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  • Published: 6 June 2023
  • ISBN: 9780241981795
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 656
  • RRP: $22.99

Moon Witch, Spider King

Dark Star Trilogy 2

The second novel in Marlon James's revolutionary DARK STAR TRILOGY

In this mighty follow-up to his number one bestseller Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Booker-winner Marlon James once again draws on a rich tradition of African mythology, fantasy and history to tell the story of Sogolon the Moon Witch.

Part adventure story, part tale of an indomitable woman, Moon Witch, Spider King chronicles the antagonist-turned-antihero's journey from an ostracised no-name girl, hated by her brothers and made to live in a termite hill, to a woman with fully developed powers engaged in a long-standing feud with the Aesi, chancellor to the king.

Offering Sogolon's version of the events of Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Moon Witch, Spider King is an unforgettable exploration of power, resistance and revenge set in a world at once ancient and startlingly modern.

  • Published: 6 June 2023
  • ISBN: 9780241981795
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 656
  • RRP: $22.99

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Praise for Moon Witch, Spider King

Moving, vivid, and thought-provoking . . . brilliant


James masterfully flips the first instalment on its head . . . [A] titanic story of empire, adventure and power


Told with James' inimitable linguistic verve . . . Riotous, ultraviolent, dazzlingly inventive

Literary Hub

Even more gripping and inventive than its predecessor . . . like Tolkien on ayahuasca


A fantasy world as well-realized as anything Tolkien made, with language as powerful as Angela Carter's

Neil Gaiman

James cements his status as a wildly inventive and lyrical storyteller

Financial Times

An exhilarating tour de force . . . [James] establishes a new vision for the trilogy as a whole and confirms Dark Star as a true epic

John Burnside

Black Leopard, Red Wolf and Moon Witch, Spider King are wildly inventive, genre-defining works of fiction on the level of The Lord Of The Rings and the Broken Earth trilogy that deserve to be studied, dissected, and argued over

AV Club

James once again shattered my expectations . . . Moon Witch, Spider King is a breathtaking book, one that functions as well as a standalone as it does a sequel . . . This is a novel that begs to be read in one sitting


This novel's prose style, inspired by the grammar of African languages, has an intoxicating swagger and energy


James is one of the finest writers at work today, and Moon Witch, Spider King is a complex, enthralling novel. It is also utterly uncompromising, a book which the reader must meet on its own terms

Toronto Star

An epic fable drenched in African mythology. This is work that both meets the immersive worldbuilding standard in books by Tolkien and Martin and brings to the genre a voice unlike anything seen before . . . It sets readers up for what will undoubtedly be a superb finale

The Boston Globe

A fantastical epic that draws on African mythology

The New York Times

Booker winner James's African-inspired imaginary kingdoms mark the series out from the usual run of epic fantasies, but his uniquely supple, powerful style is even more distinctive

The Guardian

An imaginative story that advances the trilogy in a satisfying way, deepening and expanding an already epic world