Count Neil Gaiman Among Black Leopard, Red Wolf’s Fans


Cover detail, Black Leopard, Red Wolf © Penguin Random House

He describes it as an “African Game of Thrones,” and it’s possibly our most-anticipated book of 2019: Marlon James’ Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the first book in his epic fantasy Dark Star trilogy.

The official plot synopsis, if you’ve missed it thus far, is as follows:

Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: “He has a nose,” people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.

As Tracker follows the boy’s scent–from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers–he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?

James, who won the Man Booker Prize for his 2015 novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, told Entertainment Weekly: “The fantasy nerd in me would have given an eye tooth to geek out on a sword and sorcery book with people like me in it. But to write this book I had to unlearn everything — about how language works, character works, story works, even how truth works. The trade-off is that I also ended up with Werehyenas, children made of air and dust, and vampires who have no problem hunting you in broad daylight.”

The tome won’t be on shelves until February, but early reads are starting to trickle in, and they’re rapturous – especially this stellar vote of confidence from the great Neil Gaiman:

We’re thrilled to offering one lucky reader an early galley of Black Leopard, Red Wolf – enter below for a chance to win!