Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Raybearer #2


Rate this book
For the first time, an Empress Redemptor sits on Aritsar's throne. To appease the sinister spirits of the dead, Tarisai must now anoint a council of her own, coming into her full power as a Raybearer. She must then descend into the Underworld, a sacrifice to end all future atrocities.

Tarisai is determined to survive. Or at least, that's what she tells her increasingly distant circle of friends. Months into her shaky reign as empress, child spirits haunt her, demanding that she pay for past sins of the empire.

With the lives of her loved ones on the line, assassination attempts from unknown quarters, and a handsome new stranger she can't quite trust . . . Tarisai fears the pressure may consume her. But in this finale to the Raybearer duology, Tarisai must learn whether to die for justice . . . or to live for it.

336 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 17, 2021

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Jordan Ifueko

21 books2,000 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
4,091 (45%)
4 stars
3,426 (38%)
3 stars
1,215 (13%)
2 stars
194 (2%)
1 star
38 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,746 reviews
Profile Image for Bookishrealm.
1,909 reviews4,800 followers
August 17, 2021
Ya'lllllllllll Ifueko outdid herself with this one. I mean this is one of the best YA fantasy sequels that I've read in a long time. My biggest fear is that it would fall victim to second book syndrome and oh my was I wrong. This book was absolutely beautiful. It kept me on the edge of my seat; it made me laugh; it made me cry. This is definitely one of my favorite books of 2021.

Redemptor picks up right where Raybearer left off. Tarisai is responsible for anointing her own council to appease the spirits of the dead. This book starts off with a lot of action and shocking twists and turns. 7 percent into this book and I had no idea what direction this book was headed in. This book is split into several parts some focused more on Tarisai preparing for her journey into the underworld while the others were actually about the time that she spends in the underworld. Both the character development and plot development in this book were on point and exceptionally well written. In terms of character development, readers will see Tarisai struggle a little bit in this book. There are evil forces at play called Ojiji that are solely responsible for her disconnect to her council siblings. It inevitably becomes a character flaw. Tarisai suffers because she is incapable of asking for help. It breaks that typical "chosen one" trope. Tarisai may be the supposed "chosen one," but she can't do anything without the help of those around her. There are old vices that she struggles with in the first book that play a significant role in the development of this book. Even the introduction of new characters is extremely important to how Tarisai develops as a character. Two of the most important and most interesting come in the form of Min Ja (Woo-In's sister) and King Zuri. Through them she learns of forgiveness, pain, and inevitable sacrifice: the things people are willing to do to protect themselves and the ones they love. What I loved is that no character in this duology "went to waste." From the people that readers are introduced to in the first book to those that we meet in this second and final installment are extremely important and move the story forward towards the conclusion. Additionally, there is more exploration of Dayo's asexuality as well as Tarisai's wish to remain child-less. Both play an interesting and complex role in the narrative of the story.

The plot of this book was crazyyyyyy. It was extremely fast paced and had twist and turns that I didn't see coming. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I was sitting in my chair screaming "what?!?" into the abyss. Some of these moments frustrated me and made me angry while others broke my heart and made me cry. If you know anything about me as a reader, then you know that I don't frequently cry when I read books; however, for some reason this book moved me emotionally. The whole concept of the Raybearer is further explored in this book and leads to some surprising conclusions. Jordan Ifueko has an extreme gift for world building. She proves that she can create a fantasy world while exploring issues that we have in our real world like social and economic inequalities.

Overall, this was an amazing book. I mean truly breathtaking and beautiful. Such a wonderful, well-written conclusion to the story that took the reading community by storm last year. Ifueko lays it all on the table and gives this story everything she has. No stone was left unturned. I have so much respect for her as an author and I honestly can't wait to see what she's going to do in the future. Ya'll this is a must read of 2021.
Profile Image for Frank-Intergalactic Bookdragon.
544 reviews214 followers
September 7, 2021
Prereview November 2020
Me: is the sequel to Raybearer out yet?
Some poor bookstore employee: no
Me the next day: is it out yet?
That same poor employee: no
Employee on the inside: can't wait until I get tomorrow off and get a break from this guy
SpongeBob narrator: the next day
Employee: *still asleep*
Me from under their bed: is - st0p screaming - is the sequel to Raybearer out yet?
Employee: *still screaming*
Me: so anyway I was thinking - oh quiet down and let me discuss my theories - so I think the sequel will be called Redemptor and-

Update February 2021
Bookstore employee: *opens fridge*
Me from inside the fridge: hey look it got a cover and I was right about the title!
Bookstore employee: *screaming* how do you keep getting into my house??????

Review September 2021
Bookstore employee: *driving to work peacefully*
Me, popping up from the backseat: hey have you read Redemptor yet-
Employee: *screams in a pitch so high only dogs can hear it as they swerve around traffic before screeching to a halt on the side of the road*
Employee: how did you get into my car!?
Me: the way you're still surprised at this point *smh* anyway did you read Redemptor?
Employee: you motherfu- well actually I did and it was amazing!
Me: WASN'T IT like THAT is how you do a sequel!
Employee: the ending is extremely satisfying and emotionally poignant and the book overall is well paced and as captivating as the first.
Me: I agree, though I do feel one of the twists could have had more foreshadowing, I am willing to overlook it because it did make sense as a twist and did not inhibit my enjoyment.
Employee: yes and the character arcs were exceptional. I loved how Tarisai was allowed to be nuanced and make mistakes.
Me: it made her arc powerful and relatable because despite this being an extremely magical and rich fantasy world with larger than life problems she and the other characters felt grounded in relatable issues. I loved how mental health was explored in this!
Employee: and how along with mental health this entire series dealt with themes of love in many different forms. Unconditional, platonic, romantic, familial, etc.
Me: yes which is part of why I believe this series is the best found family story. I also love how there is biromantic asexual rep in both books that is done so well!
Employee: exactly! Overall the entire series was a magical bundle of adventure and love.
Me: most definitely a favorite duology of mine!
Employee: same *narrows eyes* now get out of my car you weirdo.

*note that I do not encourage the harassing of bookstore employees or employees of any kind*
Profile Image for Anniek.
1,765 reviews649 followers
February 19, 2021
I'm in absolute awe of this book. This is now my favourite duology ever.

With Raybearer having been one of my absolute favourite books of 2020, the finale to this duology was one of my most anticipated 2021 books. And then I got BLESSED: right after the cover and release date were announced, the book went up on Netgalley and I got approved within a day. Needless to say, I dove in right away.

Very often, when I've really loved the first installment in a series, I will end up very disappointed by the second one, because it will just not live up to the first book. So if that happens to you too, let me just state right away: there's no need to worry about that here. When I started reading, I was immediately transported back into this world, and everything about it - the writing, the plot, the characterization - felt completely consistent with the first book.

