Beasts of Prey takes place a hundred years after the great earthquake that destroyed Lkossa; Once a land of great splendor and prosperity.
Magic has disappeared as if it never existed..or has it?
BOP follows three different stories that all come to a crossroads and merge into one:
*Adiah and Tao: Best friends are torn apart, their differences in opinion and relationships too great to ignore.
*Ekon and Kamau-Brothers are on a path to greatness: one has to prove his worth while the other fights their battles.
*Koffi: Struggling against time to obtain the greatest treasure the Night Zoo has ever seen.
‘Everyone is afraid of me and of what I can do, but Dakari…He isn’t afraid. He’s believed in me all along. He was the first person to really see all of me. In his eyes, I’m not a girl to be chastised but a woman to be respected. He understands me, he gets me, he loves me.’
This quote was taken from page 6 of Beasts of Prey, proving that author Ayana Gray
knows how to capture an audience and keep their attention right from the start!
This book came alive with vivid worldbuilding and character development, and I truly felt like I was experiencing the Spendor and watching the precision of wildly unique animals parading at the Night Zoo.
The author refers to Beasts of Prey as a “Pan-African fantasy because much of its influence and inspiration has been shaped by the very real continent of Africa.”
The Grootslangs, Eloko, the Umdhlebi Tree, even the Shetani…all originated from mythology across the continent. Netflix is developing Beasts of Prey as a feature film, and I’m excited for what Lkossa and the Greater Jungle will become.
This is a planned series, so don’t be disappointed when it ends unresolved! It gives you an excuse to purchase Beasts of Ruin when it arrives on shelves!
This brings me to the first location of importance: The Night Zoo
“The splendor is a powerful force of nature. It is not meant to stay inside a mortal body, even a daraja’s.“
I’m just a little bit obsessed with “The Greatest Showman,” and it’s all l I could think of reading the first few chapters. I love how the author molded a traditional zoo into a circus environment for Beasts of Prey.
Imagine Hugh Jackman parading Diko in front of a crowd, similar to what Koffi had to do for Baaz and his guests.
Paying off debts and working as a Beastkeeper for a man you detest is a rough existence. But at least Koffi has her mother and Jabir to help ease the desperation of being someone else’s slave. The author did an excellent job capturing Koffi’s emotional stress and catapulting it to move the story forward!
This brings me to the Second location of importance: The Umdhlebi Tree
“Nightmares hunt like beasts of prey, vanquished in the light of day.”
The splendor is what connects all the stories within Beast of Prey. It’s the power behind the characters- who they are and how they move forward. The Rupture was caused by it, forever changing the landscape of Lkossa.
The secrets of the Greater Jungle and the incredible creatures living within, including the Umdhlebi Tree, are powered by it. Fantasy is one of the most challenging genres to write, considering the entire world is..well, fantasy.
But there is always one contestant, no matter what form it takes…magic.