Black Leopard Red Wolf
by Marlon James
It is the first book of a planned trilogy. The novel draws on African history and mythology, blended into the landscape of the North Kingdom and the South Kingdom, and the political tensions between these two warring states, as well as various city-states and tribes in the surrounding landscape.
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About Black Leopard Red Wolf
Black Leopard, Red Wolf, is a 2019 fantasy novel by writer Marlon James. It is the first book of a planned trilogy. The novel draws on African history and mythology. Blended into the landscape of the North Kingdom and the South Kingdom, and the political tensions between these two warring states. As well as various city-states and tribes in the surrounding landscape.
The plot of Black Leopard, Red Wolf, narrated in flashback and with non-chronological episodes, centers on the character of Tracker. A man 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 in the North Kingdom. 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.
Over nine years, Tracker’s trials connect him with the Leopard, a shape-shifting hunter; Nyka, a skin-shedding mercenary (both of whom are former lovers of Tracker). The Sangoma, a divinatory healer who protects cast out children and cast a protective charm on Tracker and taught him minor spells. A centuries-old Moon Witch named Sogolon. A giant called an Ogo that they call Sadogo. A perfect soldier named Mossi that “smells of myrrh” and appears to be sexually attracted to Tracker; and dozens more.
The band in the quest is a hodgepodge full of unusual characters with secrets of their own. The plot of the book is largely framed as a conversation between Tracker and a captor of his, with Tracker narrating his life and the quest non-linearly.
Several shifts occur throughout the novel, leading to a seemingly intentional obfuscation of the narrative and plot. The larger plot involves political tensions between different tribes, as well as historical and mounting tensions between the North Kingdom and the South Kingdom.
|Dimensions||9.2 × 6.1 × 1.7 cm|
Marlon James was born in Jamaica in 1970. His novel A Brief History of Seven Killings won the 2015 Man Booker Prize. It was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for fiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for fiction, and the Minnesota Book Award. It was also a New York Times Notable Book. James is also the author of The Book of Night Women, which won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction and an NAACP Image Award.