One of my favourite aspects of the first book was the way the found family trope was used. This is one of my favourite tropes in general, and while I adored it in Raybearer, I think it might have even been better in Redemptor. I especially still very much adore my beloved Dayo.

But really, this book just has it all: amazing characters with enough loveable interactions to keep me happy, an engaging plot, intricate world building, absolutely exquisite writing. Whether you like to read for the plot or for the characters doesn't matter - you will be fed here.
Profile Image for Sophia (Fantasy Book Addict).
88 reviews57 followers
March 21, 2021
Still deciding between a 2.5 and a 3 stars

Raybearer was one of my favorite books I read last year, it was a fresh and unique story, and I found it endearing. So, believe me when I say, I’m sad I didn’t love this as much as the first.

Let’s start off with the good parts of this story. One thing I really appreciated was how Jordan Ifueko wasn’t afraid to explore themes of systematic oppression regarding class. All throughout the story, Tarisai is learning about how unjust the empire is, she learns how her privilege has afforded her comfort. I love seeing Tarisai question and go against the status quo. Unfortunately, that's all I really enjoyed.

One thing I loved the most about the story is the found family aspect, seeing Tarisai come from an abusive home to the Children’s Palace where she was able to find a family to call her own was heartwarming. The only critique I did have was that I wished the relationships were fully explored and I was hoping to see that familial bond explored even more in the second story. Unfortunately, the second book doesn’t explore those dynamics at all. We were constantly being told how much the Council Siblings cared for each other, but we were never shown it.

Female friendships aren’t explored enough in fiction and I felt that Raybearer did an amazing job exploring the friendship between Tarisai and Kirah and it was one of the best parts of the story. So, I was incredibly disappointed that she only made a few appearances. Even her relationship with Sanjeet and Dayo is put on the back burner. It felt as though character development was being sacrificed for the sake of the plot, which was especially disappointing to me because the characters are the reason, I loved the first book so much.
Even when it came to Tarisai building her own council, it felt as though we were being held at an arm’s length. None of their characters were fully developed
And it felt like Tarisai’s Council Siblings were there for the plot and nothing more.

In terms of plot, it felt like the story lacked consistency. There was a specific plotline that didn’t serve much of a purpose and was only used as a plot device (can't go into details because of spoilers). It felt as though the story I was reading in the beginning was completely different from the end. I felt like this could've been separated into two books and that would have made for a more cohesive storyline. I'm a high-stakes reader, which made the ending feel a little anticlimactic.

The way the magic system was handled was also disappointing to me. I loved the idea of being in love in order to be bonded through the Ray, it made the found family aspect that much sweeter. I didn’t like the idea of that love being distorted.

Overall, I don’t think this is a bad book. The first book set the bar so high and this just didn’t live up to it.
Profile Image for kaz.brekkers.future.wife.
380 reviews258 followers
May 10, 2022
I have been officially yassified, slayed, gay-spelled, hexed, bi-tastrophied, diagonitallicalitsied (yes, I know that's not a word). This book hurt me. Destroyed me. Ruined me. (insert violent or dirty verb here) me!
But Ifueko still did it again. Wonderful writing, wonderful characters, and an almost love triangle I was actually rooting for.

Let us go over things that I liked:
1. The characters:
once again, they all slayed and were amazing and I fell in love with them and there was bi panic and zuUURRRRRIIII. #Zuriwassohotandcoolandattractiveai'msoangryhe'sdead
2. the writing:
ifueko was boasting about her several thousand English lessons to us within a 300 page book
3. the worldbuilding:
still managed to add more than what she had previously. i loved learning about the culture.
4. the PLOT TWIST:

things I didn't like:
.................zuri's death

thank you for coming to my TedTalk.....

review to come
currently reading
2/3rds thru, and now I have a new book boyfriend crush
I'm just a simp for tall snarky dreadheads!
Profile Image for JustJJ.
103 reviews132 followers
December 1, 2021
This review and others @Bookerification

Rating: 4.5 stars

Wow. Just wow!

Jordan Ifueko did not play around with this sequel!

“You don’t get to choose why people love you. But what you do with the love you receive . . . that’s a choice you make every day.”

At best, I expected ‘Redemptor’ to be just as good as the previous book in this series. I certainly did not expect it to be such a strong step up! Jordan Ifueko not only maintained all the features she did well in the previous book but was able to improve on these features in a way that was beyond belief. As a result, the tale that unfolds in this book is even more captivating and engaging than its predecessor.

In this book, the stakes are higher. The twists are more frequent and unexpected, right from the beginning. There also seems to be a lot more action taking place, making the pace of this story faster than that of the previous book. These moments of action are skilfully broken up by an infusion of political elements and personal reflections to give a well-paced, gripping story from start to finish.

The elevation of Jordan’s writing in this book is also really impressive. Her words flow more vividly and are more enchanting than before. With every sentence, more details and complexity are added to the characters and world introduced in the first book. While parts of the world-building are still established through bursts of information, I did not mind as much this time given the depth and clarity this information provides.

“The more I learn, the more I think the only decent way to use power is to share it with others.”

Despite my praises, Jordan’s writing was not the highlight of this book to me. That position would have to go to the main character Tarisai. I loved her so much more in this story, especially her growth and inner strength. No longer the little girl who craves love and family more than anything, Tarisai now explores what it means to take up her own unique space in the world and I WAS HERE FOR IT!

Then, there is Sanjeet! Honestly, every time I heard “sunshine girl” I melted like ice in front of a warm fire.

We actually do not get much of Jeet in this book as his connection with Tarisai is forced to take a back seat. Personally, I thought this was a great move as it allowed Jeet and Tarisai to learn more about themselves and become stronger characters. I also liked that Jeet’s absence prevented unnecessary anguish and drama which would have decreased my enjoyment of the story.

The remaining characters, including Dayo and Kirah, were also given minimal roles in the story - and this felt right. It certainly prevented the focus of the story from getting messy and disjointed as the focus remained on Tarisai and her journey. That being said, I think it would be interesting to have a few books centred on some of the other characters like Kirah and Princess Min Ja.

Once again, Tarisai’s journey is the gateway to various themes which are cleverly explored. Themes that had been introduced in the previous book are explored in greater depth through the evolving perspectives of the characters. A few new themes such as mental health and dealing with change are also presented as the characters face new challenges and obstacles. These were equally fascinating to consider and contributed greatly to the appeal of the story.

In essence, ‘Redemptor’ is an amazing sequel that utterly outshines its precursor. Everything from the writing to the characters has all been stepped up flawlessly. With such a great accomplishment, I can not wait to see what Jordan Ifueko brings out next!


