The Inheritance Trilogy: The Broken Kingdoms by N K Jemisin
|The Inheritance Trilogy: The Broken Kingdoms by N K Jemisin|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: An interesting follow-up to the superb Hundred Thousand Kingdoms sees a mixture of familiar and new characters and the same beautiful writing style from Jemisin. The ending was a slight disappointment for me but this is still an excellent entry into the genre.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 416||Date: November 2010|
Please note – Major spoilers for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, the first book of the trilogy, are pretty much impossible to avoid here; read at your peril!
Ten years after the events of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, godlings are able to roam free and there are once again three gods – or are there? While people still worship bright Itempas, he was cast down by the Nightlord at the end of book one to wander the Earth, unable to die permanently but with no other powers unless he was protecting a mortal. Oree, an artist who can see magic but is otherwise blind, has known godlings for years and has even been the lover of one of them, but has never met anyone quite like her new lodger Shiny. With godlings dying, something which hasn't happened for many years, can narrator Oree and Shiny find out what's going on before Nahadoth destroys the entire city of Shadow in revenge for his murdered children?
Jemisin quickly reveals to the reader, using the exact dialogue from the original book, that Shiny is actually Itempas, leaving us ahead of the narrator for a fair part of the novel – an interesting decision which pays off really well. Shiny is an incredibly strongly realized character and one of the really brilliant things about this follow-up is how it made me look back on Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, seeing some of the same characters from a completely different viewpoint to that of Yeine, who narrated that book. It's also interesting to note how some of the characters in that first novel have changed over the past ten years, and reading this one has made me resolve to reread it soon as I think it'll be even more enjoyable now.
The relationship between Shiny and Oree is a complex one which develops very well and Shiny's behaviour fits in perfectly with how I'd have expected him to act as a mortal after reading book one, and it's a far cry from a standard romance, being a much more interesting development of both of their personalities. We also get a memorably chilling set of villains and the stunning writing that I'd already come to expect from Jemisin after just one book.
And yet… I liked the book a lot, but didn't love it as I did the first one. The ending for me suffered from being too drawn out, with three or four different points at which the book could have finished, and I think I'd have preferred any of the earlier points to the actual ending we get. I can see how that a bittersweet ending made sense and was perhaps necessary in some ways but it somehow managed to be too bitter AND too sweet for my tastes.
Still, a fairly small fault to find in what's otherwise a very enjoyable book. I'm eagerly looking forward to the third in the trilogy!
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
Further reading suggestion: For more amazing fantasy and strong female lead characters, you can't go wrong with either Spiritwalker: Cold Magic by Kate Elliott or The Poison Throne: Moorehawke Trilogy by Celine Kiernan
You can read more book reviews or buy The Inheritance Trilogy: The Broken Kingdoms by N K Jemisin at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Inheritance Trilogy: The Broken Kingdoms by N K Jemisin at Amazon.com.
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