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Blackheart Man

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About The Book

The magical island of Chynchin is facing conquerors from abroad and something sinister from within in this entrancing fantasy from the Grand Master Award–winning author Nalo Hopkinson.

Veycosi, in training as a griot (an historian and musician), hopes to sail off to examine the rare Alamat Book of Light and thus secure a spot for himself on Chynchin’s Colloquium of scholars. However, unexpected events prevent that from happening. Fifteen Ymisen galleons arrive in the harbor to force a trade agreement on Chynchin. Veycosi tries to help, hoping to prove himself with a bold move, but quickly finds himself in way over his head.

Bad turns to worse when malign forces start stirring. Pickens (children) are disappearing and an ancient invading army, long frozen into piche (tar) statues by island witches is stirring to life—led by the fearsome demon known as the Blackheart Man. Veycosi has problems in his polyamorous personal life, too. How much trouble can a poor student take? Or cause all by himself as the line between myth and history blends in this delightfully sly tale by one of greatest novelists.

About The Author

Photograph by David C. Findlay

Nalo Hopkinson is the award-winning author of numerous novels and short stories for adults. Nalo grew up in Jamaica, Trinidad, and Guyana before moving to Canada when she was sixteen. Visit her at

Product Details

  • Publisher: S&S/Saga Press (August 20, 2024)
  • Length: 384 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781668005101

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Raves and Reviews

"“SFWA Grand Master Hopkinson (Falling in Love with Hominids) serves up a rich stew of folklore and history in this delightfully delirious fairy tale of a magical island resisting reconquest...A triumph."

Publishers Weekly

"There are so many characters, cultures, languages, and plot points in this novel, and Hopkinson weaves them together masterfully."

Booklist, starred review

“Hopkinson fills Chynchin to the brim with immersive details, from the oral tradition of the chantwells, to the tensions between different social groups, to the distinctive and engaging voices of her characters.”


“Blackheart Man is here, I’m happy to report that it’s been worth the wait. It’s Hopkinson’s most narratively complex novel since ­The Salt Roads, her boldest re-imagining of Caribbean culture since The New Moon’s Arms…, and her most linguistically inventive work to date."

Locus Magazine

“Much like the Blackheart Man of legend, readers will be swallowed whole by this novel and reemerge completely changed.”

Library Journal

Recipient of the 2021 Damon Knight Grand Memorial Award

from The Science Fiction Writers of America

Praise for Nalo Hopkinson and Blackheart Man

Blackheart Man is yet another brilliant novel from a master writer. The clarity and rhythms of Hopkinson’s prose are pure pleasure to read, and her ability to examine the nuances of human nature, both good and ill, always dazzles.” -Kate Elliott, author of Unconquerable Sun and Servant Mage

"Hopkinson's narrative voice has a way of getting under the skin." -The New York Times

"Hopkinson owns one of the more important and original voices in SF." -Publishers Weekly

“Hopkinson's stories dazzle.” -NPR

“The power of Hopkinson’s stories lies in their capacity to help us reimagine our own movement through the world and to wonderfully innovate new trajectories for speculative fiction as a whole.” -Los Angeles Review of Books

“Her voice is clearly her own, charged with deep feeling and vast imagination.” -San Francisco Chronicle

"Utterly original...." -Karen Joy Fowler, award-winning author of Booth, and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

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