Abrams/Amulet. (Raybearer: Bk. 2). Aug. 2021. 336p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781419739842.
Gr 8 Up–Tarisai Kunleo, Empress of Aritsar and the first recognized female Raybearer in memory must fulfill the daunting promise she made in the duology’s first installment. Born with the marks of a Redemptor, Tarisai refused to maintain the generationsold tradition of sacrificing these children, and proposed herself, a Raybearer, as the final offering. She has two years to unite the Arit countries, before entering the Breach to the Underworld. Through the Ray, Tarisai communicates with Dayo, Sanjeet, and her family of choice, strengthened by their love and their Hallows, gaining protection against many forms of death. Taunted by the ghost-children’s chants that she is not enough, and needs to “do more,” Tarisai rights injustices where she can, at the same time crafting a plan to keep her promise without losing her life. When skin color is mentioned, it is shaded copper to dark, and the series blends Nigerian folklore with inventive fantasy, adventure, and occasional romance. Familiarity with Raybearer, and its maps and glossary, is required.
VERDICT This series explores questions of family, gender roles, and the distribution of wealth and power. A satisfying conclusion that should be purchased by any library where the first book is popular.

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