Syrah Carthan doesn’t know why she accepted a job as the first female fire chief at Sequoia National Park, where, decades earlier, a forest fire killed her parents. That day, her brother, Romelo, disappeared, as if pulled into the scorched earth itself. Syrah has always had an uncanny affinity for the natural wonders of the park she protects, but after she sanctions a prescribed burn that goes terribly wrong, she quits her position in disgrace.
However, when another devastating wildfire breaks out, Syrah, reluctantly pulled back into action, discovers an unknown world that has existed underground since the beginning of time. This secret society, built around the forest’s complex root system, is now divided into two factions. One is ruled by the Keeper, the giant sequoias’ benevolent caretaker. The other by a mysterious undoer, who’s determined to wage war on humanity. Through him, nature can retaliate and wipe out the earth’s careless ravagers for good.
Torn between human loyalty and preserving the delicate balance of nature, Syrah must make a choice―one that will change both her destiny and that of the world above and below forever.
“Henry skillfully layers historical realism with fantastic elements to explore the way times of desperation test the ethics of oppressed communities. Henry is a writer to watch.”
“[Bacchanal is] gorgeous while somehow never losing sight of the need to unsettle. It captures a sense of wonder and reminds you that too much curiosity can lead to danger. And most importantly, it’s Black and never lets you forget it. If you want endearing characters, a charming setting, and characters that refuse to bend to the world’s injustices then Bacchanal is the book for you.”
“Henry’s debut draws on a rich history of folklore from various African traditions, as well as African history and Black American history, and almost the entire main cast is Black. The carnival setting works perfectly for bringing together various strange and magical people who aren’t at home anywhere else…Come one, come all, this magical carnival has all the delightful dangers a reader could wish for.”
“Set in the Depression-era South and featuring a mysterious traveling carnival, it’s a novel of Black history and magic that makes for a terrific read.”
The Washington Post
“Think of a Southern Gothic version of The Midnight Circus with a touch of Lovecraft Country…nail-biting scenes of tension.”
“Perfectly balanced between the fantastical and sharp reality, The Canopy Keepers is a genre-defying work as prescient as it is brilliant. Henry has written yet another extraordinary novel everyone should be reading.”
Cadwell Turnbull, award-winning author of No Gods, No Monsters
“Beautifully descriptive prose that fully captures the places, people, and time period.”
“Filled with magic, danger, and dynamic characters.”