In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed. In one region, a woman who had been violated by an enemy general wanders into the desert, hoping to die. Instead, she gives birth to a baby girl with hair the colour of sand. Certain that her daughter is special, she names her Onyesonwu, which means “Who fears death” in an ancient language.
Onye soon understands that she is marked by circumstances of her conception. She is Ewu–a child of rape who is expected to live a life of violence, a half-breed. But Onye is not the average Ewu. Even as a child, she manifests the beginnings of a remarkable and unique magic. As she grows, so do her abilities, and during an inadvertent visit to the spirit realm, she learns something terrifying: someone powerful is trying to kill her. Onye embarks on a journey during which she grapples with nature, tradition, history, true love, and the spiritual mysteries of her people