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Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
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Who Fears Death

by Nnedi Okorafor

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1345910,450 (3.8)166
  1. 30
    Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson (PhoenixFalls)
  2. 31
    The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, Book 1 (The Inheritance Trilogy) by N. K. Jemisin (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Who Fears Death is post-apocalyptic futuristic fantasy and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms draws from classical sword and sorcery, but both are excellent novels about heroines who have found themselves beset and gifted (or possibly cursed) by powers beyond reckoning, while caught up in a political and supernatural power struggle that spans generations and eventually time itself.… (more)
  3. 10
    A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin (andomck)
    andomck: Both stories of how young wizards with a knack for transforming into birds learned their powers
  4. 10
    The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor (sturlington)
  5. 11
    Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan (andomck)
    andomck: Told from the pov of a daughter growing up in a science fantasy world
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» See also 166 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Onyesonwu is the child of rape, an Ewu, the daughter of an Okeke woman and a Nuru man. The Okeke have always been subjected to the Nuru, and the history of violence between these people has taken its toll. As a young woman, Onye recounts her childhood and growth into the one who's going to change everything.

The first words drew me in immediately and though a couple of times my interest flagged it was more to do with my inability to sit down and read for long stretches than any real flaw in the storytelling. Onye and her friends are fantastic characters. Though the story is violent and difficult, it's powerful and compelling, defying easy categorization into a particular genre just as Onye herself doesn't fit in a simple box. I can't believe I've never read any of this author's work before; it certainly won't be the last. ( )
  bell7 | Aug 8, 2018 |
A very hard read but worth every minute. This was an amazing story of survival and magic and prejudice and strength. ( )
  SevenAcreBooks | Jul 11, 2018 |
For me this is more interesting and original than the Binti books. The characters and setting and culture(s) were intriguing and the magic both clear enough and mysterious enough to keep me wanting to learn more. It could have done without the last two epilogue chapters and been more powerful for it, as having the heroines mastery of her skills, temper, and impulse was the least original aspect of the story. The pacing was a bit jerky and sometimes it was necessary to 'push through', though never painful. ( )
  quondame | Jun 3, 2018 |
I could not put this book down. I loved that it took common high-fantasy tropes and transferred them to post-apocalyptic Africa. I loved the writing and I loved the central character.

Unfortunately, the book stumbled in the second half with some weird pacing issues, the failure to place logical limits on the heroine's growing power, and an ending that fell flat for me (although I realize some people loved it).

Despite that, I thoroughly enjoyed this read and recommend the book. I will be looking for anything Okorafor publishes in the future. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
This book grabs you by the throat on page one. It’s the story of Onyesonwu, an outcast who possesses strong magical abilities and a lot of rage. She works to control both (with varying success) and goes on a quest to change the world as she knows it. See, she is Ewu, her mother being an Okeke woman who was raped by a Nuru man. In this post-apocalyptic world, Okekes are treated as slaves by Nurus. Onyesonwu hopes to change that.
While this is a story of a Chosen One, she differs from the trope by not being perfect. Onyesonwu has flaws and sometimes they make her falter. She also has love and friends who support her in varying degrees. While the reader may not always understand Onyesonwu’s choices or agree with them, it always makes for an interesting journey. The story is dark and violent, yet there are hints of beauty and hope throughout. There’s a prequel called The Book of the Pheonix and now I need to read it too. I want to know so much more of this world. ( )
  Jessiqa | May 15, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nnedi Okoraforprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kern, ClaudiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruth, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
"Dear friends, are you afraid of death?" - Patrice Lumumba, first and only elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo
Dedication
To my amazing father, Dr. Godwin Sunday Daniel Okoroafor, M.D., F.A.C.S. (1940-2004).
First words
My life fell apart when I was sixteen. Papa died. He had such a strong heart, yet he died. Was it the heat and smoke from his blacksmithing shop? It's true that nothing could take him from his work, his art. He loved to make the metal bend, to obey him. But his work only seemed to strengthen him; he was so happy in his shop. So what was it that killed him? To this day I can't be sure. I hope it had nothing to do with me or what I did back then.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Well-known for young adult novels (The Shadow Speaks; Zahrah the Windseeker), Okorafor sets this emotionally fraught tale in postapocalyptic Saharan Africa. The young sorceress Onyesonwu—whose name means Who fears death?—was born Ewu, bearing a mixture of her mother's features and those of the man who raped her mother and left her for dead in the desert. As Onyesonwu grows into her powers, it becomes clear that her fate is mingled with the fate of her people, the oppressed Okeke, and that to achieve her destiny, she must die. Okorafor examines a host of evils in her chillingly realistic tale—gender and racial inequality share top billing, along with female genital mutilation and complacency in the face of destructive tradition—and winds these disparate concepts together into a fantastical, magical blend of grand storytelling.
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Born into post-apocalyptic Africa to a mother who was raped after the slaughter of her entire tribe, Onyesonwu is tutored by a shaman and discovers that her magical destiny is to end the genocide of her people.

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