The Killing Moon: Dreamblood: Book 1 by N K Jemisin
|The Killing Moon: Dreamblood: Book 1 by N K Jemisin|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Despite a confusing start, NK Jemisin soon manages to weave together a host of plot strands to create a truly epic tale with three really strong central characters. Definietly recommended for fans of fantasy!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 448||Date: May 2012|
|External links: Author's website|
Ehiru is a Gatherer. He visits those who are dying to help them pass away peacefully. He sends their souls to a safe place for eternity, while taking their dreamblood to heal others. Most people in his city, Gujaareh, are happy with this. Then he Gathers a foreigner who's unwilling, and claims that the order of priests he belongs to are corrupt... could this barbarian be correct?
Throw in Najiri, an apprentice Gatherer who can't seem to decide whether he wants to be a son to Ehiru or a lover, Sinandi, a female spy from another city-state who thinks the whole idea of Gathering is crazy in the first place, and many supporting characters with decidedly cloudy motives, and you have a strong contender for the year's Book Most Likely To Make Your Head Ache.
In fact, I have to admit, I nearly gave up on this twice within the first 80 pages. I couldn't see where it was going, it was really confusing me, and the setting - based on Ancient Egypt, apparently - was far outside of my comfort zone. Thankfully, my love of Jemisin's earlier work The Hundred-Thousand Kingdoms convinced me to carry on with it, and once things do eventually fall into place about a quarter of the way through the book it becomes completely captivating. There's an epic plot which deals with power, corruption, religion, love, family and death, along with three characters who are all genuinely sympathetic despite their differences.
Jemisin's also an incredibly skilful writer and while the decision to set the book in this kind of world rather than one influenced by the more usual European culture does, as I mentioned above, make it slightly harder to get into, it also means it really stands out from most books in this genre.
I have to be honest and say that the struggle I had at the start I had at the start means I can't quite recommend it as highly as her earlier works - but this is still well worth checking out for fans of fantasy looking for something unique, and now that I've been drawn into this world, I'm eagerly anticipating book 2.
If you want epic fantasy, you really shouldn't miss the wonderful The Dagger and The Coin series, which starts with The Dagger and Coin: The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham
You can read more book reviews or buy The Killing Moon: Dreamblood: Book 1 by N K Jemisin at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Killing Moon: Dreamblood: Book 1 by N K Jemisin at Amazon.com.
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