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Ring Shout

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  10,584 ratings  ·  2,314 reviews
A dark fantasy historical novella that gives a supernatural twist to the Ku Klux Klan's reign of terror.

D. W. Griffith is a sorcerer, and The Birth of a Nation is a spell that drew upon the darkest thoughts and wishes from the heart of America. Now, rising in power and prominence, the Klan has a plot to unleash Hell on Earth.

Luckily, Maryse Boudreaux has a magic sword and
Hardcover, 185 pages
Published October 13th 2020 by Tordotcom
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Maria Jette Have you asked your library to order it? Many libraries are delighted to get requests from patrons. This book and its author are really timely, too— a…moreHave you asked your library to order it? Many libraries are delighted to get requests from patrons. This book and its author are really timely, too— and while many libraries have been frantically buying up non-fiction by Black authors, my guess is that they’re eager to get hold of Black-generated fiction, and all of Clark’s work looks delicious, so maybe they’ll buy it all!(less)

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Average rating 4.13  · 
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It is weird how so many books are being published right now that were obviously written well before the current load of crap hit the fan, but which speak to global events with an urgency and a directness that seems quite prophetic.

The plot of this novella can be summed up in a few lines: “D.W. Griffith is a sorcerer, and The Birth of a Nation is a spell that drew upon the darkest thoughts and wishes from the heart of America. Now, rising in power and prominence, the Klan has a plot to unleash He
Apr 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Farrah by: Paul
Set in 1920's Georgia, Maryse, Sadie and Chef are a bad-a$$ monster-hunting trio.
The release of the film Birth Of A Nation has opened a rift between worlds and hate-fuelled demons, known as Ku Klux, have crossed over and it's up to Maryse, her friends and her magical sword to stop them.

RING SHOUT is a BRILLIANT concept. It uses real historical facts and blends them with fantasy to show how strongly hate breeds hate and creates monsters.

It's well paced with tons of action but it also knows whe
Oct 30, 2020 rated it really liked it




"Girl, every choice we make is a new tomorrow. Whole worlds waiting to be born."

i liked this more than i didn't, with its strong female characters, its Lovecraft Country vibes, and that cover is DIVINE, but OOFA, it's a lot, and i know full well this is a dick thing to say, but honestly, this book shoulda been either longer or shorter.

hear me out!

i think i would have found it easier to take in if it had been either
I was a bit cautious approaching this novella, even after P. Djèlí Clark’s lovely The Haunting of Tram Car 015 captivated me earlier this year. First of all, this seemed quite horror-ish, and I’m a bit wary about that (shut up, I read Stephen King for the articles - I mean, character development and storytelling - not for the gory bits). Second, I’m always a bit cautious with fictionalization of actual historical events, let alone horrific things like KKK.

But my caution ended up completely unfo
Oh baby. This audiobook is so freaking good!!!

The historical elements of Ring Shout are extremely well done. The SFF elements, fantastic. The body horror and gore, top notch. The narration, PERFECTION!

Maryse Boudreaux is a Georgia-bootlegger, with a magic sword and a penchant for hunting monsters.

The monsters in question, known as Ku Kluxes, are plotting to unleash hell on Earth, using D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation to channel their message of hate to the masses.

Maryse, along with her f
Ring Shout is Clark’s entry in the revisionist Lovecraft genre, and I have to say, it ranks as one of my favorites by far. A novella set in Macon, Georgia, somewhen around 1922, it focuses on a band of African Americans who are doing their best to prevent the Ku Kluxes from making inroads into society. The monster Ku Kluxes, that is:

“My heart catches. The Ku Kluxes are moving! The big one sitting up, feeling at his caved-in chest. The portly one’s stirring too, looking to his missing arm. But it
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, arc, fantasy
4+ stars. Review first posted on

In Ring Shout, P. Djèlí Clark melds two types of horror, Lovecraftian monsters and the bloody rise of the Ku Klux Klan in 1922 Georgia, as a group of black resistance fighters take on an enemy with frightening supernatural powers.

As Ku Klux Klan members march down the streets of Macon, Georgia on the Fourth of July, Maryse Boudreaux, who narrates the story, watches from a rooftop with her two companions, sharpshooter Sadie and former soldier
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark is the perfect fantasical horror story to pull you away from the real life one we’ve been living this week.

