Literary Circle

Read an Exclusive Excerpt of Marlon James’ New Book Black Leopard, Red Wolf

Marlon James' New Book Black Leopard, Red Wolf
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Marlon James’ New Book Black Leopard, Red Wolf was released on 5th February on Amazon. This is the first book of the Dark Star fantasy trilogy. Marlon James’ new novel, nicknamed the African Game of Thrones has been met with lots of fanfare, with Tor.com describing it as “a miracle”. Hollywood icon Michael B. Jordan has even announced that he will be adapting it for the big screen. “It’s a gift from Anansi himself,” Alex Brown wrote on Tor’s website. “This book. This book. THIS BOOK.”

Marlon James’ new book Black Leopard, Red Wolf is the story of a mysterious narrator named Tracker, who is hired to join a hunt for a missing boy and makes several startling discoveries along the way. Read an excerpt below:


Leopard grinned, stood up, and came over beside me. The fire threw harsh lines on his face and lit up his eyes. “Why do you go back to the village?”

“My family is there,” I said.

“You have no one there. Asani told me all that awaits you is a vendetta.”

“That is still something, is it not?”


He looked to the fire. His mouth goes sick from the sight of cooking, but he made the fire. From the gourd I pulled the piece of cloth carrying the boy’s scent. These were not trees he could sleep in, even if he preferred to sleep off the ground.

“Come with me,” Leopard said.


“No. I mean come with me after this. After we find the boy. She has no interest in him; she wants her foul bladder to place in her foul hair. We find him, scare him, send him back. We go west.”

“Kava wants—”

“Is Asani lord over anyone here?”

“Something came to pass between you two.”

“Nothing came to pass. That is the stick between us. He passes you in years, but in every other way he is the man younger. Gambles with lives and kills for sport. The disgusting features of your form.”

I knew he was looking at me. I was staring into the flames but could feel him turn his head. The night wind was sending a fragrance I did not know. Ripeness from fruit, maybe, but nothing was fruitful in this bush. This made me remember something.

“What happened to them who were following us?” I asked.


“The night we came to the Sangoma. The little woman said somebody was following us.”

“She is always fearing something or someone is after her.”

“You believed it too.”

“I don’t believe in fear, but I believe in her belief. Besides, there are at least ten and six enchantments to throw off hunters and wanderers.”

“Like vipers?”

“No, those are always real,” he said with a wicked smile.

He reached over and grabbed my shoulder.

“Go be with pleasant dreams. Tomorrow we find the boy.”


We had earlier listed Marlon James’ new book Black Leopard, Red Wolf as part of the five books by black writers we couldn’t wait to read this year. Buy Black Leopard, Red Wolf here, and check out the remaining four highly-anticipated books here.

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