Willow Smith, Sci-Fi Novel, Penguin random house,, Jess Hendel, Black shield maiden,

Who Knew Willow Smith Authored A Whole Fantasy Sci-Fi Novel?

The multitalented daughter of Will and Jada Smith is following in her parent’s footsteps by becoming an author.

Black Shield Maiden, the historical fantasy novel written by Willow Smith, will hit bookshelves this May.

The book is co-authored by Jess Hendel and published by Penguin Random House, which is also the publisher of her father’s self-titled bestseller. According to the publisher’s website, Black Shield Maiden tells the story of a teenage girl who is kidnapped and taken away from her West African oasis. 

“This saga begins with Yafeu, a defiant yet fiercely compassionate young warrior who is stolen from her home in the flourishing Ghānaian empire and taken to a distant kingdom in the North. There she is thrust into a strange, cold world of savage shield maidens, tyrannical rulers, and mysterious gods.”

Black Shield Maiden was slated to debut in October 2022, but its release was stalled after Smith and Hendel were accused of creating historically inaccurate and offensive depictions of African people. Smith has never responded publicly to the backlash.

The revised edition of the book has received a blessing from famed author Tomi Adeyemi, who describes the novel as “Intimate, tender, and fiercely epic.” 

The Children of Blood and Bone author will join Smith and Hendel for a conversation and book signing at the Strand Bookstore in New York City on May 7.

In a 2022 interview with NME, the “Whip My Hair” singer said she hopes to inspire others with this novel. 

“I’m so grateful to bring the story of Black Shield Maiden to the world,” Willow said.

“At their core, the issues we’re facing now are the same issues we’ve faced time and again throughout our history. That’s why we create new narratives from different perspectives and even look back into history for deep wisdom that can inspire & help us evolve. My hope is that this story will do that for readers.”

The highly anticipated novel can be purchased in stores on May 7 and is available for pre-order now.

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