RTC @ Bookerification

Cover: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Writing: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5
Plot: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5
Main character(s):🌟🌟🌟🌟.5
Secondary characters: 🌟🌟🌟
Final rating: 4.5

Loved this a lot more than the first book!
"Do not ask how many people you will save… Ask, to what world will you save them? What makes a world worth surviving in?”
Profile Image for Elizabeth (Plant Based Bride).
411 reviews3,752 followers
September 8, 2021
Redemptor is a worthy sequel to one of my favourite reads of 2020, Raybearer. In this second instalment, we follow Tarisai as she faces new challenges and enemies and ultimately braves the underworld itself. With brand new fascinating characters and several heartfelt moments, Redemptor explores exploitation, oppression, nobility, and class divisions in a thoughtful and multifaceted way.

Redemptor asks questions that are so important for young people to consider. Why does blood or birth determine our lot in life? Why are some lives more expendable than others? Do those in power have a responsibility to change the status quo for the better? Who deserves the power to decide?

I am in love with the world Ifueko has built with this series, and I cannot wait to see what she creates next!

Trigger/Content Warnings: Death, blood, suffering, child death, child labour, murder, amputation/loss of limbs

VIDEO REVIEW: https://youtu.be/Z6jPExstT1Y

You can find me on...
Youtube | Instagram | Twitter| TikTok
Profile Image for Maxwell.
1,136 reviews8,146 followers
August 27, 2021
I don't know how to rate this because I love these characters and the world so much that I was bound to love this sequel and conclusion to the story.

What I can say is I absolutely LOVE Tarisai's story and how Ifueko sets everything up from the very beginning of Raybearer. It's clear she planned everything out very well, and with that she is able to do so much in just two relatively short books.

The themes in this one are particularly powerful; the idea of being a revolutionary, finding your passion in life, inspiring change that goes against the very actions your ancestors may have taken to cause a lot of harm in the world; the idea of pursuing your calling even if it goes against the voices of many, sometimes the very people you need to support you. It's all very complicated but Ifueko handles it with such care through the lens of this coming-of-age story.

My only small complaints for this one were that it could have been longer, and there were SO many characters. Part of that is just in the world-building, and I think she did a good job of giving info as needed, having a world with so many lands and people groups means that naturally you have to neglect some to focus on the main story. I'm a sucker for good world-building, and you can tell there is a lot more Ifueko could do in this world, so maybe she will give us more someday. But I liked how throughout both books in this duology, she really just focuses on one girl and her story.

And with that being said, I appreciated how this sort of stuck to but also subverted the 'chosen one' tropes. Everything makes sense and has a reason for why Tarisai is the way she is, what decisions she makes, and how the construct of their world necessitates certain decisions or actions. Though there is magic and lore in this world, it never exists just for the sake of explaining things away. Through the final chapters of this book, every previous decision or historical fact serves a purpose and for that I was impressed.

All in all, I can see myself returning to both of these books again and again. In fact, I recently re-read the first book via audio to prepare for this one, and I absolutely want to read this one in audio form now to immerse myself even further in the world. The narrator is fantastic and something about hearing all the names and countries and magical elements read out loud just brings it to life even more for me.

Truly a special and unique series for me that I'll think about for years to come.
Profile Image for Ashley.
800 reviews441 followers
June 22, 2022
Star Rating: —> 5 Stars

WOW. I absolutely CANNOT BELIEVE how lush, vivid, BRILLIANT (pun intended? Haha)☺️ & teeming with folklore/mythology, brilliant relationships between the characters, whether by found family, friends, lovers (though I must say that I could've done with a little bit more romance, this is one of the very few YA fantasy series out of a very, very many that I've read where I've actually honestly endlessly enjoye this mobdk novel that had little to no main plot line love story/ stories (not that it lacked a main lover or even something of a false love triangle , or other supporting characters dalliances/ romances (def sparks notes vers, lol, but you'll understand when you read 😉). In other words, this was so INEXORABLY good that I feel like the romance wasn't even NEEDED, in all honesty, it didnt do much to add the storyline (but I did LOVE what romance there was was! Disliking romance in books is not a prob of mine, haha, this was just impressive AF)... which is AMAZINGGGGGG bc it is so rare that any UMG, YA, or even ADULT novels and the many different age caveats that exist within the wide, wide expanse that is the adult world of books, as well, can hold its own without the support of some sort of romantic kind of love story, often found interwoven with the majority of the plot, so this was super refreshing!

All in all, I recommend, & HIGHLY! What an INCREDIBLE high fantasy debut (I haven't yet left a review for raybearer & prob won't 🤷🏼‍♀️, it was my second tolast read of 2021 & I. AM. EXHAUSTED after New Years! Phew. Plus I'm hoping this short, but sweet, review for Redemptor, which WAS my VERY last read of 2021... will suffice ;)).

Profile Image for hiba.
240 reviews329 followers
March 13, 2022
raybearer is one of the best YA fantasy books i've read so to say i was highly anticipating its sequel is an understatement. maybe in doing that i set this book up because i had so many issues with it - and i definitely think the first book is by far the better one.

while i loved the worldbuilding and mythology as much as i did in raybearer, i wish the plot could've been different - as in, more focused on the already existing side characters rather than adding tons of new ones who i simply didn't care about (zuri, in particular, irritated the living hell out of me). i wish we could've seen tarisai bonding with her original council siblings rather than forming new bonds with new characters. the original siblings had such unique personalities and powers, it felt like a massive missed opportunity.

i appreciate that the author included themes of class disparity and workers' rights as well as questioning the system of monarchy. but the execution didn't work for me at all - if you're going to make liberating the common people from the tyranny of nobles a major theme in your book then you should go all the way with it instead of chickening out and still upholding your main princess character as the hero. tarisai was all for having the workers own the lands and free them from the control of the nobles - but only to a certain extent, as long as it didn't cross her personal limits of using magic (because that's ultimately more important than the suffering of the workers i guess). i feel like the author used this subplot just to show how good and genuine tarisai is, how she's not like those other cruel nobles, even though she grew up in privilege and literally has the power to make more change than she's willing to make.

apart from that, i still liked tarisai and dayo's relationship - they're nice enough characters and i enjoyed seeing their interactions and the way they're basically platonic soulmates.

although this sequel was kind of disappointing for me, i still like the duology as a whole and do think they're worth the read, especially for anyone who loves YA fantasy.

cws: mentions of child death, amputation

rep: nigerian/west african-coded world + cast, biromantic asexual side character
Profile Image for ♠ TABI⁷ ♠.
Author 15 books485 followers
April 26, 2021
'Under no circumstances should you enter the Underworld, unless you are certain that you will return.'


