Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a Nigerian author of fantasy, science fiction and general speculative fiction inspired by his West-African origins. He is the author of the highly-anticipated epic fantasy series, The Nameless Republic, forthcoming from Orbit Books in 2021. His highly acclaimed debut, the godpunk fantasy novel David Mogo, Godhunter (Abaddon, 2019), was hailed as “the subgenre’s platonic deific ideal” by WIRED and nominated for the BSFA Award. His shorter fiction and nonfiction have appeared internationally in periodicals like Tor.com, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Strange Horizons, Fireside, Podcastle, Ozy, and anthologies like Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy (Saga, 2020), A World of Horror (Dark Moon Books, 2018) and People of Colour Destroy Science Fiction (John Joseph Adams, 2017).

As a speaker and instructor, Suyi teaches college-level writing at the University of Arizona, where he is also completing his MFA in Creative Writing. He has guest lectured at public workshops at venues like the Piper Writing Centre at ASU and the Tucson Festival of Books, as well as appeared at various conferences, conventions, readings and school visits, including at the University of Washington and University of Chicago. His work has earned him appearances in the San Francisco Chronicle and SFX Magazine, interviews on NPR, as well as a Carl Brandon Scholarship. He was named one of 50 Nigerians in the YNaija 2020 New Establishment.

Find Suyi on his website or follow him on Twitter.

Bibliography

  • The Nameless Republic trilogy
    Son of the Storm (#1)
    Suyi Davies Okungbowa
  • Standalone
    David Mogo, Godhunter
    Suyi Davies Okungbowa
     

Reviews

The Nameless Republic trilogy

Son of the Storm (#1)
"Highly recommended for fans of epic fantasy based on non-European mythologies, like The Black Sun, by Rebecca Roanhorse; readers who enjoy protagonists on troubled journeys, like in Jenn Lyons’s The House of Always; or anyone who likes to chew on stories with complex shenanigans."

Library Journal (starred review)

"Gripping...This series starter promises more good things to come."

Publishers Weekly

"Son of the Storm is an immaculate and intelligently crafted West-African-inspired epic fantasy from Suyi Davies Okungbowa."

Locus

"More importantly, the novel purposefully reveals the lure of power and the generational impact of this intrigue, both from the perspectives of the powerful, and from the points of view of those who do not, will not, or cannot, hold power. SON OF THE STORM defines these tensions clearly from the start, as a prologue whirls readers into a society already at a dangerous crossroads, at once reaching for new levels of power, and busy walling itself off from risk. The effect is rich, wild, and occasionally dizzying."

NPR

"Son of the Storm has a strong core in its vivid world building of ibor, magic, and folkloric creatures."

Booklist

"SON OF THE STORM opens a new series set in a lush secondary world inspired by West Africa. It’s the sort of elaborate classic fantasy scenario with magic and adventure that fans of the genre will adore."

Washington Post

"Suyi Davies Okungbowa really understands epic fantasy, both the rules of the subgenre and the most effective ways to break those rules. Fans of epic fantasy will find a lot to love here, yet Okungbowa also makes sure those who are new or not as experienced with epic fantasy won’t be too overwhelmed. Son of the Storm is a great first book in what looks to be an exciting trilogy."

Tor.com

"A grand tale can be just a desolate expanse if it’s not filled with vibrant characters, and Son of the Storm more than brings vivacity....It lays out what it’s trying to do on the page, but the way it worked its way into me, with both thrills and emotional attachment was magical."

FIYAH

"The story manages to be highly original, while also following the familiar beats of a fantasy novel. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how beautiful Okungbowa’s writing style is. Every sentence serves to build the world, characters, or mood in a vividly imaginative way. The pace is tight, with plenty of action but there are also moments of intellectual or emotional complexity that feel earned and cathartic."

Comic Years

"Son of the Storm is the first installment in Suyi Davies Okunbowa’s The Nameless Republic series, and if it is any indication of how the rest of this series is going to go I have a feeling it is going to be quite a hit. In my opinion, this book has many elements that make it a really good read ... I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it for fans of fantasy. Definitely looking forward to book 2 in the series."

Fanfi Addict

"This book was epic and I can’t wait for the Warrior of the Wind which comes out next year. I found it really enjoyable and loved the political elements. I’m excited for what this series will bring next."

Adeel Reviews

"Son of the Storm holds on to fun fantasy tropes that readers love, all while bringing in a breath of fresh air. A magical book, a scholar, a hero’s journey, a travel fantasy. All those well-known, fantastical elements wrap up into a Fantasy, but it is Okungbowa’s narrative that shifts our perceptions and understanding of the Fantasy novel."

Alliterates

"Enthralling... This sweeping and politically charged fantasy explores race, gender, and culture in a complex and compelling world."

