Redemption in Indigo

Karen Lord
Redemption in Indigo Cover

Redemption in Indigo


Based on a Senagalese folk tale, Redemption in Indigo follows a similar quirky story telling style to weave an intricate and sweet little story about a woman named Paama. Paama is the elder of two daughters, married to a not-overly-impressive lord. The match seemed like it would work well enough, though, since Paama is an exceptional cook and Ansige loves food. But after ten years of feeding his insatiable maw, Paama has had enough and returns home to her family. Ansige follows with his moronic bumbling, but Paama reveals her true character by never once trying to make him look bad (though he does it well enough on his own). When they finally part ways, the djombi see her true heart as worthy of the Chaos Stick, but the indigo lord disagrees and demands she return his power. What happens next is both surprising and bittersweet.

This originally popped up as a Goodreads recommendation and I quickly grabbed it, though I ended up reading and loving Lord's second book, The Best of All Possible Worlds, first. The two books are very different in many ways – the latter being more of a subtle science fiction story that sneaks in romance – but both books share Lord's artful storytelling. It's something that I can only describe as "comfortable," because that's how it makes me feel when I read her books. Her words flow so smoothly and unobtrusively, quietly sucking you into the story and characters before you even realize it. Lord is, quite simply, a master storyteller.

Re-imagined fairy tales and folk tales are not uncommon, but it is rare to find ones that aren't based in European lore. Some might recognized the trickster spider, Anansi, making an appearance in Redemption in Indigo, but otherwise, this is a refreshingly different tale. And different is very, very good.