BOOKS: Marlon James’ New Epic Topples Fantasy Tropes

THE FIRST INSTALLMENT of Marlon James’ Dark Star trilogy tests the reader’s commitment. “The child is dead. There is nothing left to know.” Of course, that’s not entirely true—620 pages follow. James, a deft stylist with a taste for violence and grand revelation (just look to his Man Booker Prize–winning historical saga, 2014’s A Brief History of Seven Killings), is something like an orchestrator when it comes to inverting any expectations a reader might bring to his work.