Who Fears Death

Nnedi Okorafor
Who Fears Death Cover

African Post-Apocalyptic Magical Fantasy


Who Fears Death was an interesting combination of a post-apocalypse setting and a magic-filled fantasy. However, as a warning, it does contain some disturbing descriptions of rape, murder, and female circumcision. I enjoyed the flashy magic, though I was a little bothered by the vagueness of its limits. The story itself is nothing out of the ordinary—predestined hero goes on a quest to save her people—but the deeply flawed main characters and the desert society were unusual and interesting. I liked that the romantic relationship between Mwita and Onyesonwu was not one of constant adoration, but a partnership that required effort on both of their parts for its continued success. The other side characters were not nearly as deeply characterized, but they were still interesting additions to the story. I tended to prefer the segments about daily life to the pivotal magic scenes, since the latter seemed to often lose a little bit in terms of clarity. Overall, it is a fantasy story that may feel very familiar, but the setting, the magic, and the characters raise it out of the ordinary.

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