Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu

Aug 30, 2012

Finally! Something to challenge the dominance of white, Eurocentric fantasy. Not only that, but it does it beautifully. Akata Witch is about Sunny Nwazue, an albino, American-born Nigerian girl who learns that she is one of the Leopard People, a magical group who occupy their own world alongside the normal human, or Lamb, world.  It’s not easy settling into a dual life, and it’s made much more difficult with a rogue Leopard out there sacrificing children for power.

The idea of an ignorant child being whisked off to a magical school is hardly novel, but it's the execution that makes me giddy with delight. Richly built and beautifully detailed, this would likely appeal to readers of Alexander McCall Smith, except for the fact that it's a straight-up fantasy novel rather than a character piece waxing flushed for Africa.

Reviewed by Library Staff