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Jordan Ifueko Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Raybearer (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Jordan Ifueko
Jordan Ifueko is a fantasy writer best known for her debut young-adult novel Raybearer. The talented author borrows a lot from the stories of her childhood growing up in Nigeria. Currently, Ifueko lives in Los Angeles with her husband.

Raybearer
Raybearer tells the story of Tarisai, a young girl who always wanted to experience the love of family. Tarisai grew up under the care of an absent mother known as The Lady. When she turns eleven, Tarisai’s mother sends her to Aritsar, the global empire capital. Here she has to compete with other children to join the Crown Prince’s Council. Once she is selected, Tarisai will be joined to the other council members in a bond deeper than that of blood. For Tarisai, this alone is motivation enough. For a girl who always wanted to belong, this is a perfect opportunity to become part of a family. However, Tarisai’s mother has a different plan for her daughter.

The mystical bond of Ray between Dayo and his council members protects the prince from premature death. Only a member of the council can kill the prince, and this is what Tarisai’s mother is banking on. The cold-hearted mother has instructed her daughter to earn the prince’s trust, seduce him, and kill him. It is only through the prince’s death that her third wish will come true. To ensure that she complies, Tarisai’s mother uses strong magic. The only way the young girl can overpower the spell is if she finds her own power. Will Tarisai follow her mother’s advice or work to write her destiny? How will a girl who has always craved for her mother’s attention stop herself from doing something that would earn her the love she wants?

Tarisai is a lovable character. It is heartbreaking that her mother couldn’t even call her by name and only referred to her as “Made-of-me.” While most of Tarisai’s life with her mother is spent questioning her reality, things become apparent when she gets to Aritsar. A djinn impregnated the Lady who birthed her, and the child’s primary purpose was to grant her third wish. This possibly explains why Tarisai’s mother is so detached from her daughter. It is only after understanding her purpose that Tarisai is able to rise above the selfish wish of her mother and do what is best for the empire. Despite her difficult childhood, Tarisai is one strong character. She only comes with a unique ability that makes her more empathic to those around her.

Aside from Tarisai, this book comes with such a colorful cast. The characters are drawn from different ethnicities and diverse cultures. It is amazing how the council members get together when young, and we get to see as they grow older and wiser. The friendship between Tarisai, Dayo, and Kirah is admirable. Tarisai is lucky to have a girlfriend like Kirah, who stays true whatever the situation. While Tarisai and Dayo are platonic friends, their bond is strong, and it is sweet that they genuinely care about each other. There is also some romance, but the author doesn’t focus much on this relationship. However, Sanjeet is a lovable character, and you can’t help but hope the bond grows stronger over time.

The Ray concept is phenomenal. Thanks to this bond, an emperor is mentally bonded to his council members, making it easy for him to rule equally. For Ray to work, the council members must love the emperor, which means there must be an effort from him to treat his council well. Each emperor is born with one natural immunity, but once he is bonded with Ray, the council members provide protection against all forms of death aside from old age. Imagine if all this was possible-what an exciting world would this be?

In the beginning, Tarisai’s story is filled with heartbreak, loneliness, betrayal, and a lack of self-worth. It is incredible how much change comes when she starts to understand herself and grow in a loving environment. In the end, it is safe to say that this is a story of friendship, self-discovery, love, and hope for a better future. This story serves as a lesson that no situation is permanent. Pain may last for a while, but life often offers some relief in the end.

The worldbuilding is vivid and captivating, making it easy for you to picture every detail. Everything from history to the politics of this fictional world is well done, and it is clear that the author put a lot of thought into it. Additionally, there is a backstory that offers details of the coverups and scandals in history. This story is saturated with culture, which sets it apart. It helps that the author includes mythology, which adds a touch of mystery to the story.

From her writing, there is no doubt that Ifueko is a talented author. The introduction is brilliant and will capture your imagination with all the detailed descriptions. With a rising-pace, the author welcomes the reader in an exotic world where magic and djinns exist. The narration is flawless, and the overall flow is excellent. This is one of those books you start reading and cannot put down until you have read it to the end.
The author is successful in illustrating the importance of social change. She also touches on many topics ranging from colonialism and poverty to gaslighting. All these are highlighted so lightly that they don’t take your focus away from the story. The different cultures, clothes, and buildings are described in a colorful way and add a lot of character to the story.

Raybearer is an intriguing story that will thrill and leave you yearning for more. Inspired by West African folklore, this story comes loaded with culture, magic, and vibrant settings. The descriptions are so detailed you will feel the warm breeze, the people’s spirit, and the sweet aroma characteristic of African villages. The story is well crafted, the pacing is just right, and the world-building is epic. If you love stories with superhuman characters, this book is a perfect choice for you.

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