Orbit has acquired the rights to the Nigerian writer Suyi Davies Okungbowa’s new epic fantasy trilogy. Titled The Nameless Republic, the series is inspired by West African empires. Orbit US editor Nivia Evans acquired World English rights from Okungbowa’s agent, Eddie Schneider at JABberwocky Literary Agency. The first book in the trilogy would be published Summer 2021.
Here’s a synopsis of the trilogy from Orbit:
In the thriving city of Bassa, Danso is a clever but disillusioned scholar who longs for a life beyond the rigid family and political obligations expected of the city’s elite. A way out presents itself when Lilong, a skin-changing warrior, shows up wounded in his barn. She comes from the Nameless Islands, which, according to Bassa lore, don’t exist, and neither should the mythical magic of ibor she wields. Now swept into a conspiracy far beyond his understanding, Danso will have to set out on a journey that reveals histories violently suppressed and magic only found in lore.
“It’s a dream to be working with the good folks at Orbit on this series,” Okungbowa said. “I feel like I’m literally riding on the backs of giants who have emerged from these very same stables. The Nameless books are in good hands under the Orbit banner. This series is my love letter to all of us who know the magic that makes West-Africa tick—the lore and music, the harmattan and petrichor, the jollof rice and fried plantain.” He also shared the top five things he’s most excited about in the upcoming series:
The continent of Oon, inspired by West-African empires of the middle ages. Too little is told about this beautiful historic period of salt and gold and trade, of griots and deserts and tropical flavour. Now you get to see an amalgam of them in the fantastic Oon.
The magic of ibor: so obvious, yet so unwieldy, like cutting paper with a sword.
A quest of magical proportions, including periods when no magic is involved. I especially like quests by non-warrior types, and when you throw in terrors and secrets unveiled, hooo boy.
Unexpected rises to power, and downfalls from grace. I believe the series title says everything.
Unreal creatures. That’s it. That’s the whole statement.
Okungbowa obtained a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from the University of Benin and is studying for an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Arizona. His debut novel David Mogo, Godhunter was published in 2019 by Abaddon and was named a Notable Book of the Year by Brittle Paper. His work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, Fireside Magazine, and Apex Magazine. He can be found on his website and on Twitter.
Brittle Paper congratulates Suyi Davies Okungbowa.