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The Killing Moon (Dreamblood Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

N. K. Jemisin
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
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Book Description

The city burned beneath the Dreaming Moon.

In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and amongst the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers - the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe . . . and kill those judged corrupt.

But when a conspiracy blooms within Gujaareh's great temple, Ehiru - the most famous of the city's Gatherers - must question everything he knows. Someone, or something, is murdering dreamers in the goddess' name, stalking its prey both in Gujaareh's alleys and the realm of dreams. Ehiru must now protect the woman he was sent to kill - or watch the city be devoured by war and forbidden magic.

Books In This Series (2 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews


    "[A] gripping series launch... as well as a rousing political and supernatural adventure."—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

    "Shines for its remarkable characters and graceful prose."—Library Journal

    "In The Killing Moon, Jemisin displays her usual skill at portraying a world whose contours seem simple at first but which quickly break down into something much more complex and dissonant. The world is so fully fleshed out that I could breathe its spices, while the story and characters are so much a part of the world that you could not pull this story or these people out and plug them into a different setting. Jemisin proves yet again that she is one of the important new writers in the sff scene."—Kate Elliott, author of Cold Fire, on The Killing Moon.

    "An engaging and fast-paced read with some truly excellent and complicated worldbuilding, The Killing Moon is the first of two planned books. Ehiru and Nijiri are complicated and interesting characters, and the way Jemisin slowly reveals the workings of their religion and what it means to be corrupt make for an absolutely fascinating read."—RT Book Reviews

    "Ah N.K. Jemisin, you can do no wrong.... The blend of cultures and lore she draws on to make this very unique world is just stunning, and the fact that she inhabits it with such 3-dimensional characters is even more impressive.... If you want to get away from traditional fantasy world-building, but keep the compelling characters and deep lore, definitely pick this up!!"—Felicia Day


    Lush, sensual and enjoyably convoluted SUNDAY TELEGRAPH Jemisin's gripping series launch immerses readers in an unfamiliar but enthralling world as well as a rousing political and supernatural adventure. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

    Product Details

    • File Size: 1400 KB
    • Print Length: 442 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316187283
    • Publisher: Orbit; 1 edition (May 1, 2012)
    • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B005SCS4IK
    • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,255 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

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    58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Were it not that I have bad dreams May 3, 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    In a city where the soul is both a traveler and a commodity, death has a different meaning.

    Each night, the Gatherers go out. They visit the dying, the incurable, the aged, the insane, the corrupt. The souls they gather are nestled into a good place in the dreaming world forever. The dreamblood they gather is returned to the temple for the healing of others. Children with the dreaming gift who do not join the priesthood go mad.

    In principle, this is very idyllic. No one drowns in their own lungs: they get a good death. The ill are healed, the mad are contained, crime is non-existent. Peace, perfect peace. In practice, however, the checks and balances are weak. Dreamblood is necessary/addictive to the Gatherers. There are hidden political currents using the power of the priests.

    This is the story of the Gatherer Ehiru, his apprentice Nijiri, and the outland woman Sinandi, and how together they are all working toward peace, against steep odds. It's a heroic story, full of wit and strong will and deep, compassionate love.

    I was deeply drawn to Ehiru's faith and dedication. He is the ideal of believers, steadfast and yet willing to listen, and performing his tasks out of love and service. Nijiri also has love and service, but in his case it's a toss-up of whether he loves his goddess or his mentor more. The end result is the same. Sinandi is a spymaster, a poised and competent woman protecting her country.

    Worldbuilding has always been one of Jemisin's strong suits, and this book is a great example. Although I recognized some of the sources, she wove the whole into an intact and beautiful maze for our characters to grope through. The setting, the gods, the religion, all top-notch.
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    27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
    By Regina
    The Killing Moon is the first in a new epic fantasy series by the author of the The Inheritance Trilogy, N. K. Jemisin. Jemisin has said that The Killing Moon is her "homage to epic fantasy -- as opposed to the Inheritance Trilogy, which was more my eyeroll at epic fantasy". This book hit me hard and stole me away from reality, completely. I was not expecting it. I had read great things about the Inheritance Trilogy, which I really need to read (I now fully understand that I really need to read it) and I thought understood that Ms. Jemisin is forging a new path for fantasy. But I actually really didn't know or understand. This is new, unique and just different.

