“Thrillingly refreshing, a propulsive story built around a fascinating cast of characters…brutal and beautiful and bold and Black in every way.” —Tor.com
Magic is women’s work; war is men’s. But in the coming battle, none of that will matter.
Men do not become mystics. They become warriors. But eighteen-year-old Salo has never been good at conforming to his tribe’s expectations. For as long as he can remember, he has loved books and magic in a culture where such things are considered unmanly. Despite it being sacrilege, Salo has worked on a magical device in secret that will awaken his latent magical powers. And when his village is attacked by a cruel enchantress, Salo knows that it is time to take action.
Salo’s queen is surprisingly accepting of his desire to be a mystic, but she will not allow him to stay in the tribe. Instead, she sends Salo on a quest. The quest will take him thousands of miles north to the Jungle City, the political heart of the continent. There he must gather information on a growing threat to his tribe.
On the way to the city, he is joined by three fellow outcasts: a shunned female warrior, a mysterious nomad, and a deadly assassin. But they’re being hunted by the same enchantress who attacked Salo’s village. She may hold the key to Salo’s awakening—and his redemption.
An Amazon Best Book of the Month: Science Fiction & Fantasy
“Rwizi says he based his unique science fiction and worldly tale on myths and stories he heard growing up in Swaziland…Because Rwizi combines technology, science fiction and myth, the novel is like a video game filled with action and tension…Rwizi delivers a fast-paced story with vivid images of sub-Saharan Africa, lacing Salo’s epic journey with flash, violence and drama, and a love story.” —Authorlink
“Rwizi’s debut is noteworthy for its African-inspired setting.” —Library Journal
“It’s a thrilling, fanciful debut, crammed full of imaginative world-building and excellent dialogue.” —RevolutionsSF
“Raised in Swaziland and Zimbabwe but now residing in South Africa, C.T. Rwizi is a remarkable new talent. He deftly juggles five very different protagonists, establishes a vast yet intricate new magical system unlike anything else I’ve ever seen, and unfolds stories scattered across the distant past, the chaotic present, and in entirely different planes of existence.” —Tor.com
“C. T. Rwizi…builds a rich setting by combining recognizable aspects of his home with deft and fantastical world-building.” —Medium
Debut author C. T. Rwizi was born in Zimbabwe, grew up in Swaziland, finished high school in Costa Rica, and got a BA in government at Dartmouth College in the United States. He currently lives in South Africa with his family, and enjoys playing video games, taking long runs, and spending way too much time lurking on Reddit. He is a self-professed lover of synthwave.