Book tour review: Wings of ebony (J. Elle) | one of the best written fantasies I’ve ever read

I feel like 2021 really is the year for amazing, diverse debuts. Some have already published, others are still highly anticipated releases. Either way, I’d almost dare to think that 2021 is going to be a great step for the YA publishing industry. Wings of ebony definitely adds to my already high hopes of things changing, since it tackles so many important topics in such a good way. But before I immediately tell you what I thought of this book, let’s share some more information about this wonderful fantasy debut!

What is Wings of ebony about?

AUTHOR: J. ELLE
SERIES: WINGS OF EBONY #1
PUBLISHER: SIMON & SCHUSTER
RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 26, 2021
GENRE: YOUNG ADULT, FANTASY

In this riveting, keenly emotional debut fantasy, a Black teen from Houston has her world upended when she learns about her godly ancestry and must save both the human and god worlds — think Black Panther-meets-Cassandra Clare!

“Make a way out of no way” is just the way of life for Rue. But when her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, life for her and her younger sister changes forever. Rue’s taken from her neighborhood by the father she never knew, forced to leave her little sister behind, and whisked away to Ghizon—a hidden island of magic wielders.

Rue is the only half-god, half-human there, where leaders protect their magical powers at all costs and thrive on human suffering. Miserable and desperate to see her sister on the anniversary of their mother’s death, Rue breaks Ghizon’s sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston, only to discover that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. And her sister, Tasha, is in danger of falling sway to the very forces that claimed their mother’s life.

Interested? You can add the book on Goodreads or purchase it at Amazon (and other bookstores, of course)!

What did I think of Wings of ebony?

“Bullets don’t have names. But if they did, chances are one would have mine. Or someone brown-skinned like me.”

J. Elle, Wings of ebony (quoted from an advanced copy)

Where do I even begin? I finished this yesterday and I still can’t find the right words to fathom how good this book was. Like, literally! I am so impressed by J. Elle’s debut novel.

Like the title of this review already said, this is one of the best written fantasies I’ve read in a while. It’s just so raw and full of emotion. I could literally feel the main character, Rue, her feelings in my bones because of the way the author described things.

This book is then, of course, filled with lots of beautiful quotes. The one I decided to share is actually the opening line of this novel. It immediately sucked me into the story and a few hours after that, I already finished the book. I was fully absorbed in the story.

But that’s not all I loved about this book, of course. It not only deals with important subjects, its plot is also just fantastic in my opinion! I decided to go into this book pretty much blindly and looking back on that decision, I’m pretty glad I did that? I don’t know, it just really, really added to me loving it so much.

It’s not hard to feel for these characters, either. From the beginning I was empathising with Rue and quickly more characters were added to that list. We got to see many sides of them and I really feel like they were so well-crafted and most of all: realistic.

As always, I will not be talking about the representation too much since this is about a black girl and I’m white. What I can say, though, is that reading this book made me think of the first time I read The Hate U Give years ago. Which is quite a compliment. This story just really feels like something big and aah, I love it so much! I hope everything was represented correctly, too.

When you hear me talk about a book like this, it must not be a surprise when I tell you I absolutely recommend this to everyone! It was just so good and I can’t wait for the sequel! This fantastic debut gets a 4.5/5 from me!

Thank you to Simon and Schuster and Caffeine book tours for providing me with an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Who is the author behind Wings of ebony?

J. Elle was born in Houston, Texas, and is a first-generation college student with a bachelor’s in journalism and MA in educational administration and human development. An advocate for marginalized voices in both publishing and her community, J. Elle’s passion for empowering youth dates back to her first career in education. She’s worked as a preschool director, middle school teacher, and high school creative writing mentor. In her spare time, she volunteers at an alternative school, provides feedback for aspiring writers, loves on her three littles, and cooks up dishes true to her Texas and Louisiana roots.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

About this tour

If you’re interested in other fun content surrounding Wings of ebony, be sure to click here for the tour schedule!

This tour was hosted by Caffeine book tours! Thank you for letting me participate!


That’s all for today’s post! I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading it and that you are now as enthusiastic about Wings of ebony as I am! Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Goodreads for more updates! Now…

7 thoughts on “Book tour review: Wings of ebony (J. Elle) | one of the best written fantasies I’ve ever read

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