Content warning mild spoilers about story arc
This is not an easy book. I had to take a break in the middle to read a T. Kingfisher comfort novel when I realized that things were just going to get more tragic.
In addition to being both scholarly and raging about issues of racial and environmental justice, the book is narratively ambitious. It wasn't always obvious to me where the various threads were going until they snapped together.
If you are looking for a book where the plucky protagonist triumphs over adversity, this is not the one. It is more a multilayered tragedy, where circumstances triumph over everyone in the end.