Disjointed review here mostly because I read this so fast a few weeks ago that precise details are blurry . . . partly because it's not released yet. Anyways!! This was a fantastic, INCREDIBLE follow-up to Raybearer with very few stumbles in this duology. It moved at just the right pace, the world-building expanded in a natural, realistic manner, and all the character's growth and development didn't waver nor change from the paths they'd been set on in the first book.

"Why stifle your own power?"
"Because I want to be an empress, not a god!"


Tarisai is such an amazing character, going from conflicted girl with dark secrets to a conflicted empress with even darker secrets. Her growth and character arc was one of the best, even though at times I wanted to scream at her to UNDERSTAND THIS ISSUE FASTER PLEASE I BEG YOU . . . but that was all part of the wonderful human aspects of her character.

"Your life should not be a means to an end. No human being should be reduced to a function. The day we do that—it's the beginning of the end."


Allow me to scream AGAIN about the lovely cast and the effortless diversity in this book because THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD ALWAYS BE DONE OKAY!! there's so many aspects of real-world cultures and ethnicities in here, complete with their strifes and collaborations. And it's done so lovingly?? So beautifully?? I could just sit, starry-eyed, and gesture incoherently at this book when I try to explain how MUCH it means to me (and I know mean's so much more to BIPOC people) to have a fantasy so diverse like this.

Another thing to note is that the gray-moral character of the story . . . a young rebel king, his part to play in the entire story (and what is referred to in the above quote) IT WAS SO POWERFUL in a fierce, unwavering way. I can't say much more without spoilers, but, yeah . . . appreciated that internal arc so much.

"I was thinking," he said, "that you should get used to people dying for you."


Finally, I shall flail about the romance—it's amazing and realistic and they argue and come back to the same understanding and, no matter what, they don't give up on each other. I love all the characters dearly (obviously the good ones) but Tarisai and Sanjeet are such a good couple. They both drive each other to do better while helping each other from their individual struggles without relying entirely on each other to fix things and, alslkslkdlkjdlskjdsl LOVE THAT. Finally, some healthy portrayals of love grown in conflicted times.

So, overall: read this duology. It is a fantastic debut from a new author who clearly has so much more amazing stories in store for the future and I CAN'T WAIT!!

I received a digital ARC from Amulet Books via Edelweiss. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Quotes are taken from an uncorrected ARC copy.
Profile Image for CW ✨.
644 reviews1,696 followers
August 15, 2021
Raybearer was one of my favourite books of 2020, but with its sequel, Redemptor seals this African-inspired duology as one of the best YA fantasy series in existence. And I'll stand and fight by that statement.

- Following the events of Raybearer, Tarisai is tasked with uniting the realm to save the world and atone for her forebearer's sins, all while being plagued by mysterious beings who question her power and right.
- I loved how expansive the world was in Raybearer, and yet this book takes a way to expand it even further. Ifueko's immaculate storytelling is transportive, taking us to faraway places, to worlds and imagery that we may have never imagined.
- If you love found family, then you'll love this. I loved the gorgeous relationships in this book - especially with Min Ja and Zuri.
- I liked how this book explores the pressures and expectations that we put on ourselves to save the world - to not only do everything but everything right and just and perfect. It's about feeling the injustices of the world and history intensely, and doing what you can to make the world a better place.
- Ultimately, this book asks: What does it mean to live? And I loved how the story arrives at its answer. It was hopeful, satisfying, and just so well done.

Trigger/content warning: death, depiction of murder, drug use, alcohol use, blood mention, recount of parental abuse and neglect

I received a digital advanced reader's copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Fadwa (Word Wonders).
547 reviews3,543 followers
April 26, 2022
You know how Raybearer was one of my absolute favorite YA fantasies of 2020, right? Well I was extremely excited about it, but then reviews started rolling in from people my opinions usually align with and...they were mixed. So I buckled up and prepared for the worst.

So in a way, Redemptor didn't disappoint me because I expected to hate it and I didn't. I had a fine time listening to the audiobook (the narration, by Joniece Abott-Pratt, was great), buit it was not anywhere near Raybearer's level. Raybearer swept me off my feet, was complex and intricate in the way the worldbuilding was done, the way the characters were fleshed out and the relationships just pulled me in. In comparison, Redemptor was bland and really just did not manage to male me excited and keep me on my toes. There were also a few inconsistencies and eye-roll worthy moments.

I'm a bit sad about it, but I also understand. Because as the author says in her note, both books were written in drastically different circumstances and over drastically different timespans, so in a way, this one was doomed to suffer from second book sydrome.
Profile Image for Maisha  Farzana (on hiatus).
551 reviews215 followers
September 26, 2021
=》4.5 stars

......."I think I’d rather be hated as a weakling than loved as a monster".......

“Do not ask how many people you will save,” I murmured: “Ask, to what world will you save them? What makes a world worth surviving in?”

'You don’t get to choose why people love you. But what you do with the love you receive .... that’s a choice you make every day."

The stunning conclusion to my newest favourite fantasy duology. Jordan Ifueko changes the meaning of "the chosen one". She shapes this infamous trope into a brand new form and gives it a completely different purpose and name.

🌠 "Redemptor" is the sequel to "Raybearer". For the first time in the history of Aristar, an Empress Redemptor sits on the throne. Tarisai of Swana, our Empress learns to navigate life in power while being under constant pressure of friends and foes. Running a empire, proving her worth, dealing with her guilt and grief- Tarisai can't help but keep wandering into mazes. After all, life is not a bed of roses.

On top of that, Tarisai has promised to sacrifice her own soul to save the lives of thousands. To appease the sinister spirits of the dead, Tarisai must now anoint a council of her own, coming into her full power as a Raybearer. She must then descend into the Underworld, a sacrifice to end all future atrocities.

Our Tarisai isn't weak. She plans to survive and also keep her loved ones save. Chaos is brewing, descendents of the underworld is rising, assassins and traitors are lurking around. Tarisai needs to fight her inner demon before targeting to defeat the ones in the underworld.

I had pined my whole life for a family. Now that I had cobbled one together, dysfunctional and cursed as it may be . . . nothing would snatch it from me. Not even an imperial execution.

🌠 "Redemptor" does a great job of building onto Aritsar’s mythology, magic, and history, expanding on the beautiful lore of the first book, and stretching the map. The influence and portrait of West African mythology and folklore in this series is amazing. The world building and the magic system is mesmerising. They're complex but very easy to understand. One of my favourite fantasy worlds without any doubt.

🌠 "Redemptor" has lots of action and twists. It's also heavy with political intrigues. The characters continue to develop. The plot development is praise worthy. The romance blooms in the air. Overall, this book won't fail to keep you hooked. Another thing, I loved the asexual representation featured here. Dayo is our adorable baby. We need to protect him.

