Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WEDNESDAY REVIEW: The Broken Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy Part 2) by N.K. Jemisin

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 strange homeless man on an impulse. This act of kindness engulfs Oree in a nightmarish conspiracy. Someone, somehow, is murdering godlings, leaving their desecrated bodies all over the city. And Oree's guest is at the heart of it. . .


THE BROKEN KINGDOMS, the second novel in The Inheritance Trilogy, is the rare middle book in which is equal to if not stronger than the 1st novel, THE HUNDRED-THOUSAND KINGDOMS—which I found outstanding. That bodes well not only for the likelihood of an even stronger final book, but for Jemisin's career, and the enjoyment of all fantasy readers who hunger for authors that strike out into original territory every time.

First off, the second novel--even though having read the first definitely adds texture and and enjoyment to the story--is a true stand-alone to the point that there was no need for an info dumping or "What came before . . ." type prologue. Jemisin deftly weaves in what needs to be known from the previous book in the course of this always forward-moving story.

Blind street merchant Oree lives in Sky, the capital city for the entire planet, and sole location on the planet where godlings--powerful immortals who are not one of the three original Gods--are allowed to visit from their otherworldly realm. In fact, Oree is still heartbroken from an affair she had with one. Suddenly, godlings began dying and disappearing and Oree unwillingly becomes embroiled in the search for who or what is responsible. But her quest is forcing her to question not only the godling she still loves, but her ability to paint dazzling pictures despite being blind . . .

If you are looking for well-written 1st person POV stories in non-quasi-medieval setting featuring a strong, but not always "certain", lead female character who overcomes incredible challenges without following the well-worn paths of becoming a mighty enough sorcerer/swordsman, finding the magic talisman, or turning out to be the Chosen One, will enjoy both

Review by Carlyle Clark for Heroines of Fantasy

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