The epic novel from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings.
In the stunning first novel in Marlon James's Dark Star trilogy, myth, fantasy, and history come together to explore what happens...Read More
In the stunning first novel in Marlon James's Dark Star trilogy, myth, fantasy, and history come together to explore what happens when a mercenary is hired to find a missing child.
Tracker is 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, 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. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.
As Tracker follows the boy's scent - from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers - he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?
Drawing from African history and mythology and his own rich imagination, Marlon James has written a novel unlike anything that's come before it: a saga of breathtaking adventure that's also an ambitious, involving read. Defying categorization and full of unforgettable characters, Black Leopard, Red Wolf is both surprising and profound as it explores the fundamentals of truth, the limits of power, and our need to understand them both.
Marlon James was born in Jamaica in 1970. He is the author of the New York Times-bestseller Black Leopard, Red Wolf, which was a finalist for the National Book Award for fiction in 2019. 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. His first novel, John Crow's Devil, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and was a New York Times Editors' Choice. James divides his time between Minnesota and New York.
"Gripping, action-packed... The literary equivalent of a Marvel Comics universe -- filled with dizzying, magpie references to old movies and recent TV, ancient myths and classic comic books, and fused into something new and startling by his gifts for language and sheer inventiveness." - Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"No novel this year was as intoxicated by the pleasures and possibilities of storytelling as this bloody, bawdy, profane, deliriously overstuffed work of high fantasy. The first part of a planned trilogy, Marlon James's book already boasts more swagger and invention than most multivolume epics dragging toward their 10th installment." - The Wall Street Journal
"The first volume of a promised trilogy, a fabulist reimagining of Africa, with inevitable echoes of Tolkien, George R.R. Martin and Black Panther, but highly original, its language surging with power, its imagination all-encompassing. . . . Marlon is a writer who must be read." - Salman Rushdie, TIME
"James' visions don't jettison you from reality so much as they trap you in his mad-genius, mercurial mind. . . . Drenched in African myth and folklore, and set in an astonishingly realized pre-colonized sub-Saharan region, Black Leopard crawls with creatures and erects kingdoms unlike any I've read. . . . This is a revolutionary book." - Entertainment Weekly
"Marlon James is one of those novelists who aren't afraid to give a performance, to change the states of language from viscous to gushing to grand, to get all the way inside the people he's created... [ Black Leopard, Red Wolf] looks like another great, big tale of death, murder and mystery but more mystically fantastical... Not only does this book come with a hefty cast of characters (like Seven Killings), there are also shape shifters, fairies, trolls, and, apparently, a map. The map might be handy. But it might be the opposite of why you come to James--to get lost in him." - The New York Times
"Fantasy fiction gets a shot of adrenaline." - Newsday
"Stand aside, Beowulf. There's a new epic hero slashing his way into our hearts, and we may never get all the blood off our hands. . . . James is clear-cutting space for a whole new kingdom. 'Black Leopard, Red Wolf, ' the first spectacular volume of a planned trilogy, rises up from the mists of time, glistening like viscera. James has spun an African fantasy as vibrant, complex and haunting as any Western mythology, and nobody who survives reading this book will ever forget it. That thunder you hear is the jealous rage of Olympian gods. . . . 'Ocean's Eleven' has got nothing on this ensemble." - Washington Post
"Black Leopard, Red Wolf is bawdy (OK, filthy), lyrical, poignant, violent (sometimes hyperviolent), riotous, funny (filthily hilarious), complex, mysterious, and always under tight and exquisite control...A world that is both fresh and beautifully realized....Absolutely brilliant." - LA Times