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Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor

Shadow Speaker

Book 1 of THE DESERT MAGICIAN'S DUOLOGY

Deluxe, expanded edition of Nnedi’s out-of-print early novel, with a brand-new introduction from the author.

Niger, West Africa, 2074

It is an era of tainted technology and mysterious mysticism. A great change has happened all over the planet, and the laws of physics aren’t what they used to be.

Within all this, I introduce you to Ejii Ugabe, a child of the worst type of politician. Back when she was nine years old, she was there as her father met his end. Don’t waste your tears on him: this girl’s father would throw anyone under a bus to gain power. He was a cruel, cruel man, but even so, Ejii did not rejoice at his departure from the world. Children are still learning that some people don’t deserve their love.

Now 15 years old and manifesting the abilities given to her by the strange Earth, Ejii decides to go after the killer of her father. Is it for revenge or something else? You will have to find out by reading this book.

I am the Desert Magician, and this is a novel I have conjured for you, so I’m certainly not going to just tell you here.

Nnedi Okorafor says this about The Shadow Speaker:

“Spontaneous forests, polygamy, strange insects, Nigerian 419 scammers, really really fast cars, a different kind of Sahara Desert, male beauty contests, the apocalypse, life, death, sword fights, fat chiefs, assassins, this novel is full of life.”

Awards for The Shadow Speaker

NAACP Image Award (nominee)

Parallax Award (winner)

The Essence Magazine Literary Award (finalist)

The Golden Duck Award (finalist)

A CCBC Choice for 2008

The Andre Norton Award (finalist)

A Tiptree Honor Book

An Amelia Bloomer Project Book

Praise for The Shadow Speaker

THE SHADOW SPEAKER is wonderful, highly original stuff, episode after amazing episode, full of color, life and death. The people and the places in the Shadow Speaker all feel so real. Nnedi also deals head-on with the fact that power and pain are closely linked, as are magic and blood. I think this book is MARVELOUS.
-Diana Wynne Jones, author of Howl’s Moving Castle and the Chronicles of Chrestomanci
 
There’s more vivid imagination in a page of Nnedi Okorafor’s work than in whole volumes of ordinary fantasy epics.
-Ursula K. Le Guin, author of the classic Earthsea series
 
Many will also embrace the novel’s complicated characters, especially its women, and the unusual appearance of African, Muslim traditions in a science fiction context. Fans of Nancy Farmer’s The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm (1994) will want to give this a try.
-Booklist
 
As wildly inventive and suspenseful as her first novel, THE SHADOW SPEAKER is at the same time more ambitious and thematically complex, and represents a major step forward for a storyteller who, in the tradition of Octavia Butler and Nalo Hopkinson , is equally adept at combining that most contemporary of forms, science fiction, with the ancient beliefs and values of non-western cultures that have for too long been underrepresented in modern fantastic literature.
-Gary Wolfe , award-winning critic and lead reviewer for Locus Magazine
 
For 13 and older, my pick for best fiction of the year is The Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu. A young adult devoted to Orson Scott Card for his complicated societies set in the future will be thrilled to discover this complex quest tale that begins in the Sahara Desert of 2070
-The Barnes and Noble Review