The Theft of Sunlight — Intisar Khanani
In anticipation of A Darkness at the Door, I eagerly grabbed a copy of The Theft of Sunlight and absolutely flew through it.
I felt for Rae. It’s not often you get women of color protagonists with a disability—something I can relate to—but it’s handled so delicately. Like a lot of folks expect the worst to come from people who come up to your face and spew hate, or get physical, and yeah, that’s also a nightmare, but underestimate how much damage the little, everyday things do. Side comments from strangers. Quick glances that don’t mean to be hurtful. Even things said in anger by friends. At least for me personally, it’s never the huge, isolated incidents that wear me down, though they get awfully close, but an accumulation of small, everyday actions.
The story itself—a badass female protagonist on a quest to take down a fantasy human trafficking ring—was FIRE, and I finished every chapter wanting to know more. The author flushes each scene with rich imagery that never crosses into info dumping, which made the book fly by for me. Also, I am a dope and did not know that Thorn was the first book, but I could still follow The Theft of Sunlight easily without having read it.
As with every YA fantasy mystery, I start out by believing everyone is sus and am always wrong about what is happening. This book is no exception, lol. The book is filled with a lot of little twists and turns, much like Rae’s journey in finding the truth, and at no point did I want out of this ride.
I really enjoyed The Theft of Sunlight and will now eagerly undergo the book walk of shame back to the start and read Thorn.
Key words to help you decide: badass WOC protagonist, single POV, protagonist with disability, YA fantasy, mystery, court politics, court intrigue, unlikely companions, magic and mages, hell-or-high-water friendships