A Phoenix First Must Burn

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A Phoenix First Must Burn
Evoking Beyoncé's Lemonade for a teen audience, these authors who are truly Octavia Butler's heirs, have woven worlds to create a stunning narrative that centers Black women and gender nonconforming individuals. A Phoenix First Must Burn will take you on a journey from folktales retold to futuristic societies and everything in between. Filled with stories of love and betrayal, strength and resistance, this collection contains an array of complex and true-to-life characters in which you cannot help but see yourself reflected. Witches and scientists, sisters and lovers, priestesses and rebels: the heroines of A Phoenix First Must Burn shine brightly. You will never forget them.

Editor review

1 review
A Phoenix First Must Burn
(Updated: June 02, 2022)
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
What worked: Engaging collection of fantasy short stories that celebrate Black girl protagonists. These stories include takes on historical past like Roanhorse's inspiration of an all Black settlement in the early 1900s. Other stories include Acevedo's twist on a slave rebellion in 1951 Hispaniola. There's also ones with witches and vampires. All show strong Black girl protagonists in this totally entertaining collection.

Some of my favorites include:

Wherein Abigail Fields Recalls Her First Death and Subsquently, Her Best Life by Rebecca Roanhorse. After Abigail witnesses her whole small town being massacred she makes a deal to take revenge.

Letting The Right One In by Patrice Caldwell. Ayanna loves vampire stories and movies, but when she actually meets one, she needs to find the strength to actually let her in.

The Rules of The Land by Alaya Dawn Johnson. A haunting tale of a young girl and her seabound mother who is bound to her father and longs to return back to the sea.

Hearts Turned To Ash by Dhonielle Clayon. A whole twist on soul mates and what a young girl does after her heart is broken.

The Goddess Provides by L.L. McKinney. Betrayal set in the desert where a girl comes to her full power.

Captivating collection of short stories that celebrate diversity with strong protagonists. Sure to appeal to fantasy fans who love stories that mirror them.
Good Points
1. Engaging collection of fantasy short stories by Black authors
2. Queer representation
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