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Trail of Lightning

(The Sixth World #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  22,996 ratings  ·  4,327 reviews
While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.

Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last—and best—
Kindle Edition, 305 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Saga Press
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Indigo Crayon This isn't YA. I'm not sure why some people have tagged it as such. This is speculative fic and urban fantasy that I'd expect to find on the adult she…moreThis isn't YA. I'm not sure why some people have tagged it as such. This is speculative fic and urban fantasy that I'd expect to find on the adult shelves in the library. Main character is an adult and I think the themes being dealt with are things I find more often in adult fic than YA (or at least the complexity of the themes). I'm not done yet, but what I can tell is that while there's obviously stuff about the character's personal journey, it's definitely not a YA type coming-of-age story. The writing style is also very much not YA.(less)

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The short version:

Kate Daniels fans need to give this one a try.

The long version:

Interesting world-building, taking off on the Native American idea of subsequent 'worlds' that happen with each upheaval (this concept is explained more later in the story). The integration with various Native mythologies--I think primarily Diné, although the world idea might be more universal--is very interesting and one of the aspects that will make this stand out for urban fantasy and supernatural fans. Setting i
I think this novel has been a LONG time coming and I'm glad it's here. Now.

My only concern is that this UF series came out so late in the whole UF cycle thing. I needed this a decade ago. I needed a full American Indian mythological romp with Coyote and so many fantastic supernatural additions to my reading schedule!

Not just fae and vamps and druids and wizards... I needed THIS!

That being said, I really liked it. :) Flooding took out most of the world and it was like coming back home to New Me
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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This was the November pick for the Dragons and Tea Book Club! 🐉☕
Elle (ellexamines)
"an indigenous Mad Max: Fury Road" whom else is crying ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
A strong 4 stars, pushing 4.5, for this Nebula award-nominated novel! Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Maggie Hoskie, the prickly heroine of Rebecca Roanhorse’s Trail of Lightning, and I took a couple of tries to really hit it off. I read a few chapters of this book several months ago but stalled out and put it aside. But when the announcement of its Nebula award nomination happened to coincide with a cross-country plane flight, I picked up this again and ended up loving it.

Trail of Li
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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This was a buddy-read with my friend, Deidra @ ShadeTreeReads, so make sure you check out her review, too!

I've been anticipating this one for a while because I heard it was good for people who like the Kate Daniels series and it is a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy that puts emphasis on Navajo/Dine culture.

The good:

The writing is very clean. The world-building, once I figured it out, is unique among its peers (although that isn't really a
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted at

Early in Rebecca Roanhorse’s debut urban fantasy novel Trail of Lightning, protagonist Maggie Hoskie is talking to a couple whose daughter was stolen by a monster. The girl’s mother asks Maggie if she can save their child. Maggie responds only that she can find her, a distinction the desperate and grieving woman recognizes. Our first impression of Maggie is of a woman who believes that once evil touches you, it gets inside you and stay
Kathy Shin
I had an incredibly hard time sorting out my feelings on this book and I don’t know if I can say that I succeeded. There are many aspects of it that I absolutely loved, but also ones that I really disliked. And the two overlap one another, leaving me conflicted and with a frown line that’s about to become permanent.

Let’s just begin with all the things that I loved. A Trail of Lighting is a post-apocalyptic fantasy that revolves around Native American culture and history, written by a Native Amer
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
You can find this review and more at Novel Notions.

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Representation is so important in fiction.. It’s much easier to sink into a character’s story when they resemble you in some way. For centuries there was very little healthy representation of anyone outside of heterosexual white males of European descent. Characters who fell outside of these restrictions tended to be only secondary characters, and were often portrayed as two-dimensional caricatures of the race or sex or
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy, 2020
2.5 stars

I was sold this book as a recommendation for all Kate Daniels fans. I love Kate. She’s my favorite heroine ever. So to compare a book to her is not something I take lightly.

