Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy #1)” as Want to Read:
Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Black Leopard, Red Wolf

(The Dark Star Trilogy #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  121 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: "He has a nose," people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, ...more
Hardcover, 640 pages
Expected publication: February 5th 2019 by Riverhead Books
More Details... edit details

Win a Copy of This Book

  • Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
    Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy #1)
    by
    Release date: Feb 05, 2019
    A fantasy world as well-realized as anything Tolkien made." --Neil Gaiman on the epic new novel, an African Game of Thrones, from the Man Booker Prize ...more

    Format: Print book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 100 copies available, 6218 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jan 05 - Jan 22, 2019

    Countries available: U.S. and Canada

  • Friend Reviews

    To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    Rating details
    Sort: Default
    |
    Filter
    karen
    Feb 04, 2018 marked it as to-read
    so, when penicillin came 'round, and everyone was all stunned and grateful and, "ohhhhhh, we didn't realize how badly we needed this!" that's me. right now. wanting this with a fierceness.
    BookOfCinz
    “Black Leopard, Red Wolf” by Marlon James is the first book on the Dark Star Trilogy. This trilogy has already been dubbed in the publishing world as “the African Game of Thrones” and I will tell you why soon. The publication date for this is January 2019 but thanks to those amazing people over at Riverhead Books I get an early peek into this enthralling tale.

    We meet the main character Tracker, a hunter who is know for his nose- once he catches the scent of a person he cannot let it go until
    ...more
    Sana
    Jun 13, 2018 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts  ·  review of another edition
    'But to write this book I had to unlearn everything — about how language works, character works, story works, even how truth works. The trade-off is that I also ended up with Werehyenas, children made of air and dust, and vampires who have no problem hunting you in broad daylight.' I MEANNNN

    Can't wait to read this 720-page behemoth of a book

    Source
    Dax
    Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
    I received an ARC from Riverhead Books through the goodreads giveaway program.

    This has a chance to be an impactful book. 'Black Leopard Red Wolf' feels raw; gritty even. It is graphic in its violence and sexuality and is far removed from the romanticized fantasy of Tolkien, Jordan or even Rothfuss. Maybe more like Martin, although I have not read 'A Song of Ice and Fire'. Gaiman's blurb was spot on when he called it hallucinatory; several events drift between the real and surreal. James' new wor
    ...more
    Eric Anderson
    Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    What a wholly-immersive wild adventure this novel is! Going into it I knew Marlon James has a talent for writing intricate sweeping tales from having read his previous novel “A Brief History of Seven Killings". That book greatly enhanced his international prominence having won the Booker Prize in 2015. That same year I was one of the judges of The Green Carnation Prize and we also selected his novel as a winner - not just for the magnificence of his storytelling but the meaningful inclusion of g ...more
    Dave
    Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
    "Black Leopard, Red Wolf" is a novel unlike any I have ever read before both in content, in structure, in attitude, and its uniqueness is both a blessing and a curse. James offers us a fantasy adventure story that takes place in Africa perhaps in the mid-1500's among numerous West African kingdoms, set around lakes, rivers, mountains, swamps, and dark forbidding fantasylands that many would prefer to travel around than to go straight through. It is a world peopled by were-hyenas, shapeshifting t ...more
    Bara
    Jan 14, 2017 marked it as to-read
    January 2017
    Please, don't be one of those books that sound absolutely awesome but turns out to be dull. Please.
    ***
    August 2018
    It has a cover now? Pretty. I'm intrigued.
    ***
    December 2018
    Added summary and release day - it will come out in February 2019. That's sooner than expected. James is no Martin.
    ***
    Will
    Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: giveaways
    I would like to thank GR giveaways and Riverhead Books for this ARC. You made me very happy and several of my GR friends envious. I wish I could pass my copy on to all of them.

    A new Marlon James! Yes, yes. I am a huge fan of James and was thrilled when the publication of a new novel was announced. Not only am I fan of his work, but I was lucky enough to attend a very special author event at Harvard where I found him so smart, so funny and so likeable that my respect and admiration only increased
    ...more
    Billie
    Dec 07, 2018 rated it liked it
    That was...a lot. It took me a week to get through and, even at more than 600 pages, it shouldn't have taken that long. It was very much not for me. I want books to barrel along, to compel me to keep reading and this one just didn't. It was good and will probably work excellently well for a lot of readers. I, sadly, was just not one of those readers, much as I wanted to be.
    Krista
    Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 2018, arc
    You, with your eye of a dog, me with my eyes of a cat. We are quite the pair, are we not, Tracker?

    One of the things I most admired about Marlon James' Man Booker-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings was how authentic every shifting voice was – each section could have been written by a different author. Now with Black Leopard, Red Wolf, James has given us something totally different once again: a Tolkeinesque epic fantasy set amongst the kingdoms of precolonised sub-Saharan Africa, complet
    ...more
    Kay
    Oct 16, 2018 added it
    #RWLChallenge:

