While preparing for “Ashes of Gold” the sequel to “Wings of Ebony” by J. Elle, I realized I never did write a review for Wings. I discovered Wings of Ebony from a fellow reviewer of the blog I review books with called The Lit Buzz (lit.buzz). Jes received the ARC of Wings of Ebony and wrote a wonderful review. I immediately bought the audiobook and man was I blown away.
Wings of Ebony moved me to tears a few times.
To feel the depth of my emotions about this book, you can view my instagram story from February that I posted immediately after finishing the audiobook. Side note, I said “stoop” purposefully because of Rue’s references to her own stoop in the story.
Rue’s story of fighting against the odds is inspiring for anyone.
Even more so for any young woman who comes from a marginalized community. No one in Ghizon believes that Rue belongs to their community of people gifted with magic. As a black teen from Houston Texas, Rue visually sticks out immediately among their pale-faced world. She manages to make one kind-hearted friend while stuck in Ghizon. After a year living by their rules, Rue fights against the evil structure keeping Ghizon on top while pushing Rue’s hometown and family down.
What sticks out for me about Wings of Ebony are the parallels to non-fiction society. Racism is prevalent in this story, but subtle microaggressions also appear throughout this book. If you haven’t been disregarded, or treated as other, you might miss these small moments. I believe that we can’t be held at fault for not fully understanding the experiences of others; however, I do believe we have to move through life with empathy. Once you’re presented with the truth of someone’s experience, what will you do with that information? You might not be judged by where you were raised, or by the melanin content of your skin. The reality is, it happens everyday to people you know and don’t know, everyday. Don’t seek to discredit these stories, seek to understand.
How can we change the way black women are received in mainstream media?
We can share their stories to help widen the audience. If you’re blessed to have any circle of influence, use that circle. Encourage them to read Wings of Ebony by J. Elle. Recommend this book and other books written by black women to your friends and followers. Help books like Wings become more mainstream! I hope that one day books written about a black teenager are just as commonly seen as the books written about their white counterparts. That goes for any teenager of color honestly.
Ultimately, what I want to leave you with is this: Wings of Ebony is insightful and full of strong emotions. While written in fiction-fantasy, there is a truth in this story. Rue represents exterior and interior beauty. She is excellence. Her character is one of the truest representations of teenage emotions battling through adult problems. Too much is expected of Rue in Wings of Ebony and yet she holds her head high, and fights back. As her mama taught her, Rue is a diamond, and diamonds never break.