Raybearer is the Vibrant YA Fantasy of My Dreams | Review: Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

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When Once Upon a Book Club reached out to send me their YA box last month, I nearly exploded in excitement. (And, yes, it is totally worth it. Not to be all Influencer, but use my code for 10% off: JESSICAB10!) Raybearer just might be my favourite fantasy of the year. 


by Jordan Ifueko 

Nothing is more important than loyalty.
But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
Rating: ★★★★★

Raybearer is hands down one of my favourite fantasy releases of 2020. The thing about this year is that it has been one mess after another, but so many good books have been released. Jordan Ifueko grips readers with the immensely enchanting and intriguing Raybearer. It's the perfect introduction to a series that is sure to become beloved.

The heart and soul of Raybearer lay in many things. Ifueko's writing is hypnotic and atmospheric, making the story impossible to put down and even more impossible to forget. The characters, and their relationships of all varieties, give that added boost of warmth to the narration. Mix all of this into the already compulsively readable prose and intriguing plotlines, Raybearer is basically the perfect combination of storytelling tropes and archetypes. 

Vibrant, mysterious, magical and full of one of my favourite new found-families, Raybearer takes the familiar fantasy elements and molds them into something new. Reading this book was unlike anything I've experienced this year. 

Not only is Raybearer full of magic and darkly woven mysteries--and fate--it has a great deal of heart pulsing in every word. There's a very specific sense of power that shines brightly throughout Raybearer; keeping the pages turning without much work on our part at all. Ifueko is truly one of the greats in terms of modern storyteller's and it's striking. 

As the story progresses, and Tarisai's fate comes into play, I could feel my heart wanting to beat straight from its chest. At the end of the day, Raybearer was a fantastic and highly enthralling fantasy that kept me on the edge of my seat. In-fact, I'm still on the edge of my seat in anticipation for the sequel--which I need IMMEDIATELY.

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