Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

This dystopian book is set in the African desert and is a world fantasy award winner. It weaves a meandering story of magic, great emotional power and horror. Lyrical and clear prose propel the reader forward. Rape as a war crime is brought into stark focus as the story unfolds. Najeeba is raped and finds the strength to have the child, the heroine Onyesonwu (Who Fears Death). Other disturbing rituals such as female circumcision and stoning are also carefully described. Onyesonwu belongs to the Okeke people who accept living in the shadow of the Nuru people, as The Great Book demands. She refuses to follow The Great Book or the Goddess.  Her fate and magical powers as a shapeshifter emerge and she seeks instruction. The character development of both Onyesonwu and Mwita, as they undertake their quest to save the Okeke from the final solution carries the reader forward to their inevitable fate.

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