Therefore, before I delve into the book review, I’ll tackle this point. Would I recommend it to KD fans? It depends on why they read KD.
— is it because of the world-building and magic system? A futuristic post-apocalyptic world where the old myths are alive? Sure, then. You’ll enjoy this book.
— is it because of the b
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I have been excited for this book ever since I found about it – and it did not disappoint me at all. Rebecca Roanhorse has created a seriously cool, very much needed different Urban Fantasy here that makes me very excited for what is to come.

Living in a post-apocalyptic Dinétah (formerly the Navajo Reservation) where gods and demons walk the world, Maggie is a grim, lonely, super strong woman. She is a monster hunter with not much to live for, she is snarky and broken, and while I found her fair
K.J. Charles
Excellent fantasy set in a post climate change era where the Native Americans have carved out their lands and very sensibly built a wall round them, and ancient clan powers are coming back. The folklore is used terrifically, the plot is engaging if a bit oddly paced, with most of the twists coming late on, the imagining is vivid and powerful, and the main characters are fab. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Charlie Anders
What an astonishing tour de force with thrilling action, fascinating characters and a near future vision of America that I've never seen before. Urban fantasy just got a whole new lease on life. The character of Maggie Hoskie grabbed me from the very first page, and her unfinished business with her former mentor, an immortal badass, is super compelling. This book surprised me over and over. While I was reading it, I kept saying it reminded me of the work of Ayize Jama-Everett, which is the highe ...more
Montzalee Wittmann
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse is an amazing book! Set in the future after multiple Earth changing disasters and population decimating events, this has terrific world building! It's a fantasy with monsters, and people with "clan" given gifts born into them. Our main Gal of the story is good at monster killing. The native Indian lore of the Coyote is in here as a character, the trickster. This book has a lot of Indian legend and lore to it. Fascinating and exciting, ...more
Nov 11, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sorry to be the splinter in someone's skin. I can't review this book like other reviewers, because my outlook and standpoint is entirely different from majority of the audiences. As a person of Dine descent, who was brought with a Dine traditional upbringing and with a professional mission in safeguarding our dine traditional beliefs, I was not a fan of this book. Apparently, I am not alone and this letter from the Dine Writer Collective did it best in capturing my thoughts and feelings about th ...more
R.F. Kuang
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've never read anything by Roanhorse that I didn't like. Completely lives up to the hype, and then some. It's not the sort of book you savor slowly over a few days. You read it all in one shot, and then put it down feeling like you've been hit in the head with a sledgehammer.

Thanks to Saga for an ARC on netgalley!
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷

This was Kaleena's choice for my 10 bloggers, 10 recommendations challenge so let's see what it is about!
I should mention that my friend Rachel also recommended it!

“Everything you’ve done, your past, it’s all just a story you tell yourself. Some of it is true, but some of it is lies.”

🌟 I do not read much urban fantasy as I prefer high fantasy. I was recommended this by a friend and then Kaleena picked it for my 10 readers, 10 recommendations challe
Spencer Orey
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-bleak-west
Wow, this is tremendously exciting and action packed urban fantasy. The Sixth World is awesome. I loved it and can't wait for the next one! ...more
Peter Tillman
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, sw-us, own-copy
A promising debut. The author has done her homework (and life-work!), knows the territory, and her award-winning "AUTHENTIC INDIAN EXPERIENCE" shows off her writing chops. Her heroine is a Monster-Slayer! How cool is that? (OK, it's gory.)

Always a pleasure to find a new writer of merit. Even better if she is from an underrepresented group. The novel's framework is boilerplate post-apocalypse. Oh, but the details, the lovely details!

Things are warming up with the new boyfriend (who's something o
Robin (Bridge Four)
Buddy read 15April2019 at


3.75 "sometimes the ones we call our heroes are the greatest monsters of all" stars

This book actually surprised me. I’m kinda over most dystopian type books and YA and I don’t really have a huge interest in books with Indian culture elements in them so I wasn’t expecting a lot from Trail of Lightning with all of these, but I ended up really enjoying the story Rebecca Roanhorse told.

