Fantasy Novel Series Raybearer Is Becoming A Netflix Show - Here's What Makes It Special

Author Jordan Ifueko's "Raybearer," a West African-inspired young adult fantasy novel, is getting adapted for television at Netflix. Gina Atwater ("Westworld," "Star Wars: The Force Awakens") will be leading the project as part of her multi-year deal with the streaming platform.

Atwater's focus at Netflix will be to foster series and features that put traditionally underrepresented characters front and center. "Raybearer" is her first project at the streamer, and is produced by Sugar23 ("Dickinson") and Macro Television Studios ("Sorry to Bother You").

"It's an absolute privilege to join the Netflix family!" Atwater told Variety. "I'm grateful I get to collaborate with a company that shares my passion for pursuing bold and innovative stories that give underrepresented characters a place to shine in the prestige space."

Raybearer — A Perfect Mix of Worldbuilding and Complex Characters

It's not clear if the adaptation will be a series or feature film, but either way, the source material is something I can't wait to see on screen. I'm a big fan of Ifueko's books, and the story is one that has both exceptional worldbuilding (including a very cool magic system) and complex, fleshed-out characters.

For those unfamiliar with her work, here is Goodreads' blurb for "Raybearer," Ifeuko's first published novel and the first book in the duology of the same name:

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince's Council of 11. If she's picked, she'll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won't stand by and become someone's pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?

What no blurb could do justice for, however, is the level of intrigue Ifueko weaves into a story about chosen and not-chosen family in a rich, fantasy world. There's enough in the first book alone to warrant the series treatment, and there's also a whole second book, "Redemptor," that could carry the Netflix project into subsequent seasons.

Netflix's "Raybearer" is in the early stages of development, so no news yet on when we'll see it on-screen.