100 pages 3 hours read

Nnedi Okorafor

Akata Witch

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2011

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Important Quotes

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“I’ve always been fascinated by candles. Looking into the flame calms me down.”

(Prologue, Page 1)

In the first lines of the novel, Sunny voices her love for candles and their flames, which foreshadows several narrative elements, including the disturbing vision she is about to experience in the candle in the following pages. Throughout the novel Sunny will be identified with the motif of flames and the sun. Later, her spirit face is revealed to resemble a sun.

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“Their eyes met, and Sunny quickly looked away. When she turned back, Orlu was still watching her. She forced herself to keep her eyes on him, to really see him. He had slanted, almost catlike eyes and high cheekbones. He was kind of pretty, even if he didn’t talk much.”

(Chapter 1, Page 13)

Sunny focuses her attention on Orlu after he intervenes in Jibaku’s bullying. Sunny knows Orlu already, but in these lines she tries to see him anew, picking up on specific details about his appearance and noting a pattern in his behavior as well. Okorafor establishes a connection here between Sunny and Orlu that will first become friendship and later will develop into something more romantic.

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“Nothing was changing—but everything was. The room was as it was, the books, Orlu and Chichi, her schoolbag beside her. Outside she could hear a car passing by. But everything was… different. It was like reality was blossoming, opening and then opening some more. More of everything, but all was the same.”

(Chapter 2, Page 33)

This passage describes Sunny’s reaction to Orlu and Chichi performing a trust knot juju on her. Curious to determine if she is a Leopard Person, they are watching to see if she will be able to perceive the juju, but Sunny herself does not yet know what is happening and finds it strange and disorienting. Okorafor describes Sunny’s perception of the world here as somehow improving upon and deepening her sense of reality, which is also what her new identity as a Leopard Person will do for her.