Love speculative fiction? Check out this African fantasy novel by Aminat Sanni-Kamal. It's the first in a trilogy.
The Dark Times are finally Here…
When the Golden Calabash goes mysteriously missing, the world as all know it is on the verge of utter destruction. Within Iloba, a conspiracy to return the Dark Lord to power slowly unravels. It is up to a priestess of the Elysian, a crown prince, a royal guard and a widow – a most unlikely band of heroes – to find the Calabash and stop the world from being plunged into chaos. Omifunke would never have imagined that she, an ordinary priestess, might ever journey into the dreaded Dark Lands or battle demons, but this quest proves to her just how much she knows about her life.
“You know, you’re going to have to talk to me at some point,” Adedayo said.
They were climbing up a hill, Omifunke scowling as she focused. The two of them had since left the beautiful woods behind. They had spent three whole days roaming around with no sense of direction, going wherever Omifunke’s gut led them. They’d gotten lost twice, and in those three days, Omifunke had only spoken to him to inform him that she was trying to find the sea of broken things and that they had to avoid the void of the deserted. The Sea of Broken Things was where the calabash would be, and it was where they would most likely find the rest of their companions.
She had not uttered a word to him about what had happened in the woods, or how they had no weapons and were at the mercy of anyone or anything that may attack them, or what the void of the deserted was.
“We don’t have to talk,” she replied, surprising him. “We just have to keep moving.”
The prince stared at her in amazement and awe. He still couldn’t believe he’d run his fingers through that mass of colourful hair. He couldn’t believe he’d kissed her. What the hell had he been thinking, doing that to her? Never before had he disrespected servants or even tavern maids that way, yet he had done that to her, a priestess, a holy woman. Now she wouldn’t even look him in the eyes. A twinge of shame replaced his amazement. Only the goddesses knew what she thought of him now.
“Keep moving where?” he asked, sweat dripping down his forehead, his soaked shirt clinging to his skin. “We’ve been moving for quite a while, and we haven’t gotten anywhere yet. Are you sure this place of yours actually exists?”
Omifunke said nothing, just continued climbing. Adedayo felt his patience wear thin.
“What are you so afraid of?” he yelled.
She stopped climbing and turned towards him, she was seething with so much anger that not only could he feel it, he could almost see it.
“What am I afraid of?” Her voice rose with each word. “In two days, all hell lets loose if we don’t find that blasted Calabash and return it to the Kingdom. We have to find the rest of our companions, and we have no weapons. I have lost my sense of direction...no, that’s not correct – I can’t feel my powers anymore. I have tried several times to connect with my spirit but it’s dead. We have nothing. What’s more, I can’t tell if it’s because of this cursed place or that every time I look at you, I –” she cut herself short, taking in a deep breath.
“What?” He stepped closer to her; Omifunke tried to get away, but he held her in place. “What happens every time you look at me?”
“I don’t know, I can’t explain it.” She looked like a cornered animal. “It feels wrong…it is wrong.”