Redemption in Indigo Paperback
by Karen Lord
A masterful, magical retelling of a Senegalese legend.Paama's husband is a fool and a glutton.
Bad enough that he followed her to her parents' home in the village of Makendha, now he's disgraced himself by murdering livestock and stealing corn.
When Paama leaves him for good, she attracts the attention of the undying ones - the djombi - who present her with a gift: the Chaos Stick, which allows her to manipulate the subtle forces of the world.
Unfortunately, not all the djombi are happy about this gift: the Indigo Lord believes this power should be his and his alone, and he sets about trying to persuade Paama to return the Chaos Stick.
Chaos is about to reign supreme . . . Bursting with humour and rich in fantastic detail, Redemption in Indigo is a clever, contemporary fairy tale from a dynamic new voice.
Lord's world of spider tricksters and indigo immortals, inspired in part by a Senegalese folk tale, is fresh, surprising, and utterly original.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 400 pages
- Publisher: Quercus Publishing
- Publication Date: 01/03/2012
- Category: Fantasy
- ISBN: 9781780873084
- EPUB from £4.99
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Review by Scriptopus
It's hard to sustain the cadences and colloquialisms of a traditionally told fairy tale for the length of a novel, harder still to make it accessible - indeed comfortable and charming - for the modern reader, and hardest of all if the language and culture from which the story is extracted are foreign to most of its likely audience. And yet, with <i>Redemption in Indigo</i>, Karen Lord has done just that. A Barbadian writer building her story from a Senegalese folk tale, the Caribbean and African rhythms thrum gently from the first page to the last. We can hear them in the amused scolding of children, feel them in the dusty warmth of the breeze, smell them in the mouthwatering odours of her heroine Paama's cooking. <br/><br/>Most writers in English who work with myth and legend as their source material are firmly based in northern European and Greek traditions; those few who have taken inspiration from what we used to call the Dark Continent have more often than not betrayed - however innocently and unintentionally - their inherited prejudices and presumptions in the way they have recrafted the material. Lord's authenticity, her delight in her characters and her sure handling of the more ambiguous and nuanced moral terrain of these tales, are a breath of fresh air. The central theme of her story is not the grandiose good vs. evil to which we have become accustomed in our modern retelling of myth; it's not even the only slightly more subtle notion of right or wrong. It is the far more real human conundrum of deciding what is better or worse from a range of less than ideal options. It's about choices and consequences, small sacrifices and self-inflicted damage, the dangers of cynicism and the redemptive power of simply trying to do your best. It's told firmly but gently, with a lot of humour and a bit of heartbreak. It's a lovely tale from a wonderful writer. I'm looking forward to more from her.