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The Spider King's Daughter

3.39  ·  Rating Details  ·  471 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
Seventeen-year-old Abike Johnson is the favourite child of her wealthy father. She lives in a sprawling mansion in Lagos, protected by armed guards and ferried everywhere in a huge black jeep.

A world away from Abike's mansion, in the city's slums, lives an eighteen-year-old hawker struggling to make sense of the world. His family lost everything after his father's death an
ebook, 304 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by Faber and Faber Ltd (first published January 1st 2012)
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4.5 stars

Told in the thoughts of two young people living very different lives, this novel showed me aspects of life in Lagos that I've encountered in other novels in a new light, and engaged feelings and ideas about romance and growing up. Crucially, it's about misreading and misunderstanding, but more subtly about what slips from view through the lens of socialised expectations. Sometimes, Onuzo rigorously controls the truth, but sometimes she allows conflicting versions to hover unconfirmed, d
Brittle  Paper

It’s near impossible to read a novel in one sitting these days. Between twitter, Facebook, and real life, who has the time and focus it takes to do such a thing? But a few days ago, I read Chibundu Onuzo’s The Spider King’s Daughter in one blow. Not an extraordinary feat, though, since Spider King’s Daughter is an irresistible page-turner. How often do you get to read a Shakespearean love story set in Lagos? Yes, miracles do happen. A street hawker and an aristocrat can find romance in a city de
Irene Mcintyre
I didn't love the ending but this book was a page turner I remember. 4 stars. Looking forward to the author's second book.
I was intrigued by the cover and location of Chidbundu Onuzo's The Spider King's Daughter and was immediately caught up in the story as I started to read.

'Runner G' is a young 18 year old hawker in Lagos, Nigeria. He knows how to survive the streets, makes sure his younger sister goes to school and looks after his depressed mother. It wasn't always that way. Once he went to a good school and had dreams of going to university but then his father had died horrifically in a car accident leaving hi
Mar 27, 2016 Darkowaa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a page-turner! This novel was more or less a thriller. Its heavily driven by suspense and was written concisely. After the first 30 pages, you could clearly see that Abike is a controlling bitch, and I loove it! The hawker's situation is rather unfortunate. I sympathize with his predicament....but I did not agree with the way he strived to achieve justice for his family and his friends. Chibundu Onuzo thought this storyline through thoroughly! I'm
Lora Grigorova
Feb 04, 2014 Lora Grigorova rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Spider King's Daughter:

The novel starts off with a story as old as the earth – a rich girl falls for a poor boy. Abike Johnson is the beautiful 17-year-old daughter of one of the most powerful and rich men in Lagos, if not in Nigeria as well. She lives in an enormous mansion, has her own set of servants, spends a year’s salary on a single party and employes a fleet of loyal (or not so) followers, admirers and pure suck-ups. Ever since her childhood, w
Abike is seventeen, the pampered daughter of an ostentatiously wealthy businessman. Hers is a world of parties and privilege and power -- having power, seeking power, using power. Abusing power.

Abike is her father's daughter.

Then there's the hawker. Runner G. (Diogu m?*) He was wealthy, once. He had ambitions, once. But life happened, and things got harder, and now, at eighteen, he's reduced to selling ice cream on the street to keep his younger sister in school and his fractured family in their
Lauren Murphy
Set in Lagos, Africa, The Spider King’s Daughter is a story told from alternating viewpoints of 17 year old rich girl, Anike and eighteen year old nameless street hawker (sells ice-cream).

Anike is out scouting for a new friend to amuse herself with and comes across the handsome hawker on the street. She comes up with a plan to have her car break down so that she can talk to him and is surprised by his educated speech and the way he holds himself. They form an unusual friendship that has many lay
Nana Fredua-Agyeman
The Spider King's Daughter (Faber and Faber, 2012; 288) by Chibundu Onuzo is a tale that dissects and spreads open the economic duality - that divide that puts people at the extreme ends of the economic continuum - of most nations, especially those in Africa. It breathes life into an article - Duality: Dickens in Lagos, and Asimov too - I wrote in response to a one-sided argument provided at one of these mentally-skewed journalists.