I guess I can just copy-paste my review of "Raybearer" here. Because I enjoyed this second book almost as much as the first one. Maybe, I loved the first book a tat bit more. I don't have any specific reason for it. Only a feeling. "Redemptor" just couldn't captivate my heart as much as its predecessor did. Still, it is a gloriously wonderful book. A must read. I would highly recommend to give this duology a try.

🌠 Simply to say, where I devoured "Raybearer" like a savage, I ate "Redemptor" upholding my decency and manner. I know none it makes sense. Well, I am not a person who's used to "making sense". But I think you have got my point. That will be enough.

* Raybearer = 5 stars
*Redemptor = 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Oyinda.
661 reviews156 followers
March 17, 2021
Book 86 of 2021

5 beautiful stars for Tarisai Kunleo, Empress Redemptor.

Very many thanks to Abrams Books for making my dreams come true by giving me the opportunity to read this book SO early on via Netgalley. Raybearer is one of my favorite 2020 reads, and I was so hyped for this book. fun fact, I also got to listen to an audiobook of Raybearer early, back in July thanks to Blacksone Audio via Netgalley. I love Raybearer a lot and Redemptor did not disappoint.

This was an action-packed and emotion-filled book, and Raybearer got a well-deserved sequel. From the opening chapter, Jordan Ifueko brought us up to speed with how the first book ended, and in a couple of pages, the action was underway. This book introduced a myriad of new characters, and elevated the importance of some characters (much like how a series takes a character from recurring to regular) by giving them a prominent storyline or making them more integral to the central storyline. I loved some of the characters and hated others.

SO MANY important themes were discussed in this book. With Tar and her council siblings at the helm of power, they are exposed to the unjustness of the ruling system and the divide between the rich and the poor. Tar is especially sympathetic towards the plight of the poor. Depression and anxiety are also examined through a very unique angle with the use of the ‘ojiji’. It broke my heart for Tar, but also warmed my heart the way the author handled it. Dayo’s asexuality was also explored more in this book. Family, friendship, love, loyalty, sacrifice, grief, loss, healing, and a number of other themes were also key to Redemptor.

Tar’s journey towards creating her own council was tough and filled with bumps, and the author added a very unique twist at the beginning of it. My poor baby Tar had to deal with a lot in this book, and she faced a lot of fears and inner demons. Her journey in this book was so awe-inspiring and motivating. I learnt a lot from Tar and this book just elevated her status on my list of favorite book heroines.

A lot about the past and history of the Kunleo family and the powers they possessed were examined in this book. We also learnt more about the ‘abiku’ and the first Treaty.

This book made me laugh, cry, swoon, giggle, get hurt, scream, and fall in love. The action and pacing were great, the characters were exquisite, and the writing was excellent. Just as with Raybearer, this book was infused with so many beautiful aspects of West African (especially Yoruba) culture.

If you thought I loved Raybearer and wouldn’t shut up about it before, my Redemptor campaign would ecen be more massive. Out on the 17th of August, I want everyone to preorder this and I can’t wait for you all to love it as much as I do.
Profile Image for onthebooksel.
264 reviews341 followers
December 14, 2021

Thank you to NetGalley for giving me an arc

I’m genuinely not sure how to review this book. I was so in love and obsessed with Raybearer that this just left me wanting a lot more. I’ll be back later for a full review I think.
Profile Image for Jorie.
281 reviews34 followers
April 22, 2023

My favorite movie is Yoshifumi Kondō's Whisper of the Heart from Studio Ghibli.

One of its major plotlines is main character Shizuku's initial attempt at writing.

She sets a deadline to produce a fantasy story by, then throws herself into it entirely. She forgoes sleep and her studies, much to her family's ire, focused entirely on her goal. When the time comes for someone to read it, though she knows it still needs work, she's heartbroken to have this confirmed - but is also told it has potential.

Her spirits are lifted when her reader gives her a geode, just slightly cracked to show the gems inside. Like the geode, her story just needs time and polishing - not deadlines - for its gems to be revealed. It's the loveliest thing.

Why do I bring this up? Well, I like talking about Whisper of the Heart. Also because in Redemptor's afterword, author Jordan Ifueko reveals the first book, Raybearer, took her twelve years to finish writing. Redemptor was written and published in a much shorter period of time.

Raybearer didn't astound me, but I recognize it as a fundamentally good story. My feeling towards it was that it was disorganized. Choices were made that put the book’s events out of order for me, but I could see in them Ifueko's vision. More or less, they felt intentional - that it was a book with twelve years' of attention put into it.

My feeling for Redemptor is that it wasn't ready. The difference between the two books' writing circumstances adequately explains why.

Redemptor was all over the place. Some ideas were meandering, some were sudden, some were dropped. Character motivations - particularly Tarisai's - were way off from the first book, and any character development felt forced. Diplomacy was as simple as loving and being loved by other nations’ leaders. Monarchy was fine so long as the leaders are good. New elements were introduced (like kuso-kuso leaves) for the story's convenience, and new threats (like the Crocodile) were actually ...

I know that Jordan Ifueko feels she uncovered the gems in Raybearer; they didn’t shine as brightly for me, but I know they’re there. I'm less certain she feels the same about Redemptor. Maybe there was something sparkling here, but the time was not allowed to polish it.
Profile Image for mads.
357 reviews348 followers
January 13, 2022
“You don’t get to choose why people love you. But what you do with the love you receive . . . that’s a choice you make every day.”

TW: ableism, child abuse, child death, death, murder, panic attacks/disorders, sexual content (minor), suicidal thoughts, violence.

Lacked some of the heart of Raybearer, but still an extremely solid sequel!!

I have slightly mixed feelings about this book overall, but the positive whole-heartedly wins out. This book almost felt like the filler middle book in a trilogy and the finale had been combined. This resulted in the second-half feeling like a different book than the first half; I didn't mind, since I enjoyed the second half much more.

Due to the slow-pace of the first half of the book, the ending felt a bit rushed overall, but not painfully so. This book was trying to balance Tarisai's character arc, trying to develop a council, and the politics of the world - and it mostly handled these aspects extremely well - but this understandably resulted in an ending that was a bite more brief than I would have liked.

Still, I found myself getting emotional in the last chapter. It's amazing how reluctant I was to leave these characters, how attached I was after only two books. It's something that's rare for me and definitely a testament to Jordan Ifueko's mastery.