Set almost a hundred years ago in Macon, Georgia, Ring Shout follows Maryse Boudreaux, a monster slayer who is hunting the KKK. Not just Klan members, though, but a particularly heinous type of demon that walks around in human skin. They’re called Ku Kluxes, and they have infiltrated one of the most hateful organizations in the last 100 years of American histor
Peter Topside
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was a tremendous horror story! It was extremely original, action-packed, yet well-paced, and not without a lot of heart and deep symbolism. Maryse Boudreaux is one kick ass female lead and I really found myself being genuinely invested in her character. Her struggles, traumas, anger, and ability to endure it all to fight was something that made me unable to put the story down. The details of all the various creatures and the hierarchy of the antagonists was very unique and well done, too. I ...more
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm honestly blown away by the craftsmanship of this book. It is a textbook perfectly executed novella, and I am beyond delighted & impressed by how much plot, world building, character work, and thematic content Clark develops over the course of this story. I think if you read the description, you'll get a sense of if this a book that intrigues you, and if so-- just go ahead & read it. I don't think you'll be disappointed. With the ending, seems like there is a door for there to be a sequel, wh ...more
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Phenderson Djèlí Clark always delivers. Period.

Ring Shout is another excellent story, this time set in 1920’s Georgia, where three colored women are taking the fight to the (literal) monsters of the Ku Klux Klan.

It is dark and imaginative, and violent, and very satisfying. It is also extremely cool, because of the once again amazing characters. Is there another (male) author that writes totally bad-ass female characters as perfectly as Clark does? I believe not.

There are several influences that
Sadie Hartmann
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cemetery-dance
Original Review available at Cemetery Dance
I read a brief tagline for Ring Shout that was along the lines of, “a dark fantasy historical novella that gives a supernatural twist to the Ku Klux Klan’s reign of terror” and I was sold. I love everything the tagline promises: Dark Fantasy. Historical Fiction. Novella. Supernatural. Give me all of those things.

Ring Shout not only delivered on these promises, but it also flew past all of my expectations making th
Jonathan O'Neill
4.5 ⭐

No doubt about it, my friends, P. Djèlí Clark been gettin’ involved in some o’ that Lowcountry Voodoo! A ‘gator tooth here, a pinch of goofer dust there, season with a dash of sulphur and the blood of a Ku Klux and BOOM, you got it bruh rabbit, the genre-bending novella, Ring Shout. A tempestuous amalgamation of Fantasy, Horror, African-American folklore and Gullah culture, set in 1920s prohibition-era Georgia with an expository lens focused squarely on racism in the South, the hate that fe
Richard Derus
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it

DECEMBER 2020 UPDATE A TV SERIES IS ON THE WAY!! Starring the ineffably beautiful KiKiLayne, and produced by SkydanceTV, the people behind the Foundation adaptation, Grace and Frankie (seriously, does anyone not love that show?), and Altered Carbon (the first season was great, shut up)!

Would been five stars without the damned w-bombs. Nine, maybe even ten! Crapped on my loving like seagulls on a picnic.

Anyway, it wasn't *all* b
Claude's Bookzone
Well that was an amazing and clever mash up of history, horror and dark fantasy!

There is a lot of action in this story as the hatred within people manifests into viscous demons (Ku kluxes) bent on ripping, killing and spreading their hate. Turning hateful ideology into literal demonic creatures was genius. The use of local vernacular added to the whole vibe, although my reading in these sections slowed to a crawl in order to make sure I understood everything. There was some incredible writing t
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone, but especially those who like badass action-adventure horror with supernatural vibes
Recommended to jade by: my own unhinged admiration for clark's work
“what we owe this world that so despises and brutalizes us? why lift a hand to save it when it ain’t never done a damn thing to save us?”

macon, georgia, 1922. one year after the tulsa massacre.

three black women stand upon a rooftop near a ku klux klan parade, having placed bait for a monster. maryse, our protagonist, spends her time waiting by browsing through a book of folktales; sadie, her hilarious sniper bestie, trades quips with chef, a lanky veteran with tales of europe and goo
3.5 Stars

Creative and creepy. Definitely a take on the Klan I never would have expected. It combines some actual history with an occult, Lovecraftian, Clive Barker-ish twist.

My 3.5 Stars means I enjoyed, but was not blown away. The story felt forced at times. At others it felt like the author was winking at me saying "see what I did there". Also, the way it was written made it a bit hard for me to get into it at times.

However, I will say that I can tell a lot of horror fans are going to be real
If I could describe this book in two words it would be MASTERFUL and MAGICAL!

HOW is P. Djeli Clark able to pack well formed worlds, layered characters, history, culture and heavy themes in less than 200 pages? HOW?!!!

