When Rue risks all the rules to see her little sister in the human world on the one-year anniversary of their mother's death, she must decide between following the rules and breaking them to save her sister's life - a choice that is not really a choice at all. When she does so, events unravel before her that lead her on an unexpected journey of self-discovery and a quest for truth, with the fate of Ghizon and East Row hanging in the balance.
What I loved: This world is so unique, and I found it so intriguing with the magic and culture. The parallels to our world are clear and important throughout. When Rue digs deeper and sees what all the Ghizoni have been ignoring, she is sure to find the ugly truths buried, not unlike our own history. There are some really poignant scenes around this reveal, Rue's self-realizations, and those of her friends, particularly Bri. I won't say too much to avoid spoilers, but there are a few conversations that are so eye-opening with critical implications for the parallel ways that white people can react to Black truths with important take-home messages.
The themes include family (including found family), loyalty, and allyship/racism. I found these to all be really thought-provoking in the way that they come across, and they would be great for a book group to discuss. Rue's love for her sister is so string and important, and I really loved it. In terms of the magic, the abilities wound up being less significant than the how and the morality of it all (as one example of many, that Rue does not understand why it cannot be used to help others vs. hoarded). These were really well-crafted as well as the ways that socioeconomic classes can define a future (in the magic realm people are divided somewhat arbitrarily, but mostly based on family lineage, into their future career/socioeconomic class, regardless of their ability).
Final verdict: A strong YA fantasy with important themes, WINGS OF EBONY is a series to follow. Highly recommend for fans of BLACK PANTHER, A BLADE SO BLACK, and LEGENDBORN.