I can't wait to read whatever else she puts out into the world.
Profile Image for lia.
286 reviews26 followers
July 1, 2021
ugh this was just super disappointing.

raybearer slapped so hard so i had such high expectations for this but it really fell flat. instead of further developing some of the side characters we were introduced to in the first book, like 20 new characters were introduced! it was so difficult to keep track of everyone’s names and eventually i just gave up. i didn’t care about any of them. it was definitely an issue or quantity over quality for characters.

as for the plot, it was just boring as fuck. nothing happened for the first 90% of the book, and all the action and important parts were crammed into the last 50 or so pages. the ending was super confusing and it was just hard to read. yeah, i’m bummed about this
Profile Image for Ms. Woc Reader.
494 reviews668 followers
January 2, 2022
We revisit the world of Aritsar where Tarsai is working on creating her own council as she takes on her new role as Empress Redemptor. The beginning of the story starts off with a bang! I did not expect what happened so early on.

While Tarisai is determined to help the people and unite the realms, her council siblings are reluctant to see things her way. Some of them feel she's dramatically changed and should leave things the way they've always been. They feel she was selfish offering herself up to the Underworld without consulting them. Even Sanjeet has trouble understand her motivations though he tries to stand buy her and support her the best he can.

Tarisai is still grappling with her complicated relationship with the need to be loved. She still at times feel like that little girl who wanted her mother's attention. So when she tries to build her own council he has trouble connecting with potential council members because she must open herself up in a way she never has before.

Throughout the story she's being taunted by the spirits of dead children called the Ojiji who keep telling her that's she's weak and must work harder. While doing this they also spill some truths that keep Tarisai doubting herself. Those parts did get a little repetitive for me but that didn't hinder my enjoyment of this story. And there presence is fully explained towards the end.

There are many new characters introduced but I would say the most notable for me were Woo In's sister Princess Min Ja and King Zuri. I did want to see some more of the old council though. Ai Ling has a strong presence and helps Tarisai thoughout providing her much needed support alongside Dayo. This story does delve a bit more into his asexuality and his feelings towards being a ruler and continuing the Kunleo line.

While I enjoyed this and it's a solid end to the duology I didn't enjoy it as much as Raybearer. I felt like it spent a little too much time building towards Tarisai's trip to the Underworld which didn't happened until part V. So part IV and V were loaded the heavier action and shocking twists while most of part II and III ebbed along. Which made the story feel longer than it actually was. I felt Raybearer was a more evenly paced. But as I stated before this is still enjoyable and if you enjoyed Raybearer you need to finish off the series.

I received an arc from Abrams Kids in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
2,046 reviews3,449 followers
September 7, 2021
Wow, this was fantastic ride! Redemptor concludes the Raybearer duology and a LOT happens in this book. There is a lot of ground to cover in terms of plot (including a trip to the underworld!), but it's also so rich in character development. It's an impressive second book, and I say that having been disappointed by quite a few YA sequels this year. Redemptor did not disappoint.

Tarisai has a heavy burden on her shoulders and spends a lot of the book believing she's alone and no one understands how she feels. This is a book that viscerally explores the experience of depression and anxiety, even if in this case there is a magical twist to what's happening. We also continue to get great representation with a diverse cast of characters, including one who is asexual & sex repulsed.

Thematically this book also deals with injustice, poverty, and appropriate uses of power. It's vivid with lush descriptions and an action-packed plot that keeps things moving. It's also not afraid to deal with darker themes of death, violence, and grief. I really liked the direction this took and found the ending to be very satisfying. Definitely one worth reading! I received a copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Ember.
143 reviews141 followers
February 26, 2021
After Raybearer, I did not think Jordan Ifueko could manage to blow me away even further. Now that I've had the honor of reading Redemptor, I can proudly say my expectations for what I would consider a perfect series have been forever changed by Tarisai's story.

The Raybearer duology is a series that is so incredibly unique - everything from the worldbuilding to the use of the found/chosen family trope, to exploring complex relationships and one's own personal duty and willingness to sacrifice for the greater good are all wrapped up in lush worldbuilding and characters who you can't help but adore. The morals of love and justice and strength are ones that will stay with you for a lifetime. Redemptor does an amazing job of picking up the story right where we left off and bringing readers on an incredible journey that is difficult to put down.

Someday I will update this review with every spoilery detail of why this book was amazing, but for now, I'll have to hold back my endless gushing until August.
Profile Image for rain.
610 reviews356 followers
September 9, 2021
without a doubt, raybearer is one of the best duologies to ever exist. i do think that this sequel is not as good as its predecessor, but i think i am in the minority when i say this. i mostly had problems connecting with the new characters. i wish we got more scenes of tarisai building a bond with her new council members instead of the montages that were showcased in this book. i also wish we saw more of the old characters since they did not get enough spotlight on this one.

nevertheless, i still loved this book very much by the end. redemptor showed tarisai's harrowing journey as a ruler in a way that feels both emotional and authentic. in fact, this book gives more focus to tarisai's thoughts and feelings more than anything else, which i appreciate. the portrayal of the expansive world is as stellar as ever, and i like how this book did a deep dive into the corruption and oppression happening in aritsar.

if you ever choose to read only one duology in your life, let raybearer be your first choice.
Profile Image for nessma.
180 reviews94 followers
November 9, 2021
the raybearer duology is definitely perfectly situated on the best ya fantasy i've ever read throne.

“the only thing more powerful than a wish is a purpose.”

redemptor is the second and final book in this magical duology that i so deeply admire. it picks up right after the explosive ending of raybearer and it does not relent. i was considerably worried to start this sequel just because of how much i loved the first book, but as soon as i started reading it i was enchanted once again by jordan ifueko into this lush world and my overflowing love for these precious characters.

“don't worry," i told her. "no matter how bleak the world gets, i'll make sure there's always a corner to plant flowers.”

in this follow-up, we are already accustomed to the world and setting so we jump right into the plot and the thrilling political intrigue. i was so engrossed in what was happening and the author's magical talent of weaving beautiful prose through the story that was so natural and so captivating. the writing is lyrical and strong and the characters all ooze purpose and complexity, so incredibly written with fleshed-out journeys and arcs full of depth and growth.

“i think I’d rather be hated as a weakling than loved as a monster.”

admittedly, the characters could be drinking tea or strolling through aritsar or even the underworld and i would still adore this book, but all the plots in here also come together effortlessly. it was a bit of a whiplash at times, trying to keep track of everything that was happening, but i still enjoyed it nonetheless.

“you don’t get to choose why people love you. but what you do with the love you receive . . . that’s a choice you make every day.”

i am just so completely and wholeheartedly in awe of this story—even after sitting with this book without attempting to a review for over a month now, i can't seem to stop thinking about how much it means to me. i would've loved a fairytale-esque story like tarisai's when i was younger, but 22-year-old me is just the same admiring.

