Black Leopard, Red Wolf / Marlon James

Title / Black Leopard, Red Wolf
Author / Marlon James
Publication Date / February 2019
Series or standalone / book 1 of 3
Page no. / 640
Overall Rating / 
Thank you to the publisher (Penguin) for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This is the first book in the Dark Star trilogy. Unfortunately this one just didn’t work for me. I want to start this review by stating that this is by no means a bad book, in fact I think it is a good one, it’s just that I didn’t love the writing style. This book is written in first person with a stream of consciousness that I found quite confusing. The protagonist’s thoughts jump around so much that I found it really hard to follow. You have to be paying close attention to keep track of what is happening. From the beginning, I could tell that it would distance me from the story and characters. It also meant that I had to push myself to continue reading at times. I found it a little jarring at times and I just couldn’t settle into the flow of the writing style. This is obviously my personal preference, so don’t let it dissuade you from checking it out if you are interested.
This is a unique fantasy book, not only in the setting, but in the way the story is structured. The plot does not really follow a linear path. It deviates into other stories and it can easily be described as a meandering story. I think this is a refreshing way of doing things and I think a lot of people may appreciate this different way of structuring the plot. However it is quite slow at times and it did drag a little for me. I definitely think that it could have been shorter overall. It is quite a dark fantasy book, so if that’s not your thing then I would probably miss this one out. James did a great job at creating a unique and interesting world. World building is such an important part of the fantasy genre and it is clear that James put a lot of effort into creating this world.  While I thought most of the characters were well written, it was a little tricky to keep track of all the names as there is a lot of characters. I was never fully invested in the characters. The last thing I want to mention is that this is a very dark book. I don’t necessarily mind this but for me this was too dark, especially some quite disturbing sexual scenes that made me uncomfortable. In many ways this is a good book, it just wasn’t for me. 
Overall I’m sad to say this one didn’t work for me, but I think a lot of people will love this book, especially if you enjoy darker fantasy books. Have you guys read this book? Or do you plan on reading it? I’d would love to know what you thought. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

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