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Wings of Ebony

(Wings of Ebony #1)

4.80  ·  Rating details ·  123 ratings  ·  56 reviews
In this riveting, keenly emotional debut fantasy, a Black teen from Houston has her world upended when she learns about her godly ancestry--and with evil sinking its claws into humans and gods alike, she'll have to unearth the magic of her true identity to save both her worlds.

Perfect for fans of Angie Thomas, Tomi Adeyemi, and The Hunger Games.

“Make a way out of no way”
Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: January 26th 2021 by Denene Millner Books/Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.80  · 
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Sabaa Tahir
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much. I loved badass, beautiful Rue, who was sometimes brave and sometimes questioned herself, just like all of us. I loved Rue's relationship with her sister and the people of her old neighborhood. Occasionally with urban fantasy, authors rely too much on our familiarity with the modern world, and don't create a sense of originality and depth in their worldbuilding. That's not the case with J. Elle. Her worldbuilding is intriguing and layered, leaving you with the feeling t ...more
TABI⁷ (ᕗツ)ᕗ
Jul 24, 2019 marked it as to-read

no one convince me that this isn't the reincarnation of Rue from The Hunger Games because I'm just gonna live happily in this headcanon of mine
Unknown Reviews
Sep 03, 2020 marked it as to-read
A book about a black girl who is half-human, half-god? Where can I get an advanced copy? :)
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

Please let me wake up tomorrow and have it be February
Nikki S
Jul 03, 2019 marked it as to-read

Listen, if you know me, you KNOW this is EVERYTHING I could want in a book. And that's just from the description. Pitched as Wonder Woman and The Hate U Give in a Wakandan world? Can I have it now please? PLEASE?????


And now in the synopsis it says "a Black teen in Houston" and OMG IF THIS ISN'T ME!!!!!! It keeps getting better and better! I need this yesterday! How can I make this happen?!
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rue, the protagonist in Wings of Ebony, is the antitheses of what America would love black girls to be. In a country where black girls are constantly being told to tone it down, Rue is like, bump that, we turning up.

J.Elle has written a book that gives us a brave, no-nonsense black girl, blessed with more magic than she knows, and a mind that doesn’t stop until everything makes sense. She doesn’t mince words. She says what’s on her mind, you can pardon her French or not, and asks the hard quest
Ashley Reisinger
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wings of Ebony is a fast-paced adventure filled with determination and heartbreak. Following the journey of Rue--a fiery, compassionate young woman who can't seem to guard her heart against the cry of her community and her people--reminds us what it means to be so quintessentially human. The story is a beautifully woven tapestry layered with meaning and purpose. If you don't come out the other side a changed person, I don't think you were reading it properly.
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes you read a book and you think "oh, that was fun" and never really think about it again. Then, there are times you read a book and you think "wow, this is going to really TOUCH people out there." This was one of those latter times. There is such an accessible and cinematographic quality to J.Elle's writing which sucks you in from the start. And you start by thinking this is going to be a fun quest story about magic and hidden worlds. Then as the story gets deeper, you start to feel the ...more
i got this as an arc today and i'm crying.

this is without a doubt one of my most anticipated debuts of 2021.

Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for making this dream come true. All thoughts—when posted—will be my own!
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 14-and-15
Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Wings of Ebony in exchange for an honest review.

Wings of Ebony is absolutely stunning. J. Elle combines social and historical commentary, magic, and reality into a coming of age story for one kick-ass Black woman. After the death of her mother, Rue is taken away from her half-sister Tasha by the father she's never met only to learn that she's not entirely human. When Rue returns to give Tasha a present on the anniversary of their mother's death, s
Sep 02, 2020 marked it as to-read
wait i’m so excited for this, especially since the setting is where i’m from <3333333 ...more
Jessica Froberg
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read this book many, many times. And guess what? I'm not sick of it! In the slightest! Only books that stir my heart can make me feel that way.


Rue's powerful voice that is unapologetic and determined to seek justice for her people is what shines here. This book doesn't hold back on tough issues and weaves them beautifully within a magically thrilling adventure. J. Elle grabs you by the hand and pulls you through her book in a way that mak
A. Goddard
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The main character, Rue, is a beacon of love, hope, and righteousness. It's a heart aching page-turner that ripped tears from my eyes. Rue is a powerhouse that every young person needs in their life. She stands up for what's right, even when it will rip her own soul to shreds in the process. This story is a disruption to the status-quo of everyday life. It is a story this world desperately needs. I highly recommend this read. This is a book I needed as a teenager and one I know will change lives ...more
Sep 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: yarc
This is a good book that just didn't work for me personally because it's very fast paced.
Clementine Fraser
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was privileged to read an early version of this book and I very much enjoyed WINGS OF EBONY! The characters (especially Rue!) are authentic and sympathetic. I found it easy to identify with Rue's desires and struggles and found myself in her corner cheering her on from very early in the book. WINGS OF EBONY is well-written and I loved the way the world felt so real to me through the vivid imagery and description. The action is fast-paced and exciting and the story is a real page turner! J. Ell ...more
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh. My. God.

Okay, where do I even begin?

Rue is going to change lives. Her rage, her courage, her struggle, her power--I can't wait for my kids to read about this. This is a game changer.

It also is going to rip all of your hearts out in the best way possible. I was so, so privileged to read an early draft of this--actually a few--and I've been so immersed every. Single. Time.