“the more i learn, the more i think the only decent way to use power is to share it with others. maybe there shouldn’t be rulers—at least, not in the way we think. maybe emperors—and kings, and queens, and raybearers—should just be people who make sure power flows to everyone.”

there are not enough words to express how much i adore this book, but i trust in jordan ifueko as now one of my favorite authors and i cannot wait to read whatever she brings next.

i highly, highly, highly, recommend you pick up this duology if you haven’t yet. despite it being marketed as a young-adult, i think it serves an incredible read for new adults and adults as well. just a delightful journey infused with hope, resilience and love.

— thanks to the publisher, abrams books, for providing me with the digital arc through netgalley and edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lila.
530 reviews178 followers
February 21, 2022
I would say this is as close to a perfect sequel as it can be. I love how we see Tarisai's inner thoughts and her struggling with the fact she's become and Empress.

I love how, even though she is strong enough to do it on her own - and oh boy, does she try - she is not too proud to finally ask for help.

And Dayo is asexual! I suspected in the Raybearer but I didn't want to get ahead of myself in case Jordan Ifueko makes it a phase in his teenage years. I am glad to see a character like that and I hope it is a good representation (not being one myself I find it difficult to ascertain).

The only thing I have a problem with is the ending. It's a spoiler so I'll hide it for people who haven't read it yet.
Profile Image for Kate.
402 reviews238 followers
March 13, 2022
I enjoyed the first book Raybearer so much, so I'm honestly very heartbroken that I ended up not liking this.

Let me start off by saying that this book carried through the message of there being all kinds of love in the world that we saw in Raybearer, and it really emphasized the importance of realizing that no one form of love is superior to another. And I love that, I think that's something that needs to be more present in YA fiction in general, honestly.

But everything else about Redemptor didn't work for me.

1) Character development completely fell by the wayside.

Not only did we not get to see more of the council, we're also introduced to about a dozen new characters who you literally cannot tell apart from a cardboard cutout. So many of them had such potential, such as Min Ja and Zuri, but that potential never blossoms into fully realized characters.

2) Everything that made the first book interesting in terms of the Ray was retconned.

Council sickness was made out to be such a big deal in the first book, and it certainly made for an interesting examination of codependency in family. But then suddenly in the second book it's not a big deal anymore because of the "discovery" of kuso-kuso leaves, which felt way too much like a deus ex machina designed to conveniently . You expect me to believe that in the long history of the empire, no one has ever discovered that kuso-kuso leaves can alleviate council sickness?

Furthermore, I really wasn't a fan of how the concept of the Ray was cheapened in Redemptor. In the first book, the Ray facilitates love and loyalty amongst the council because they share thoughts, dreams, hopes, fears, and everything that makes them who they are. And then suddenly in the second book, for the Ray to work it turns out you only have to love . I normally love it when something that's supposed to be good or a blessing turns out to be a lot darker, but there has to be lead up to it. This literally came out of nowhere, and it felt like a betrayal of everything that made the first book work.

3) The reveal that Zuri and that's why he's was an absolute wtf moment.

What in the Cassandra Clare.

4) If neoliberal centrism were to be condensed into a YA book, this would be it.

I'm honestly pretty okay with royalty in SFF. It's practically a genre staple, after all. And I think there are SFF books out there that do a good job of putting forth the topic of the rights of the masses and upliftment of the citizenry while still having royalty in place. There are also SFF books that challenge the existence of a monarchy altogether and really put forth the power of mass movements and citizen uprisings.

Redemptor sits squarely in the middle of those two options - which for me is a wishy-washy, cop out way to tell the story.

One of the themes that comes up in the middle of the book is that of workers' rights and compensation. The poor of Aritsar are abused heavily by the nobles, which is enabled by the system of royalty and nobility that keeps Tarisai, Ekundayo, and the council in power. Tarisai discovers this and, enraged, declares that mines and other properties of her and Ekundayo's family now belong to the people. But when a rebel leader called the Crocodile tells her to use her magic to compel the nobles into obeying labor laws, suddenly she doesn't want to because, and I quote, "I will help the poor of Aritsar. But I'll do it my way."

This in particular rubbed me the wrong way because it is such a neoliberal way of looking at the struggle of liberation, where a wealthy, privileged "hero" decides that they know what's best, rather than the masses. I'm 100% tired of seeing it in real life, and I'm tired of seeing it in fiction too. Tarisai could have easily endeared herself to the people by presenting an image of "tell me what you need, and I will help you get it", putting the struggle of the masses at the forefront because they know what is best needed for their communities. Instead, she chooses to uphold herself and her opinions as the ultimate good, and she's never chastised for it, nor does she ever really comprehend the consequences () except in how it affects her, personally. I understand Tarisai doesn't want to be "treated like a tool" the way her mother did, but I genuinely struggled to have sympathy for her considering the people she refuses to help by using her magic are poor, beaten-down farmers who have long struggled under the yoke of nobles who are bound by magic to obey her words, while Tarisai has spent literally all her life in the lap of luxury.

5) And finally, the change in government system is pathetic and meaningless.

At the end of the book, Tarisai is given a choice. Without spoiling too much of what happens, let me just say that Tarisai is given the opportunity to create a new government, perhaps even dissolving the empire altogether. (Because, let's face it - these countries are all conquered vassal states, no matter the seeming egalitarianism of the council system.) But instead, she again cops out and goes for the option that relies too much on the possibility of the individual integrity of one singular exceptional hero rather than ensuring accountability on a larger scale with care for the collective.

To put it more simply, at the end of the day, it was very obvious to me in the most glaring of ways that this book was written by an American.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I genuinely do not hate SFF that features royalty or empires. Like I said, it's practically a genre fixture. But if you're going to bother putting in hints of challenging a system of royalty or an empire in your book, you better go all the way. Take that challenge to its logical conclusion. Otherwise, the book comes off as weak, half-hearted, and watered down. And ultimately, that's what Redemptor was for me. A shadow of the former glory of Raybearer.

🌿 Read more from my blog, Your Tita Kate. 🌿
Profile Image for Stella ☆Paper Wings☆.
524 reviews46 followers
June 26, 2022
4.5 stars
This is just an excellent series. Jordan Ifueko is a writer I'll be watching for sure. For some reason I was a little nervous that this book wouldn't live up to the first, but it was honestly a great sequel. I don't know if I loved it quite as much as the first book, but I did end up giving them the same rating, so the difference apparently wasn't very large.

"Do not ask how many people you will save. Ask, to what world will you save them? What makes a world worth surviving in?"

The world in this series is just so fun, and it has such a unique magic system that makes for a fascinating story by default. I loved the elements near the end that felt so much like many classic myths and folktales, and the parts at the beginning that felt like classic YA. There are moments in the beginning where it drags a bit, but the characters and world were compelling enough to keep my engaged.

