RaveRolling Stone...his debut novel comes with slightly unrealistic expectations — and then proceeds to exceed them. The Water Dancer, Coates’ meditation on the legacy of slavery, is a work of both staggering imagination and rich historical significance ... Coates re-creates the world of the pre-Civil War South — from the plantations’ cramped slave quarters and ornate parlors to abolitionist gatherings to the jails run by Southern militias — with a journalist’s eye and ear for detail ... What’s most powerful is the way Coates enlists his notions of the fantastic, as well as his fluid prose, to probe a wound that never seems to heal ... Timeless and instantly canon-worthy.
PositiveRolling Stone\"... dizzying ... pure, uncut pulp pleasure ... And like many of his fantasy-novel predecessors, he’s packed enough cup-runneth-over plot in this bible-thick tome’s chapters to fill several trilogies ... Black Leopard, Red Wolf is a claim-staking move, a saga worth its weight in Frank Frazetta paintings and a chance for the writer to leave his mark on a sword-and-sorcery template not usually associated with Man Booker Prize winners. The well of James’ imagination here feels virtually bottomless. You put it down word-drunk yet somehow thirsty for more.\