Stealing Death by Janet Lee Carey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I know this book is getting a lot of Great Book Buzz, but I just found it enjoyable (as opposed to a Must Read). The author blends the hero's journey from different cultures (the Lostwalk, the Naqui powers, the caves, etc.) and grafts them onto a culture that lives with dragons and slavery.
Kipp has stolen Kwaja (a bag into which souls go when the body dies) from the Gwali (a Grim Reaper). Why? Because he thinks that he can rescue the souls of his parents and younger brother, as well as save Zalika (the girl he loves) from entering Kwaja. Of course, we learn by the end that his understanding of what Kwaja is, and what the role of the Gwali is, is wrong and that his dreams of what his life would be like have been superseded by his fate. It all felt a little obvious, but perhaps that's because I've read Campbell and Eliade.
The one thing I found really interesting was the flipping of cultures. Here, the dominant culture is black (well, very dark skinned) and Kipp is often referred to as a "pale", and pales were considered less than worthy in this society. That alone made me want to read more about this world, not as a sequel necessarily, but as a series.
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