Ring Shout is a darkly twisted historical novella set in 1922 in Macon and follows the main character Maryse Boudreaux a black sword swinging woman who I could not get enough of! The story opens with Maryse, Sadie and Chef setting a trap for The Ku Kluxes who are Klan folk who f
Justina Ireland
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This books defies review, mostly because it is both funny and horrifying, fantastical oand much to realistic.

But! You should definitely read it and experience this magic for yourself.
absolutely phenomenal.

i have no words, except that i feel similarly to how i felt after watching Get Out for the first time: utterly blown away. filled with vindictive, fury-driven satisfaction. kind of shocked to find myself somehow back in my own reality (though i must admit, the line between fantasy/reality in both of these stories is a FINE one indeed). and ready for a re-read/watch already.

jordan peele needs to turn this into a movie STAT
Andrew Fowlow
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Writing a review!
/ / / Read more reviews on my blog / / /

“Like I said already, I hunt monsters. And I got a sword that sings.”

Ring Shout is an action-driven historical novella that combines horror with the kind of anime that have magical swords & monsters-posing-as-humans in them. The story takes place in Georgia during the 1920s and follows a group of black women who hunt monsters who take the form of KKK members. This is neat concept and I would definitely encourage other readers to pick this one up (I partic
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
“They say God is good all the time. Seem he also likes irony.”

I liked a lot about this book. There’s not much to dislike about a black main character on a quest to hunt down Klansmen. Naturally, it had a lot of racial commentary that has been and will be relevant for a long time. Adding a horror theme to all of that just made it that much better.
My only problem was that at times I felt that because we were thrown into the story immediately, I had a hard time getting my footing, but that very we
Bethany Morrow
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
From the start, P. Djeli Clark's RING SHOUT explodes into vivid color with a voice that's at once joyous and harrowing. Maryse is a stunning character, real and layered, and brilliantly employed in a novella that is confident, razor sharp, and utterly imaginative. An instant favorite. ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
The Klan is using a film to turn people into drones, there are monsters known as Ku Kluxes, but Maryse kills monsters, and she is ready to take them on. The author uses sources from Gullah-Geechee culture, folklore, and history to wind together this story.

I couldn't help but think we don't need fleshy monsters with tiny scary mouths to know that racism damages communities, but supernatural elements generate a more obvious monster to take on. I listened to the old Buffy the Vampire Slayer tv soun
Edward Lorn
Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just goddamn exceptional.
Sep 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
The cover and synopsis of Ring Shout drew me to this book. This historical science fiction novella is about three Black women from 1920s Georgia (Maryse, Sadie, and Chef) who are bootleggers and hunters of monsters known as Ku Kluxes. Ku Kluxes are people who turned into monsters when hate infected their bodies. This book is a good social commentary on the effect that hate has on the perpetrators and theirs victims. Clark is a very good writer, his descriptions of the monsters are very vivid, I ...more
Ms. Woc Reader
Oct 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've spoken out before in a previous review for a fantasy set during the Jim Crow era but I want to reiterate it here that we shouldn't let uncomfortable topics stop us from reading a story. And if people can praise Lovecraft Country which was written by a white man they can certainly support a Black man writing a fantasy in the same vein.

Ring Shout is set in 1922 Macon, Georgia where it reimagines the Ku Kluxes as literal white-boned demons. The story opens up with Maryse, Sadie and Chef takin
Allison Hurd
Feb 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ring Shout is a weird and smart little novella that blurs the lines between historical fantasy and horror. It follows a group of Black women in the 1920's who hunt evil KKK members, but with a twist. This is a fascinating story that serves to frame very real history through a fantastical lens that perhaps allows for a different approach to insight. It has impressively deep worldbuilding and well-developed characters despite the length.

The narrative weaves in the history of racism and slavery, in
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Phenderson Djèlí Clark.

P. Djèlí Clark likes creating fantastic, dangerous, and exciting worlds. Usually with heroines & heroes. Almost always with magic & monsters. His short fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Lightspeed, and in print anthologies including Griots, Steamfunk, Myriad Lands and Hidden Youth.

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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
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“Girl, every choice we make is a new tomorrow. Whole worlds waiting to be born.” 13 likes
“There were two brothers, Truth and Lie. One day they get to playing, throwing cutlasses up into the air. Them cutlasses come down and fast as can be-swish!-chop each of their faces clean off! Truth bed down, searching for his face. But with no eyes, he can't see. Lie, he sneaky. He snatch up Truth's face and run off! Zip! Now Lie go around wearing Truth's face, fooling everybody he meet.” 8 likes
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