The Shadowed Sun: Dreamblood: Book 2 by N K Jemisin
|The Shadowed Sun: Dreamblood: Book 2 by N K Jemisin|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Excellent conclusion to Jemisin's Dreamblood duology features the epic plot and well-rounded characters her fans have come to expect. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 528||Date: June 2012|
|External links: Author's website|
As usual when reviewing sequels, spoilers ahead for The Killing Moon.
Ten years after the events of The Killing Moon, the events of the earlier book have left their mark on the world. Gujaareh is now under the oppressive rule of the Kisuati Protectorate. Worse, a plague of nightmares is killing the once peaceful city's inhabitants in their sleep. It falls to two unlikely heroes, Wanahomen, son of the late Prince, and Hanani, the first female to train as one of Hananja's priesthood, to try to save the city from both of these problems.
As much as I enjoyed Jemisin's first book in the Dreamblood duology, I did complain when reviewing it that it was really difficult to get into due to the Ancient Egypt-influenced setting being so far outside of my comfort zone. The strong world-building Jemisin did in that volume really pays off in this book, though, and we have a much faster paced novel which is far more easily accessible for those of us who read that one. (On a side note, I wouldn't advise even trying this one without having read book one first - I think it would be far too confusing and you shouldn't miss that one, anyway.)
I appreciated the increased pace but the two best things about the novel were the two things that Jemisin always does superbly well. There's a truly epic plot, and incredibly well-rounded characters. Jemisin constantly puts you in the position of having to try and work out exactly who to sympathise with, with villains' motives being realistic and making sense, and heroes' motives - and the methods they use - being quite often questionable.
It's a tough read in parts because Jemisin isn't afraid to put her characters through some terrible situations, but she never goes for gratuitous unpleasantness - every difficult scene is there for a reason. It also has one of the best endings I've read for ages - with a few chapters to go I wasn't sure how on earth she could resolve everything without leaving me feeling either unsatisfied or cheated, but she brought the plot to an extremely satisfying conclusion.
Strong recommendation and given how good this one is I'd definitely suggest fantasy fans who haven't already done so should grab The Killing Moon.
Fans of epic fantasy with really well-drawn characters should definitely be reading Daniel Abraham's The Dagger and The Coin sequence, starting with The Dragon's Path.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Shadowed Sun: Dreamblood: Book 2 by N K Jemisin at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Shadowed Sun: Dreamblood: Book 2 by N K Jemisin at Amazon.com.
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