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The Dark Star Trilogy 1
Black Leopard, Red Wolf
By (author): Marlon James
9780385690324 Hardcover English General Trade FICTION / Fantasy / Historical Feb 05, 2019
$36.50 CAD
Forthcoming 6.38 x 9.56 x 1.33 in 640 pages Doubleday Canada Bond Street Books
The epic new novel from Marlon James, the Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings:an African Game of Thrones.

In the first novel in Marlon James’ Dark Star trilogy, African myth, fantasy and history come together in the story of a band of mercenaries hired to find a missing child.

Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: “He has a nose,” people say. Engaged by a mysterious slave trader to track down a 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 find the boy. The band is a hodge-podge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.

As Tracker follows the boy’s scent—from one ancient city to the next, through dense forests and across deep rivers—the band is set upon by creatures intent on destroying Tracker and his cohorts. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important question of all: who is telling the truth and who is lying?

Combining African history and mythology and his own rich imagination, Marlon James has written an immersive saga of breathtaking adventure that’s also a deeply involving novel. Black Leopard, Red Wolf is both an addictive page-turner and a genre-defying epic. Bold, ambitious and captivating, it’s a literary event that’s great fun to read.

Story Locale: Africa

MARLON JAMES is the author of the New York Times bestseller A Brief History of Seven Killings, The Book of Night Women and John Crow’s Devil. A Brief History of Seven Killings won the Man Booker Prize, the American Book Award and the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Fiction, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. The Book of Night Women won the Minnesota Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as the NAACP Image Award. A professor at Macalester College in St. Paul, James divides his time between Minnesota and New York.

Author Residence: Brooklyn, NY

Author Hometown: Kingston, Jamaica

Marketing: Targeted Instagram advertising

Targeted Facebook advertising

Assets to be created that will be available to accounts

Focus of PRHC/DDC social media accounts



Publicity: Pre-publication event in Toronto to coincide with the author’s visit to IFOA in October

Author tour to Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal on publication for events and local media

Pitch national dailies for features and reviews (e.g. The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, Metro News)

Pitch national TV and Radio for interviews (e.g. CBC Radio q, CBC Writers & Company, etc.)

Pitch fantasy and science fiction media



Author Social Media: Facebook: @Marlon-James-Novelist; Twitter: @MarlonJames5

Advance Praise for Black Leopard, Red Wolf

"Marlon James is one of those novelists who aren't afraid to give a performance, to change the states of language from viscous to gushing to grand, to get all the way inside the people he's created. . . . [Black Leopard, Red Wolf] looks like another great, big tale of death, murder and mystery but more mystically fantastical. . . . Not only does this book come with a hefty cast of characters (like Seven Killings), there are also shape shifters, fairies, trolls, and, apparently, a map. The map might be handy. But it might be the opposite of why you come to James—to get lost in him." The New York Times

"A miracle. . . . If Charles R. Saunders' Imaro series opened the door to new ways of telling epic fantasy, and N.K. Jemisin's Inheritance trilogy leapt over the threshold, then Marlon James' Black Leopard, Red Wolf just ripped the whole damn door off its hinges." Tor

"A sprawling, epic fantasy . . . [that] fuses mythology, fantasy and African history into a sensual, psychological triumph." Esquire

"Marlon James is the author of some of the most lush, lyrical, evocative prose of the last couple of decades, and so it's no wonder that his fans have been waiting with bated breath for his first foray into the fantasy world with Black Leopard, Red Wolf. . . . James imbues the story with mythology and magic, and explores the outer limits of truth and power, as he crafts one of the most fully, imaginatively realized fantasy universes ever. Our only question is: When does the next book come out?" Nylon

"With Black Leopard, Red Wolf, [Marlon James] brings us another epic story. . . . Lyrically written and drawing from African history and mythology, Black Leopard, Red Wolf will be the book everyone is talking about." PopSugar

"Wrought with blood, iron and jolting images, this swords-and-sorcery epic set in a mythical Africa is also part detective story, part quest fable and part inquiry into the nature of truth, belief and destiny. . . . James' sensual, beautifully rendered prose and sweeping, precisely detailed narrative cast their own transfixing spell upon the reader. . . . James' trilogy could become one of the most talked-about and influential adventure epics since George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Marlon James does mystery, dread, and weirdness excellently, and Black Leopard, Red Wolf is likely to raise the bar even higher. —Lit Hub

"The novel teems with nightmares: devils, witches, giants, shape-shifters, haunted woods, magic portals. It's terrifying, sensual, hard to followbut somehow indelible, too."Vogue

"[Marlon James] throws pretty much every fantasy and horror creature known into this brilliantly chaotic mash-up of genres and styles. Readers will discover mermaids, vampires, zombies and witches, along with edge-of-your-seat chills and cheeky humor. James' tale digs its hooks in and never lets go, rather like the claws of the flesh-eating Zogbanu trolls, or the teeth of a vicious ghommid. Yet for all the fantasy and action, James never loses sight of the human story. . . . Gender-bending romance, fantastical adventure and an Afrocentric setting make for an inventive and engaging read." Booklist

"A work of prodigious imagination capable of entrancing readers." —Publishers Weekly

"An epic fantasy with deep roots in African history and myth. . . . A thrilling story." Southern Living

"James is a professed fantasy nerd, so Black Leopard, Red Wolf will certainly appeal to fans of all the well-acknowledged authors with at least two initials—George R.R. Martin, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, etc. But if you've read James' 2014 novel A Brief History of Seven Killings (decidedly not a sci-fi or fantasy book but a 700-page world-building epic about the attempted assassination of Bob Marley), you'll drag yourself to the midnight queue to buy Black Leopard regardless of the whole 'Game of Thrones' selling point." Huffington Post

"Black Leopard, Red Wolf is the kind of novel I never realized I was missing until I read it. A dangerous, hallucinatory, ancient Africa, which becomes a fantasy world as well-realized as anything Tolkien made, with language as powerful as Angela Carter's. It's as deep and crafty as Gene Wolfe, bloodier than Robert E. Howard, and all Marlon James. It's something very new that feels old, in the best way. I cannot wait for the next installment." Neil Gaiman

"This book begins like a fever dream and merges into world upon world of deadly fairy tales rich with political magic. Black Leopard, Red Wolf is a fabulous cascade of storytelling. Sink right in. I guarantee you will be swept downstream." Louise Erdrich


Praise for Marlon James and A Brief History of Seven Killings:

"[A] tour de force." The Wall Street Journal

"Sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzingly complex." The New York Times

"Awe-inspiring." Entertainment Weekly

"Thrilling, ambitious . . . both intense and epic." Los Angeles Times

"It will come to be seen as a classic of our times." NPR

"An astonishing portrait of the politics of everyday life. . . . Just as he is sharply aware of the nuances of their voices, James has the confidence not to deny his characters their humanity by turning them into moral exemplars, nor paper over the infected wounds that score across the country by suggesting that the loveliness of some of its territory makes up for the savage effects of poverty." —The Washington Post

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