“Raybearer” Review

A head shot of a young woman is shown in the center of the cover wearing a head covering that is gold and her hair spread out behind her. She dots of white paint lining her cheeks and forhead and a thick gold necklace. The rest of the cover shows various cylinders displayed in rays around the image. The title and authors name are at the top and bottom of the cover.Written by Jordan Ifueko
Published by Amulet Books, August 2020
400 pages
Completed October 15, 2023

Nothing is more important than loyalty. But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood.

That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?

This was really fun to read. I loved all the characters and their stories. Especially Tarisai figuring out how to overcome everything that she had been forced into. There’s a time jump in the story that I wish had been a little clearer as I almost missed that it happened. Also I wish we’d gotten to know more about the other council members instead of just the few we did but it would have made the story even longer. It’s still a great story though and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel which finishes the story.