The Spider King's Daughter is about a happenstance meeting betw
Louciernaga Louciernaga
Sep 10, 2014 Louciernaga Louciernaga rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: físicos
A parte de todo lo que os he ido diciendo, el final ya era todo un cúmulo de estupideces, una tras otra. Ha sido más que precipitado a mi parecer y sin ningún sentido, no sigue la línea de la historia principal, que es casi inexistente y a veces sólo se fijaba en el "espantoso" vestido de Abike.
No he entendido la razón principal de este libro. ¿Amor? ¿Historia nigeriana? ¿Pasatiempo aburrido sinsentido?
kjhguyjkhlkhl. Pues ahí estamos.
Gül Özdemir
Apr 03, 2015 Gül Özdemir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kitabın konusunun zengin kız fakir oğlan klişesi gibi göründüğünün farkındayım ama yazar ne yapmış ne etmiş bilmiyorum ama ortaya klişeden uzak tadında yenmeyen,karakterlerin muazzam derecede başarılı bir şekilde tanıtıldığı,işlenişin kitaba bambaşka bir hava kattığı şirin bir aşk hikayesi ortaya çıkarmış
Melissa Barbosa
Mar 21, 2014 Melissa Barbosa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a page-turner - I loved it so much! It tell the old story of two ill-fated young lovers of different social classes, but it is original in its way, and the end is amazing.
Charlotte Green
Two households, both alike in dignity… Except they aren’t. In this fiery debut by Nigerian Chibundu Onuzo, two teenagers from opposite sides of the tracks are flung together in present-day Lagos. Seventeen-year-old Abike Johnson is the favourite (and only legitimate) child of her wealthy father who made his money in very dubious circumstances. Abike lives in a sprawling mansion in Lagos, protected by armed guards and ferried everywhere in a huge black jeep.

A world away from Abike’s mansion, in M
Pamela Scott
Onuzo uses two first person narrators in The Spider King’s Daughter. Most of the chapters are split between Abike and the hawker she falls for. This works surprisingly well. The switching between characters took a few chapters to get used to but I soon got into the flow. There are the odd chapter that only uses one narrator.

The only issue I had with the alternating narrators was that Onuzo choose to write Abike’s section in italics. I didn’t see any real need for this. I know this was done to hi

I enjoyed TSKD merely due to the fact Ms. Onuzo is such a young published author by an esteemed publishing house . I look forward to her future writings to see if she is truly gifted or a one hit wonder from Nigeria.

I was expecting more from this book and author, instead I was left deflated. I appreciated the exotic location of Nigeria and snippets of its culture but the story line was nothing extraordinary and way too predictable in my opinion. I should have entered this book with zero expecta
R.K. Johnson
What an excellent read! I enjoyed the novel immensely. The characters were so interesting and alive. I was thrilled to see this author take risks, presenting the reader with some real twists to this tale. My only qualm was the neat&tidying up in the epilogue-like summaries in the end, but I would definitely read other books by this author. And she has such a beautiful smile :) Filmmakers, this would be perfect for the silver screen! Hope you're listening, Nollywood.
Kenechi Udogu
Aug 15, 2014 Kenechi Udogu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I was soooooo not expecting this to grip me the way it did! What started off as an unlikely romance between a young (spoilt) rich girl and a not so normal street hawker quickly twisted into a dark tale of deceipt and (dare I say it) death. I also really enjoyed the relationship between the two protagonists and the secondary characters. Will be looking out for more from this author.
Leslie Reese
Oct 20, 2014 Leslie Reese rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african-authors
Easy to read with plenty of literary finesse, flavor, and suspense---although things got a little rushed and convoluted towards the end. The only reason I'm not giving this book 5 stars is because I feel confident that if Chibundu Onuzo continues to write, she's going to blow my mind beyond my enjoyment of this book.
Nov 05, 2014 Deborah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seventeen-year-old Abike Johnson is the favourite child of her wealthy father. She lives in a sprawling mansion in Lagos, protected by armed guards and ferried everywhere in a huge black jeep.

A world away from Abike's mansion, in the city's slums, lives an eighteen-year-old hawker struggling to make sense of the world. His family lost everything after his father's death and now he sells ice cream at the side of the road to support his mother and sister.

When Abike buys ice cream from the hawker o
Me ha gustado pero el final es algo raro y confuso...
Oct 18, 2014 prettybooks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A seulement 17 ans, Chibundu Onuza nous offre une critique des inégalités sociales au Nigéria avec beaucoup de force et de puissance. A travers ces deux personnages si jeunes, l’importance du milieu social et ses conséquences nous apparait avec choc. Un roman intéressant, enrichissant et qui aurait pu marquer davantage s’il avait été un peu mieux construit et parfois plus développé. Une auteur à suivre.

