The Girl with the Louding Voice meets The Water Dancer in this magical, award winning literary debut that offers a new take on West African mythology.
Treasure and her mother lost everything when Treasure’s father died. Haggling for scraps in the market, Treasure meets a man who promises to change their fortunes, but his feet are hovering just a few inches above the ground. He’s a spirit, and he says he can bring Treasure’s beloved father back to life if she’ll do one terrible thing for him first.
Ozoemena has an itch in the middle of her back. It’s an itch that speaks to her patrilineal destiny, an honor never before bestowed upon a girl, to defend the land and protect its people by becoming a Leopard. Her father impressed upon her what an honor this was before he vanished, but it’s one she couldn’t want less—she has enough to worry about as she tries to fit in at a new boarding school.
As the two girls reckon with their burgeoning wildness and the legacy of their missing fathers, Ozoemena’s fellow students start to vanish, Treasure’s obligations to the spirit escalate, and Ozoemena’s duty of protection as a Leopard grows. Soon the girls are set on a dangerous collision course as both must face impossible choices, discovering what they are willing to sacrifice to get what is theirs in a world that always says “no” to women.