Maggie is a monster hunter, yes there are monsters of a sort in this new world after
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
I think my biggest issue with this is the divide between original content and writing skill. On one hand, this was innovative and fascinating in the world building. The construction of monsters, monster hunters, and the entire post Big Water world was deeply engaging and it is what kept me reading.

But I think the failure here comes through in how well it was written. The writing style was extremely simplistic and repetitive, the first half failing more than the second. Character arcs feel const
Aisling Zena
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars

I love the idea that if the Apocalypse/End of the world/Catastrophic climate change happens, the ones to survive are the Native Americans. Talk about divine justice! I also loved all the lore and descriptions, a certain old medicine man, the powers of the respective clans and that this was written by an actual Native American.

The writing took some getting used to especially in the first chapters.It did smooth out more further down the book though. I think that maybe a glossary, with wo
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Trail of Lightning welcomes us to the “Sixth World”, a post-apocalyptic future in which our planet has gone through a number of drastic changes. Rising sea levels and devastating tsunamis have wiped out most of the earth’s coastal cities, killing billions and leaving only the inland regions and high elevations above water. In the southwest of what was once the United States, the Navajo Nation of Dinétah has survived, shiel
Charlotte Kersten
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
3.5 stars

Maggie Hoskie is a monster hunter, gifted (or cursed) with bloodline powers and trained to kill. It’s more than just a talent for death, it’s become her whole life, and one she’s embraced far too eagerly. Or so thinks her mentor, the immortal and legendary Monsterslayer Neizghání, who disappears one night, leaving Maggie to fend for herself. Hiding out on her small homestead and taking on bounty jobs, she’s close to rock bottom. Until one of the monsters she’s hired to kill turns out t
Loved this, can't wait for the sequel, GIVE ME MORE KAI AND MAGS (SORRY, MAGGIE) ...more
ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! And Kai 😍😍 Ugh, I hate that I have to wait so long for the next book to come out 😭😭 I wish this one would have been longer because I couldnt get enough! Full RTC

Pre-reading Thoughts:

This book looks so dope!!!!
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars and going on my list of favourite reads for 2018.

Trail of Lightning was one of my most anticipated books in 2018, and happily, it did not disappoint. A few months ago I read Roanhorse's most amazing short story, Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience, and it made me excited to see what she would do with a full novel.

Trail of Lightning delivers a fast-paced story in a completely unique setting. Roanhorse has taken a familiar UF storyline and remade it with a fresh telling from an i
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopian
Let me commence this review with a frank statement: I, as a white woman, have grown utterly tired of stories centering around white characters in literature, and I cannot begin to imagine how minorities must feel about this issue we have going on across all genres.

That being said, Trail of Lightning by an author of Native American heritage was a much-needed addition to the Dystopian / Post Apocalyptic Fantasy genre. It is, however, not without issues. While I'd give a big thumbs-up to the world-
2.5 rounded down. Well. I am disappointed. I guess that happens when you read a work of the author first, know he/she/they could do better but then your expectation got smashed due to another, but weaker, story. I was impressed with Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience and could not wait till I read this novel.

It started really good, with the post-apocalyptic world (with a Wall! energy wars! water barons!), magical beings coming back (yep, this is a post-apocalyptic fantasy, the sub-genr
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Rebecca Roanhorse is a NYTimes Bestseller and a Nebula, Hugo and Locus Award-winning speculative fiction writer and the recipient of the 2018 Astounding (formerly Campbell) Award for Best New Writer.

Her novels include TRAIL OF LIGHTNING, STORM OF LOCUSTS, STAR WARS: RESISTANCE REBORN, and RACE TO THE SUN. Her upcoming novel BLACK SUN is set to release 10/13/2020.

She lives in Northern New Mexico w

Other books in the series

The Sixth World (4 books)
  • Storm of Locusts (The Sixth World, #2)
  • Untitled (The Sixth World, #3)
  • Untitled (The Sixth World, #4)

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