Nigerian writer Erhu Kome just released her stunning debut, a Nigerian YA fantasy titled The Smoke That Thunders, on April 9. The book is published by Norton Young Readers, an imprint of W.W. Norton.

This spectacular young adult fantasy is rooted in West African mythology and brimming with adventure. Drawing on Urhobo and West African folklore, the story centers on 16-year-old Naborhi who longs for a life away from her small, traditional clan in Kokori. But as her rite of passage approaches and she is betrothed to an arrogant young man, Naborhi feels her dreams slipping away from her.

Read the full synopsis below:

Then Naborhi becomes bonded to a mysterious animal and begins having harrowing visions of a kidnapped boy. She soon meets Atai, the son of an Oracle from a rival queendom, and learns that she is being guided by the gods. She and Atai, along with Naborhi’s eager-for-adventure cousin, Tamunor, set off across the continent to rescue the mysterious boy. But when they find him―and find out his true identity―Naborhi realizes there is more than just her freedom at stake: she must stop a war that has already been set in motion.

The worldbuilding sounds amazing and so do the cast of characters in this story of political intrigue, fierce love, and what it means to be free. We highly recommend readers take this opportunity to purchase Kome’s debut as she is definitely a bright addition to our long list of African speculative fiction authors.

Erhu Kome is an Urhobo writer of speculative fiction and fantasy. She was the first female Nigerian author to be shortlisted for the Nommo Awards for her novella Not Seeing Is a Flower. She lives in Asaba, Nigeria.

Congrats to Kome on her upcoming debut! Buy The Smoke that Thunders here.