Ahoy there me mateys! I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .
Title: ring shout
Author: P. Djèlí Clark
Publication Date: Tomorrow!! (hardback/ebook)
P. Djèlí Clark has quickly become a must-read author for me. This book does not tell my story, background, or culture so I cannot speak to those elements of the novella. What I can say is that it was engrossing, heart-wrenching, and thought-provoking. Much like when I read Clark’s story about Washington’s teeth, this book led me down a rabbit hole about a fascinating part of African-American culture I knew nothing about. And of course it also led me down a rabbit hole about crappy aspects of American racism that I didn’t know enough about either.
Like me foray into Paw Paw French, this book led me to learn about another American dialect the Creole language of the Gullah of South Carolina and the Geechee in Georgia. The history of this group of people is fascinating and I loved learning about how this African creole came to exist and the traditions the slaves managed to keep from their homelands despite attempts to squash their culture. The ring shouts of the title, the basket weaving, and the cuisine were so much fun to learn about. I also did not know that Africa has a rich rice growing culture and history.
I did read more about “the birth of a nation” movie and the history of the Klan but that rabbit hole made me angry, sad, and bitter so I won’t get into it here. But man did the American history I learn white-wash things. Me film class only really discussed what the movie meant in terms of technology advances in filmmaking.
All the (awesome) history learning aside, the story is also fantastic with amazing characters, some excellent horror elements, and a hero to root for. I loved this book and will be reading it again. So highly recommended. Arrr!
Goodreads has this to say about the novella:
D. W. Griffith is a sorcerer, and The Birth of a Nation is a spell that drew upon the darkest thoughts and wishes from the heart of America. Now, rising in power and prominence, the Klan has a plot to unleash Hell on Earth.
Luckily, Maryse Boudreaux has a magic sword and a head full of tales. When she’s not running bootleg whiskey through Prohibition Georgia, she’s fighting monsters she calls “Ku Kluxes.” She’s damn good at it, too. But to confront this ongoing evil, she must journey between worlds to face nightmares made flesh–and her own demons. Together with a foul-mouthed sharpshooter and a Harlem Hellfighter, Maryse sets out to save a world from the hate that would consume it.
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