    A book inspired by traditional African beliefs.
    Hiu Gregg
    Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 2019-releases
    Review to come in Feb!
    Nicholas Scarpone
    Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: favorites
    Black Leopard, Red Wolf is the one of the most original books I have read in my life. I had previously read Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven Killings and absolutely loved it. I have also always been a big fan of the fantasy genre, so when the news announced the publication of this book, I was very excited and very lucky to be given an advanced copy. This book had so many complex characters in it, likable and certainly unlikable ones. The narrator was especially well-rounded and was such a ...more
    Caleb Masters
    Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Marlon James’ Black Leopard, Red Wolf is a shot across the bow of fantasy literature; bold, fresh, filled with brutal wonder and endless imagination. James’ tale in a fantastical ancient Africa follows a hunter known only as Tracker as he follows the scent of a lost boy, meeting the shape-shifting Leopard along the way. At turns hallucinatory, dreamlike, and nightmarish, Black Leopard, Red Wolf’s world envelops the reader in its stink, grime, sweat, and blood. Never has a magical world felt quit ...more
    Eleanor
    Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    This outrageously good-looking book is also outrageously long: well over 600 pages in proof. It is also only the first in a projected trilogy, entitled Dark Star, focusing on African mythology. Neil Gaiman's puffed it as an African Tolkien with flashes of Angela Carter, which actually doesn't seem too far off. It focuses on a mercenary known only as Tracker, whose prodigious gift for finding and following scent is mostly used to hunt down debtors and shiftless husbands until he is recruited to f ...more
    wanderer (Para)
    I received an ARC of this book from the publisher (Riverhead Books) on Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

    Mixed feelings. RTC.
    Lauren
    Taking a step back from this book because I’m just not feeling it. I’m having a lot of trouble with the writing; it’s confusing both in organization and chronology. I can tell it’s a really interesting concept, very dark, but unique. I just can’t get past the writing. It prevents me from really seeing and appreciating the odd and colorful characters, the actual plot, and a host of other things.

    I’ll pick it up again later.
    Madeline
    Jan 10, 2017 marked it as to-read
    I didn't love BH7K, but I'm not an idiot.
    Timothy Moore
    Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Such a dark (so dark) epic fantasy - like nothing I've ever read! Loved the world that was built and the characters, especially Tracker and the Leopard (also loved Mossi and the poor Sadogo and many others). It's extremely violent and, dear reader, it gets rather bleak. But I was hooked, on the adventure, and this world and on Marlon's writing - and his ability to voice characters and bring even the most fantastic moments to life.

    Warning: There are parts that inevitably drag, and some may be sh
    ...more
    Martin
    Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: fantasy
    One of the best books I’ve read this year. And a game changer for the fantasy genre. Absolutely top shelf. Highly recommended
    Uriel Perez
    Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    ‘Black Leopard, Red Wolf’ is a gargantuan achievement; a finely wrought piece of literature forged in the high fantasy spirit; a tremendously challenging but rewarding read.

    The first installment of Marlon James’ ‘Dark Star Trilogy’ places us in a mythic realm populated by false kings, shapeshifting mercenaries and beasts of African folklore. Through shadow lands of the dead and futuristic tree cities Tracker and his cadre of bounty hunters search the continent for a lost boy, the rightful heir t
    ...more
    Jillian Doherty
    Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    The 200+ pages I read were incredibly illustrated ~ his writing capacity, and literary flair finds a new home in epic fantasy!

    The rich detail and character development is a keystone in Marlon’s writing.
    It’s refreshing to see so many diverse, and flushed out characters; with varied ethnicities and sexual orientation, this first in a trilogy, offers a deep and dark into a new world.

    If you enjoy densely detailed world building, and a flair for sultry characters and scene play- then you’ll love t
    ...more
    Chris Blocker
    Nov 21, 2018 marked it as to-read
    So many people are excited to read this book. I was one of them. When I received an ARC, I felt overjoyed, and dove right in.

    ...And I'm just not enjoying it. I've tried to slog through, but why? It won't benefit me or the ratings of the book to plow through.

    So I'm going to make a tough decision... I'm going to put this book aside for the time being. I accept that it may not be that this book is failing, but that it's just not the right time for me. I may pick it up at a later time. Certainly if
    ...more
    Eric
    Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
    Shelves: dnf
    DNF at 270

    I really wanted to like this book, it checks many of the boxes in what I look for in Fantasy novels (different ethnicity, different setting, award winning author). However sadly, this book just plain sucks to read (it actually has numerous problems so I will try to convey my issues with the book). Now this is an advance copy, so I would hope that some of the issues I have may be ironed out in the finished book, but I don't believe that will happen.

    1. It's way too slow. It took 100 page
    ...more
    Chris Roberts
    Jan 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
    The quest motif, is over emotive.

    A prayer for shape shifters under Pantheon's Dome.

    Africa, post-post,
    Crouching velvet hard to the ground,
    from behind lost hut, once the old man’s,
    reclaimed of swarthy stemmed grasses
    and breathing enameled eyes,
    they stir about, millet stalks snap under weight of big cats.

    #poem #Africa

    Chris Roberts, God Post-Future
    Brandon St Mark
    Jan 05, 2019 marked it as to-read
    Shelves: pre-ordered, fantasy
    Really interested in this, hopefully it'll be good.
    Gerchia
    Jan 29, 2018 marked it as to-read
    You had me at Dark Star.
    Now don't fuck it up!
    Dan
    Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Fabulous read. One the best books I've read in a long time. Dense, strange, at times difficult to fully comprehend, but utterly engrossing.
    M.
    Sep 19, 2018 marked it as fantasy-to-read
    The epic novel from Marlon James, the Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings an African Game of Thrones

    Why are you comparing your novel to a shitty tv show?
    The last paragraph of the blurb is tacky.
    « previous 1 3 4 next »
    There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
    1,525 followers
    Marlon James is a Jamaican-born writer. He has published three novels: John Crow's Devil (2005), The Book of Night Women (2009) and A Brief History of Seven Killings (2014), winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize. Now living in Minneapolis, James teaches literature at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

    James was born in Kingston, Jamaica, to parents who were both in the Jamaican police: his mo
    ...more

    Other books in the series

    The Dark Star Trilogy (3 books)
    • Moon Witch, Night Devil (The Dark Star Trilogy, #2)
    • The Boy and the Dark Star (The Dark Star Trilogy, #3)