"This is a prayer hymn, a battle cry, a lovesong, a legendary call and response bonfire talisman tale. This is medicine for a broken world." - Daniel José Older
Award-winning author Andrea Hairston weaves together African folktales and postcolonial literature into unforgettable fantasy in Master of Poisons
The world is changing. Poison desert eats good farmland. Once-sweet water turns foul. The wind blows sand and sadness across the Empire. To get caught in a storm is death. To live and do nothing is death. There is magic in the world, but good conjure is hard to find.
Djola, righthand man and spymaster of the lord of the Arkhysian Empire, is desperately trying to save his adopted homeland, even in exile.
Awa, a young woman training to be a powerful griot, tests the limits of her knowledge and comes into her own in a world of sorcery, floating cities, kindly beasts, and uncertain men.
Awash in the rhythms of folklore and storytelling and rich with Hairston's characteristic lush prose, Master of Poisons is epic fantasy that will bleed your mind with its turns of phrase and leave you aching for the world it burns into being.
Andrea Hairston (born 1952) is an African-American science fiction and fantasy playwright and novelist. Her novel Redwood and Wildfire won the James Tiptree, Jr. Award for 2011. Mindscape, Hairston's first novel, won the Carl Brandon Parallax Award and was short-listed for the Philip K. Dick Award and the James Tiptree, Jr. Award. Hairston was one of the Guests of Honor at the science fiction convention Wiscon in May 2012.
She is the Artistic Director of Chrysalis Theatre and has created original productions with music, dance, and masks for more than a decade. Hairston is also the Louise Wolff Kahn 1931 Professor of Theatre and Afro-American Studies at Smith College. She teaches playwriting, African, African American, and ... (more)