Ma chronique :
More like 3.5 stars

I first heard of Onuzo's novel as part of the shortlist for the 2013 Etisalat Prize for Literature, a Nigerian awarding body seeking to reward first-time authors from across the African continent. As a concept, it's actually pretty great, because although other literary prizes can include certain African authors (for example the Man Booker prize and Commonwealth countries), there really wasn't a pan-African prize before this one. I had hoped to find the time to read the shortl
Jason Bonneau
I couldn't help but think of Khaled Hosseini's novels while reading this book. What he did for Afghanistan, Unuzo has done for Nigeria. They both take a place that we see often in the news and give us insight into the every day lives of the people that call these places home.

I started this book with a deep interest in an example of modern African literature. I wanted to get past "Things Fall Apart" and "Cry The Beloved Country" and get into some more modern themes. This story did exactly that b
The Spider King's Daughter is a decent little read, and decently written. To a certain degree it lacks depth and maturity, but the reason for that is obvious; Chibundu Onuzo was only 21 when Faber published her. I'm sure that with a few more writing miles on the clock she can easily be as good as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. (The fact that the author is shockingly young to me is undeniable truth that I'm getting old.)

This book is a story of two teenagers who meet by chance (or arrogant manipulation
Apr 22, 2012 Argula rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started with 17 and published with 22 years old – if that is not the dream of any young writer, I do not know what would be. Chibundu Onuzo is the youngest writer so far whose debut novel was released by the acclaimed publishing house Faber and Faber. Deservedly so: this is a great read that distinguishes itself by daring to stray from the norm.

As simple as this story might sound there are enough twists to the plot and novelty in character and setting to make this is an extremely engaging book.
Tami Egonu
*Warning - contains spoilers*

This book was recommended to me and I'm glad because it's another book that I most likely would have passed by without realising what a little gem it is by a debut author.
In a nutshell, it's about two worlds vastly separated in Nigeria by the haves and have nots. We have Abike, who is a very wealthy 17 year old girl, and then we have the nameless hawker (or Runner G) who is 18 and poor, although we learn that his past was very different. Both characters have their
Dec 28, 2013 Cristina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reseña completa:

Acostumbrada a puntos de vista más occidentales en las novelas que suelo leer, el mayor atractivo que he visto en La hija del rey araña ha sido, sin duda, su ambientación. La Nigeria actual y urbana es un escenario atípico, novedoso, rico en detalles e ideal para situar una romántica historia contemporánea con tintes de tragedia shakesperiana. Por un lado tenemos a Abikẹ, una niña rica y consentida acostumbrada a tener lo que desea. Pero e
Nov 11, 2013 Laura. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Realmente empecé ésta novela con miedo: no había leído ninguna reseña de ella, y eso me inquietaba. Lo que he conocido en el interior del libro ha sido una mezcla algo rara, que me ha dejado un sabor bastante agridulce.

Abike es la típica niña rica, que consigue todo lo que quiere con tal sólo chasquear los dedos, que le abren las puertas, le sirven la comida y viaja por las calles de Lagos en la parte de atrás de su coche. Runner G –ése es su apodo- es un chico que al morir su padre, lo perdió t
A. Fedosia
Mar 26, 2013 A. Fedosia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to A. Fedosia by: Rusalka
Different book than imagined. Abike a main character displays a lot of intelligence and grit in the business world, learned from her unscrupulous father. From their relationship, the strands of web extend outward to Abike's half-brothers, her boyfriend Hawker G, her father's past deeds returning for justice. Not all the threads were tied to my satisfaction, but the suspenseful end was extraordinary. I also learned something more about Lagos, Nigeria. The author might also have been using the sto ...more
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Great African Reads: August | The Spider King's Daughter 8 25 Sep 04, 2015 12:21PM  
The World's Liter...: The Spider King's Daughter. Chibundu Onuzo 12 23 Mar 27, 2013 04:19PM  
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Chibundu Onuzo was born in Nigeria in 1991 in Lagos and is the youngest of four children. She is a History graduate from King's College London and is currently an MSc student in Public Policy at the University College of London.

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“I knew that when you had fallen, the memories that charted your decline became invaluable.” 1 likes
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