Trail of Lightning held by a light brown hand with black nail polish. gold autumn leaves in the background

61. Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Hello, coven! We’re back with a conversation about Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse. There’s some debate as to whether or not the book is young adult, but we enjoyed it regardless. Show notes below!

Content warning: brief mention of sexual assault (24:55-25:40) 

  • Why did we pick this book? J read Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse  when it came out with her book club. (patron/friend-of-the-show) Deanna said Trail of Lightning was also really good, and we’re always looking to add more diverse voices to the podcast!
  • Should we make merch with J’s tagline “Chaos Ensues”?
  • Recommend if you like… [read-alikes mostly, but also other media, film, tv, etc.] 
  • K recently watched that movie San Andreas with Duane The Rock Johnson
  • What is it with apocalypse movies/shows/stories and fingerless gloves?
  • Libraries are crucial archives for keeping information and languages accessible for future generations. In the novel Kai listens to elders’ testimonies – underscoring the importance of indigenous oral traditions
  • Avatar the Last Airbender
  • Trail of Lightning is book 1 of a series called The Sixth World. Book 2 is called Storm of Locusts and it’s already out (published in 2019). Can’t wait to see what happens next!
  • From J: “It should be noted there has been some push back from some Indigenous groups about Trail of Lightning. I’ll link to a couple of the articles I read about the issues, but the gist of it is that Roanhorse is not Navajo and she is not from a federally recognized tribe. I can’t speak to these issues, but what I do feel like I can say is that a tribe being federally recognized should not be the only thing that makes someone Indigenous. The history of this country has shown us that much. Additionally, Roanhorse is half Black, and anti-Blackness abounds in every community – including Black communities. So I’m a little skeptical, but I’m also not Indigenous, so I can’t speak to the issues of appropriation in any way, because I am not familiar with the cultural practices of the many many Indigenous tribes. Based on some of the critiques I read, perhaps if the book came with a content warning regarding the violence in the story, there would have been less pushback?” You can read some of the articles below if you’re interested, and we’d love to hear your thoughts.
  • We Need Diverse Books on no longer using the term #OwnVoices.
  • Debbie Reese’s blog American Indians in Children’s Literature

As always, we’d love to be in discussion with you, magical people. Drop us a line in the comments or reach out to us on twitter, Instagram (@thelibrarycoven), or via email (

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