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Who Fears Death

Written by Nnedi Okorafor

Average Score: 82(11)

An award-winning literary author presents her first foray into supernatural fantasy with a novel of post-apocalyptic Africa.

In a far future, post-nuclear-holocaust Africa, genocide plagues one region. The aggressors, the Nuru, have decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke. But when the only surviving member of a slain Okeke village is brutally raped, she manages to escape, wandering farther into the desert. She gives birth to a baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand and instinctively knows that her daughter is different. She names her daughter Onyesonwu, which means "Who Fears Death?" in an ancient African tongue.

Reared under the tutelage of a mysterious and traditional shaman, Onyesonwu discovers her magical destiny-to end the genocide of her people. The journey to fulfill her destiny will force her to grapple with nature, tradition, history, true love, the spiritual mysteries of her culture-and eventually death itself.

Book Details

Hardcover, 304 Pages
Published by DAW Hardcover on June 01, 2010
ISBN-10 075640617X
ISBN-13 978-0756406172


Library Journal | Jennifer Beach
Review Rating: 100
Beautifully written, this is dystopian fantasy at its very best.
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SF Signal | Jason Sanford
Review Rating: 100
Wonderfully written, full of emotion, with complex characters readers will relate to. The story is also fast paced with one of the best endings I've read this year.
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SFRevu | Cathy Green
Review Rating: 100
It is no surprise that this rich, complex novel is a World Fantasy Award finalist for Best Novel. Highly recommended.
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Fantasy Literature | Kelly Lasiter
Review Rating: 98
I love a book that makes me tear up and makes me think at the same time.
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Neth Space | Neth
Review Rating: 90
...a timeless, human tale that I highly recommend.
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Fantasy Literature | Marion Deeds
Review Rating: 80
If you read Who Fears Death as a parable rather than a fully-realized fantasy novel, it is moving and thought-provoking.
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Publishers Weekly
Review Rating: 80
...a fantastical, magical blend of grand storytelling. (Starred Review)
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SF Reviews | Thomas M. Wagner
Review Rating: 80
If there are flaws in Who Fears Death, they are the exhilarating misses of a writer shooting for the moon and almost scoring a bullseye.
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Pat`s Fantasy Hotlist | Patrick
Review Rating: 78
This emotionally charged tale is brought to a very satisfying ending, one that you don't see coming. Who Fears Death is a touching and rewarding read.
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Strange Horizons | Farah Mendlesohn
Review Rating: 60
The result is disturbing, and not for the right reasons.
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The Zone | Jonathan McCalmont
Review Rating: 40
Who Fears Death is not an enjoyable read. Its narrative is simplistic and un-engaging, its characters are fantastically un-likeable and its prose and imagery are seldom interesting let alone inspiring.
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