    The Killing Moon starts off slowly. There is world building to be accomplished and each chapter begins with a quote from the main culture's (in The Killing Moon) religious text. There are three characters introduced and Jemisin takes her time in fully drawing these characters and presenting them to the readers. Jemisin has time, the book is 448 pages and the first in a new series. So, the first 20 percent of the book involves story set up. The world is intricate, the religion and operating belief system is very unique. Thus, the slow build. Don't worry, there is some action and the book comes with a glossary. But once I was enmeshed in the story, I was hooked and did not want to put it down. Be prepared, like many fantasy stories it is slow in the beginning so readers need to be committed. What I was not ready for was an emotional ride and in-depth scenes between characters that were raw and dripping with emotion. The last 20% is non-stop action, but not the kind of action you can fast forward or skim your way through (which I admit to doing in action movies and many fantasy novels).
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    8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Jemisin sure knows what she's doing! June 19, 2012
    We've all read zillions of fantasies set in medieval Europe, or the equivalent thereof. But lately we're being treated to fantasies set in cultures that are very different from Western civilization (or even Western Dark Ages), and set instead in places like China (Daniel Fox's MOSHUI: THE BOOKS OF STONE AND WATER), Mexico (Aliette de Bodard's OBSIDIAN AND BLOOD) and Arabia (Saladin Ahmed's THE CRESCENT MOON KINGDOMS). And now N.K. Jemisin is taking us to Africa -- more specifically, a variety of Egypt -- in The Killing Moon, the first book of THE DREAMBLOOD.

    It's a trip worth taking. Ehiru is a sacred assassin, a priest who ushers the souls of the dying into the dream world, Ina-Karekh, and gathers their dreamblood. When we first watch Ehiru gather a soul, we get a picture of the peace inherent in the process: the elderly and dying are granted surcease and left in paradise. But a priest can also get a commission to gather one who has no wish to die, who is in the fullness of life and has no belief in Hananja, the Goddess of Dreams whom Ehiru serves. When he is tasked to gather the soul of a foreign traveler, the traveler's resistance surprises Ehiru. Most surprising is the traveler's assertion that some gather for pleasure, instead of as a sacred duty, something Ehiru considers abomination, obscenity. But the traveler asserts that Ehiru is being used, and in something like panic Ehiru bungles the job of gathering his soul, setting it loose in the nightmare hollows of Ina-Karekh for all eternity.

    From this beginning, we begin to get a picture of the plot: something is awry with the way the priests of Hananja are being used. Worse, though, we soon learn that something is wrong with Ehiru. And worse yet, there seems to be something wrong in Gujaareh, Ehiru's country.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
    Jemisin did such a great job of creating a very well described, mystical world filled with political intrigue, spirituality and horror. Read more
    Published 5 days ago by L. Jerome
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Love the setting, characters and perspective. Hard to find an original story in fantasy these days. Jemisin delivers.
    Published 1 month ago by JoshMahan
    4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
    I loved the book, but I found it hard to follow for the first chapters because of the unusual names. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by arty
    4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it
    This was my first time reading from this particular genre and I enjoyed it very much,however, there was one mistake. Read more
    Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
    3.0 out of 5 stars I wish I liked this more
    I really loved the first two books in The Five Kingdoms trilogy, but was sorely disappointed with th third installment. Read more
    Published 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
    5.0 out of 5 stars must read
    It was pretty awesome. I had some trouble getting into the culture for a but because names of places and people were similar in some instances but other than that a flawless... Read more
    Published 8 months ago by Molly
    5.0 out of 5 stars New(ish) star on the fantasy writing scene
    Great world building, characters of depth who grow. Brought to mind some of what I felt aesthetically when reading Bujold's Chalion books. No time for more comments. Read more
    Published 8 months ago by Priscilla Ballou
    5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent novel that for me works much better than The ...
    Excellent novel that for me works much better than The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. I love the characters, the world inspired by Ancient Egypt is one of the most interesting settings... Read more
    Published 8 months ago by Tudor Ciocarlie
    5.0 out of 5 stars Made me fall back in love with reading
    (spoiler-free review)
    I'm going to preface this by saying I was the kid who always brought a book around with me. Read more
    Published 9 months ago by Rachel Ruvinsky
    5.0 out of 5 stars A New Fan!!
    i love love this story. sucks you in.
    Published 9 months ago by Sandra E. Zevor
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    More About the Author

    N. K. Jemisin is an author living and writing in Brooklyn, NY. This is fortunate as she enjoys subways, tiny apartments, and long walks through city parks. Her short fiction has been published in a number of magazines and podcast markets, and has been nominated for the Hugo and Nebula award. THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS and THE BROKEN KINGDOMS were also nominated for (collectively) the Hugo, the Nebula, the Tiptree, the Crawford, the Gemmell, the... hell, I lose track. I actually won the Locus Award for Best First Novel and the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award (twice). Blah blah blah, the usual.

    Look, I like to write. In particular I like to write about ordinary people in extraordinary situations, preferrably in non-Earth worlds which nevertheless reflect our own concerns. By now I've published five novels, many short stories, and I'm currently working on my next trilogy. I'll occasionally talk about that here, and also my cat.

    If you really like what I have to say and want to hear more, feel free to check out my author blog at .

    Oh, and buy my book!

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