Buzzfeed News

"This fantasy audiobook benefits from the storytelling talents of narrator Korey Jackson. He takes listeners on a magic-infused journey with a compelling cast of characters as they challenge the status quo in an ancient city called Bassa, which is reminiscent of early cultures in West Africa. Danso, an academic, has a thirst for knowledge that leads him beyond Bassa's borders, seeking answers that might save the empire. Jackson delivers the story in a warm, friendly tone. His crisp diction emphasizes the characters' impassioned dialogue. The story is a fun mix of elements—systems of magic, Bassan politics, and other cultural details. This is a great find for listeners who are craving more diversity in the fantasy genre."

Audiofile

“A mesmerizing coming of age tale set against a thrilling, fantastical adventure that introduces an beguiling new world...and then rips apart everything you think you know.”

S. A. Chakraborty, author of City of Brass

“I have to say that this is everything I love to see in a fantasy story: masterful, fully-realized worldbuilding, morally complex characters, thoughtful and piercing interrogations of power, privilege, and all the facets of human nature. Honestly it's been a long, long time since I've seen as fantastic a villainess as what Okungbowa's presented us here too. (And you know what a sucker I am for a good multi-POV story.) Can't wait to see the next book in the series. Damn good stuff!”

Jenn Lyons, author of The Ruin of Kings

“Okungbowa's world feels fully formed from the first pages, sweeping readers away into an elaborately plotted tale of ancient magics and world-shattering politics. I, like many others, will be impatiently waiting for the next installment!”

Andrea Stewart, author of The Bone Shard Daughter

“An epic fantasy set apart by how deftly Okungbowa unfurls his intricate, richly imagined world. It's not often you get to read a fantasy novel that spans not only ancient magic, sinister machinations and monstrous forests but courthouses, college classes and hairdressers too, evoking the terrible and fascinating city-state of Bassa in living, breathing detail.”

A. K. Larkwood, author of The Unspoken Name

“An original and fascinating epic fantasy full of bold characters, bloody action and brutal politics. I thoroughly enjoyed it!”

James Islington, author of The Shadow of What Was Lost

“Okungobwa’s richly-drawn and ruthlessly strict world never provides its conflicted characters with easy answers. Fantastical beasts and forgotten magic propel a story about ambition, conspiracy, and the elusiveness of belonging. This is epic fantasy that will make you think and leave you unsettled.”

Fonda Lee, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Jade City

"It’s always refreshing to find fantasies that break with all the old conventions and tropes, and Son of the Storm delivers on this like a flash of lightning in the dark! Set in a deftly crafted world of forbidden sorcery, magical beasts and fractured polities, this tale follows three characters whose seemingly disparate journeys are set for a collision course that will rewrite the fate of whole peoples and empires. Suyi Davies Okungbowa has created an original and fully conceived new world of fantasy teeming with brilliant possibilities and demanding to be explored!"

P. Djèlí Clark, author of A Master of Djinn

“A world so exquisitely observed in every detail, from the built environment to its social and political organization, that you can’t help but tumble headlong into its vivid, captivating reality. Esheme is a standout: her unflinching subversion of motherhood to serve her own ends absolutely thrilled me.”

Shelley Parker-Chan, author of She Who Became the Sun

“Although set in a pre-industrialised world, the themes explored in Suyi Davies Okungbowa's 'Son of the Storm' have a palpable contemporary resonance. Okungbowa weaves an intricate and irresistible plot around the tensions and contradictions of a corrupt, decadent society which is both dependent upon and resentful of its diverse migrant population. The result is a vibrant tale of betrayal, intrigue and revolution which benefits greatly from an original setting, a fresh take on magic and deftly executed characterisation.”

Anthony Ryan, author of Blood Song

Standalone

David Mogo, Godhunter
"A number of books have been termed 'godpunk,' but Suyi Davies Okungbowa's novel may be the subgenre's platonic deific ideal, from its title to its plot to its terse but vivid prose[...] Assured and arch, unsettling and thoroughly enjoyable--an auspicious debut from one of the most promising new voices in the growing coterie of African Sci-Fi/Fantasy writers."

WIRED

"In this riveting debut, Okungbowa reminds readers that home and family are not always about blood.[...] This story is captivating, and readers who enjoy non-Western fantasy, mythpunk, and tales of found family will find it delightful."

Publisher's Weekly

"Okungbowa builds a fantastic world that’s a welcome break from the usual European-style sword and sorcery epics, while also honoring modern, real-world Lagos."

Literary Hub

"Vivid, visceral and with a strength of the voice that just pulls me right in. The god-littered world of David Mogo's Lagos just won't let go."

Jeanette Ng, author of Under the Pendulum Sun

"It’s a fun fresh ride brimful of adventure, showcasing great new talent. Wholeheartedly recommend if you love Zen Cho, Tade Thompson or Nnedi Okorafor."

Liz de Jager, author of the Blackhart Legacy trilogy

"An adventure of literally cosmic proportions...DAVID MOGO, GODHUNTER is a fun, fast adventure and an easy way for American readers to expand their reading of African spec fic."

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