Although Marlon James detonated, meteor-like, into British cultural awareness with his Man Booker Prize-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings, James’s baroque brilliance had been founded a decade earlier with his Jamaica-set debut, John Crow’s Devil. This electric battle of faith was followed in 2009 with The Book of Night Women, James’s visceral tale of black slavery and the uneasy compromises of power.
Several years later, Marlon James returned on blistering form, A Brief History of Seven Killings becoming an instant, postcolonial classic, earning James his 2015 Man Booker win. In 2019, Marlon James defied expectation with his ambitious new project Black Leopard, White Wolf, a mythic vision of ancient Africa rendered as high fantasy.
James has spun an African fantasy as vibrant, complex and haunting as any Western mythology, and nobody who survives reading this book will ever forget it.’ So spoke a breathless Ron Charles of the Washington Post, capturing the driving, violent urge and splendour of Marlon James’s headlong charge into high fantasy. A boy is missing, almost certainly dead, and it is Tracker’s charge to find him. Accompanied by a team of characters each endowed with strange powers (not least Leopard, Tracker’s lover and combatant), he must begin his quest into the very heart of strange darkness.