It's compelling and haunting and electrifying. Rue--and J. Elle--are here to change the game.
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am so grateful to have been able to read this in advance of publication. Wings of Ebony is destined to be one of 2021's top reads! The voice drips from the page (seriously, IRRESISTIBLE), and the absolute skill in creating multiple worlds that are magical in their own unique ways is captivating. It's impossible not to get sucked into this story -- everyone should have this on their bookshelf. I cannot wait to see this out in the hands of young (and old) readers everywhere!
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wings of Ebony is unputdownable, action-packed, and raw. You will root for Rue, for Tasha, Ms. Leola (who I think I may be in the future) and for their magic, both marked on the outside and found deep within their relationship. It draws parallels to the world we live in so well that you can't help but gasp how J.Elle wrote it. It's beautiful, heartbreaking, and heartwarming. I can't wait to read more by this author.
Kristen R Lee
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The magic. The voice. The characters. There’s so much to love about this book and I’m honored to have been able to read an advanced copy. The main character, Rue is everything Black girls are told not to be . She’s bold, powerful and outspoken. For me personally she’s someone I could know. A little sister, cousin or niece.

J. Elle has told a powerful story and there’s no doubt in my mind that this book will be on many must read lists!
Sonja J Kaye
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book!! Wow. It left me breathless and stunned and utterly shaken, in the best possible way.

J.Elle’s writing is fast-paced and rich in detail. It immersed me deep into the story and settings.

As we follow the main character Rue through the stunning but cold world of the gods, Ghazan, as well as her old neighborhood in the human world, poor and plagued with crime but also filled with love, J.Elle proves a fine sense for “what makes us human.” Her sensitive portrayal of poverty looks beyond t
D Sorrero
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantasy reads for young adults featuring protagonists of color make up too small of a number of books coming out every year, which is why WINGS OF EBONY is a MUST-READ in this category and genre. WINGS OF EBONY takes readers on a fast-paced ride with unrelenting tension, that hops between the gritty streets of Rue's urban neighborhood and a magical world that couldn't possibly be more different than where she grew up.

What makes Rue a protagonist you want to root for? One, she's a female lead who
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wings of Ebony is FANTASTIC. On the surface, it's a riveting, action-packed book as told from its badass heroine, Rue -- which would be enough in and of itself -- but it's also SO MUCH MORE. The mysteries and action begin in Rue's urban neighborhood, where we see the family and community ties that made her who she is -- ties she has recently had to break when she learned she is half-god. (This is revealed in the first couple of pages so I'm not spoiling anything.)

And the *voice.* From page one,
Emily Bowie
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I've been sitting on this review for weeks. I had the pleasure of reading the working draft (well, several) of Wings of Ebony and I don't know if words can do it justice besides the ones J.Elle wrote herself. Rue's voice is deep, real, true, and relatable all at the same time.

On the surface, Wings of Ebony is a young black heroine's wild quest for justice that teeters between realistic and fantastical worlds. J.Elle sweeps you into the magic, plopping you on to an emotion-ridden rollercoaster yo
Jeffrey Wooten
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You know how you read a good book and you put it aside and maybe think about it that day or the next? Maybe even a few times in the coming month?

Wings of Ebony is not that book.

WoE is the book that you read, and you know you’ll never forget it. It’s that book that introduces a character that gets into your head and you know she’ll be there for a long time, pushing and shoving and rearranging your preconceived notions.

Told in a voice raw, real and unashamed, Rue is the hero we have all been wait
Marquet Jones
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I don’t read a lot of YA fantasy. But this book completely sucked me in. As a largely contemporary reader I found this story so approachable and the fantasy world wildly imaginative but presented in such a relatable way I didn’t get lost in some of the epic worlds I’ve tried before. This book perfectly blends the lines between contemporary and fantasy. For fans of character driven novels with fast paced plots (with lots of mystery!!) inside an imaginative world, WOE is for you.
Sonora Reyes
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I feel so honored that I was able to beta read this! WOE had me on the edge of my seat practically the entire read. In the best way possible, I was STRESSED. The voice is so fantastic in a way that yanks you in and before you know it it's 6 hours later and you're still reading.
Jul 18, 2019 marked it as to-read
I SO need this book!!!
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Poignant and timely, Wings of Ebony is a literary battle cry for the ages.

J. Elle constructs a story of ancient magic, corrupt gods, and contemporary issues, caping it off with a heroine that rivals Katniss Everdeen and Harry Potter.

The first volume in the Wings series takes us on a journey with Rue, a spitfire teenager with epic magic powers who’s navigating recent traumas and questions of her own identity.

Throughout this story, we’re caught between two lands, a mythic island called Ghazan,
Simant | Flipping Through the Pages
12th Aug, 2020: I just saw the cover revel by the author on Twitter and holy hell. What beauty! 😍 Love the colors.. and it is definitely an unique cover for YA fantasy.
- urban fantasy
- black girl with hidden godly ancestry; half-god, half human
- hidden magical island
- fight between gods and humans

P.S. support Black authors and authors of color
Gargee | Wilder Girl Reads
13 Aug 2020:
Just signed up for the street team for this book!
I am in love with the cover, it is so expressive and smooth. Also, love how it is exploring the exploitation of Black communities by those in power through an urban fantasy lens.
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J. Elle was born in Houston, Texas, and is a first-generation college student with a bachelor's in journalism and MA in educational administration and human development. An advocate for marginalized voices in both publishing and her community, J. Elle's passion for empowering youth dates back to her first career in education. She's worked as a preschool director, middle school teacher, and high sc ...more

Other books in the series

Wings of Ebony (2 books)
  • Wings of Ebony 2 (Wings of Ebony, #2)

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