The vast majority of this book is so gripping that I read about 75 percent of it in one sitting, on the edge of my seat to find out how on earth Tarisai was going to get herself out of the mess set up in the previous book. Something I love in a story (which, I'm learning, Ifueko does very well in both books!) is when a character is in this situation that seems nearly impossible to get out of— nothing creates suspense quite like that!

To that point, I really enjoyed that while this book is most certainly a sequel (not a companion), it feels like a very distinctly separate story from the first book with new characters, new stakes, and with Tarisai in a very different headspace. Sometimes, especially with duologies, it can feel like books in a series are all just one story split randomly into pieces because it was too long to put in one book. Here, though, reading this book felt like a genuinely worthwhile and unique experience, which is saying a lot in a market where there are so many sequels out there and so little time to get to all of them.

The main thing that does bother me about this book (and Raybearer as well, honestly) is just that the councils have too many damn people in them! From a writing standpoint, the number is completely arbitrary as far as I can tell, and only a few characters in each of Dayo and Tarisai's councils actually get any character development. I don't see why there couldn't just be less of them so we could spend more time with each? There's just so many characters in this series!

Still, the ones who do get enough development are excellent. Min Ja is a sapphic goddess who absolutely deserved more page time, but I lived for every minute she was there. I loved Ye Eun's arc of healing from her past trauma and becoming a pretty pivotal character, and Sanjeet similarly has a great progression that helps us understand him a lot more and also allows the romantic tension to continue.

Speaking of romantic tension, does it get spicy with Zuri or what?? I know this is a bit of a love triangle and had some cheaty aspects, but I think it's done in a way that we can morally reconcile and that allows us to enjoy Zuri... Well, at least I did! (If she doesn't want him, I'll take him, that's all I'm saying!) Zuri is also a great reflection of a specific brand of activism that Ifueko was able to both understand and critique through his character.

I mentioned this in my Raybearer review as well, but Dayo's asexuality is really very well done for such subtle rep. I certainly love my ace main characters and the books that delve into people's explorations of their asexuality, but I also love how Dayo doesn't have to be defined by his asexuality and yet he still gets a decent amount of page time to express himself about it. This wouldn't necessarily be the book I'd recommend if you're specifically looking for ace rep, but it's excellent for what it is.

One of my favorite things about this series is that it feels true to the spirit of YA. It represents some of the best of modern YA lit today. As I've aged out of YA's target demographic, a lot of the YA I enjoy these days tends to be more mature and on the "New Adult" side of the genre; I think this falls somewhere in the middle, but I love how it maintains the sense that this is for a teen audience.

There is a distinct moral core to this story without it feeling preachy or like an "issue book." As stated almost-explicitly in the dedication, it's a love letter fo young activists. It acknowledges all the readers who have a desire to make change but don't know how and don't know if their efforts will ever be enough. It's a beautiful exploration of what Ifueko calls the "loneliest job in the world" and as a former anxious-but-wanting-to-change-the-world teen myself, it warmed my heart to read.

I absolutely recommend this series to any YA fantasy fans out there, even (or especially!) if you've maybe grown a little tired of YA. If you're looking for the series that will get you back into YA fantasy, this is the one! I have my critiques, but this series is a great exploration of family, justice, activism, and death in a readable and exciting package—not to mention its literal package which consists of two of the most gorgeous covers I've seen in a long time!

Content Warnings: memories of parental neglect (more in the last book), death of children, gaslighting, mention of false rape accusation, mild magical body horror
Profile Image for Natasha  Leighton .
403 reviews125 followers
December 27, 2021
An absolutely stunning conclusion to the Raybearer series! Jordan Ifueko’s breathtakingly magical and immersive world-building was sheer perfection—Utterly unputdownable!

For the first time an Empress Redemptor sits on Aritsar’s throne, but to appease the spirits of the dead Tarisai must anoint a council of her, coming into her full power as a Raybearer. Then she must descend into the Underworld, a sacrifice to atone for the past and end all future atrocities.

But Tarisai is determined to survive. At least, that’s what she tells her increasingly distant circle of friends. With her reign off to a shaky start with the lives of her loved ones on the line;haunted by child spirits who demand payment for past sins of the empire, facing assassination attempts and a handsome new stranger she can’t quite trust, Tarisai fears the pressure with consume her.

For only she can’t decide whether to die for justice... or to live for it.

I absolutely LOVED Raybearer, with its beautifully lush descriptions and wonderfully endearing protagonist and Redemptor is no different. The pacing was good and the writing was exceptional, I absolutely loved the complex and endearingly vibrant characters (both recurring and new.)

The LGBTQ+ representation was also really good, I particularly enjoyed the portrayal of an Asexual main character (a group that has long been overlooked or unrepresented in fiction.)

Jordan Ifueko’s skill in weaving some important social topics such as; mental health,class discrimination,women’s equality, neglect and the global climate crisis into a gorgeously compelling and addictive narrative is one of the many reasons she’s one of my favourite new authors— I’m excited to see what she does next.

Overall, this beautifully heart wrenching,West African inspired YA Fantasy is one of the best books I’ve read all year!

Thanks to Bonnier/Hot Key Books and NetGalley for the e-arc.
Profile Image for Brittany (whatbritreads).
577 reviews1,056 followers
November 19, 2021
Once again, Tarisai, I would die for you sunshine girl. Truly.

You really cannot criticise a single thing about this duology because it’s perfect. It’s literally one of the best pieces of fiction written, and such a powerful presence in the YA Fantasy scene. Nobody is out here doing like Raybearer and Redemptor. They're literally stunning from start to finish and the attention to detail and how beautifully they’ve been crafted… I’m still in awe. They’re beautiful.

If you love found family and you haven’t picked up this series yet, this honestly takes found family and love and companionship to the next level. It is so heartwarming and tender and !!!!. I don’t even have the words to express what I’m trying to say. This series has one of the best cast of characters I’ve ever come across, and none of them are unlikeable or an outsider or less than the others. I love them so much honestly, thinking of how far they’ve come since the first book. Tiny Tarisai has come so far!

Amazing writing as always, literally balancing description, dialogue and world building so well. It’s all super easy to understand and don’t worry if you’ve forgotten the exact ins and outs of the first book, this subtly catches you back up to speed. The magic system just gets more devine and the plot will keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s just a book that feels so magical and truly something you can immerse yourself in for hours.

Definitely a background plot point but also the romances in here are unmatched. So sweet. So loving. So understanding. These characters have my heart forever and ever.

Read this before it gets adapted to screen, you won’t regret it.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,746 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.