Marlon James “Moon Witch, Spider King” Book Discussion

Join the New York Times bestselling author Marlon James to discuss “Moon Witch, Spider King,” the second book in the Dark Star trilogy.


Monday February 14, 2022 7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
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[In Conversation with Neil Gaiman]
Thursday, February 17 at 5 PM ET
Barnes & Noble
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About the Author:

Marlon James is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Black Leopard, Red Wolf, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and A Brief History of Seven Killings, which won the 2015 Man Booker Prize, as well as the novels The Book of Night Women and John Crow’s Devil. A professor at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, he lives in New York City.

About the Book:

Set amid African legend and mythology, and the wildly imaginative and crazy talented mind of Marlon James, the Dark Star trilogy is an action-packed fantasy epic that feels old and yet, refreshingly new at the same time. In this second installment, we dive into Sogolon’s world, a woman shaped by violence, fighting to tell her story. This fierce tale is lyrical and provocative, wrapped in a world that pulls you in from the start.

“Masterfully flips the first installment on its head… James makes the mythic tantalizingly real.’” —Esquire

“Even more brilliant than the first.” —Buzzfeed

From Marlon James, author of the bestselling National Book Award finalist Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the second book in the Dark Star trilogy.

In Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Sogolon the Moon Witch proved a worthy adversary to Tracker as they clashed across a mythical African landscape in search of a mysterious boy who disappeared. In Moon Witch, Spider King, Sogolon takes center stage and gives her own account of what happened to the boy, and how she plotted and fought, triumphed and failed as she looked for him. It’s also the story of a century-long feud—seen through the eyes of a 177-year-old witch—that Sogolon had with the Aesi, chancellor to the king. It is said that Aesi works so closely with the king that together they are like the eight limbs of one spider. Aesi’s power is considerable—and deadly. It takes brains and courage to challenge him, which Sogolon does for reasons of her own.

Both a brilliant narrative device—seeing the story told in Black Leopard, Red Wolf from the perspective of an adversary and a woman—as well as a fascinating battle between different versions of empire, Moon Witch, Spider King delves into Sogolon’s world as she fights to tell her own story. Part adventure tale, part chronicle of an indomitable woman who bows to no man, it is a fascinating novel that explores power, personality, and the places where they overlap.

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