Black Speculative Fiction Flashback: Wind Follower by Carole McDonnell
I discovered Carole McDonnell's Wind Follower years ago when searching Google for Black science fiction image. I saw the cover art before I was aware of the and was amazed. This was the kind of artwork I wanted to see on the cover of books with Black main characters. In my search of the artist, I was led to Carole's book. That's when I was introduced to something I didn't know existed: Christian based fantasy. I was also introduced to Carole, who I met not long after I read her book. Here's the description of Wind Follower:
Although it is not entirely to her liking, grief-stricken Satha, a dark-skinned woman from a poor Theseni clan weds young Loic, the wealthy Doreni son of the king's First Captain. Loic, graced with ability to see into the hearts and minds of others, begins to help Satha overcome her sorrows. Despite coming from different tribes, they begin to forge a life together. But when Satha's own compassion is used against her and a treacherous enemy contrives to dishonor her in Loic's absence, Loic's love turns to anger and disgust. Embittered, Loic must still avenge his honor and Satha's and he sets out on a journey that brings despair as well as spiritual discovery. Battling him are the Arkhai, the spirits of the land who know his quest will lead him toward the God whom they have usurped. After his departure, Satha is kidnapped, sold into slavery and learns, first hand, how cruel the pioneering Angleni tribe can be. Both face great hardship, danger and anguish apart, but with the Creator's aid there remains hope they will be reunited and heal the love the world has torn asunder.
Carole is a hidden gem, one of the most imaginative fantasy authors I've ever read. She's a meticulous author and pulls from various inspirations to create books that are truly unique. While she creates amazing worlds, her focus is on her characters and their personal struggles. Her novel The Constant Tower is one of my favorites and a book I always suggest when asked for examples of excellent world building.
You can pick up Wind Follower and other books by Carole McDonnell from Amazon and wherever books are sold.