performance.

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It gave what it was supposed to give!

I absolutely love this novel. I heard so much about it last year and chose to wait because I'm already not a fantasy fanatic, and I didn't want to endure the plight of the false hype. Tarisai's tale of a lost familial connection replaced by the bond of a strong friendship was endearing and refreshing. I love the deep dive into the consequences of tribalism and the grief political warfare can cause. I especially love the modern connections to present day social concerns; from human trafficking to the erasure of history.

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A must read!

I'm so glad I took a chance on this one. It isn't my usual genre, but I thoroughly enjoyed the story and characters. I found myself not wanting to stop listening, but at the same time not wanting to get to the end.