Friday, April 12, 2013

Book Review - The Broken Kingdoms, by N. K. Jemisin

The Inheritance Trilogy, by N. K. Jemisin
1. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (My Review)    12/13/2012    * * * *
2. The Broken Kingdoms                                           12/31/2012    * * * *
3. The Kingdom of Gods                                            01/26/2013    * * * *

From Goodreads:
In the city of Shadow, beneath the World Tree, alleyways shimmer with magic and godlings live hidden among mortalkind. Oree Shoth, a blind artist, takes in a homeless man who glows like a living sun to her strange sight. This act of kindness engulfs Oree in a nightmarish conspiracy. Someone, somehow, is murdering godlings, leaving their desecrated bodies all over the city.

Oree's peculiar guest is at the heart of it, his presence putting her in mortal danger -- but is it him the killers want, or Oree? And is the earthly power of the Arameri king their ultimate goal, or have they set their sights on the Lord of Night himself?
My Thoughts:

*** Possible Spoilers for Book 1 in the series, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.  You've been warned! ***

The Broken Kingdoms continues the saga begun in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - sort of.

Ten years have passed, and the world of the Kingdoms has changed in many ways.  The palace of Sky now sits high amid the branches of the World Tree, and the city below has been shattered and divided by the Tree's roots and renamed Shadow.  The gods have been freed from their slavery, and many of the godlings who had previously avoided the Kingdoms have come to live among the humans in the city of Shadow.  The world is a vastly different place for the ruling Arameri family.

But for the common folk, things aren't just different, they're also more difficult.  Surviving from day to day is still a struggle, but the multitudes of godlings inhabiting the city, and the various religious factions warring in the streets, make survival much more complicated.

Oree finds out just how complicated it can become when she accidentally becomes involved in a murder mystery - who is killing the immortal godlings, and how?  Oree tries to survive the power struggle that results from the void left by the missing and dead godlings, while also attempting to survive the riddle of who can kill someone who cannot be killed.  And the truth is beyond anything she could have imagined.

N. K. Jemisin masterfully weaves a delicious story that keeps you at the edge of your seat, with never a dull moment.  The shift of focus from the ruling class to the common citizen allows the reader to view a completely new aspect of the Kingdoms, and nicely fills out the overall story and mythology of the world.  The Broken Kingdoms is a much more tightly focused story, dealing more with the problems of individual people rather than the issues of the gods.

I highly recommend The Broken Kingdoms - it's a great novel and a great story.  I think that it could probably be read alone, but to fully enjoy the story I would recommend starting with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms before reading The Broken Kingdoms.

Have you read either The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms or The Broken Kingdoms?  What did YOU  think?  Leave a comment below!


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