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The Broken Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy (2)) Paperback – November 3, 2010
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The author makes the reader keep guessing for, in some cases, quite a long time before revealing who we're imagining (which god is this? which mortal is this?) which got a bit old for me.
But, you know how it goes, I bought all 3 of the trilogy early on and I got invested in the characters. I felt like book 1 was super rewarding (and I read it twice) but I sorta miss the time I spent reading the 400 and 600 pages of books 2 and 3. They weren't bad, they just weren't anywhere near as compelling for me.
The worlds she creates are so richly detailed, and not at the expense of character development. Her prose has just the right level of metaphor while still feeling somehow conversational. Some of the characters here you'll recognize from book one of The Inheritance Trilogy, some you won't; but all are full of emotional complexity. The relationships between characters are so real, even when some of the characters are magical.
Also, in typical N.K. Jemisin style, this book doesn't focus on sex but is very sex positive. The adult characters have moments that bubble with physical intimacy, and there are minor characters in a stable and healthy polyamorous relationship.
I love this book and I think you will, too!
In this book we follow a new protagonist, Oree, a blind street artist, in a new but familiar setting, the shadow of Sky. I guess in case some people haven't read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms I shouldn't get into any more detail than that. Lets just say, the setting is as natural and as thrilling as it was in the last book, though you get to see it from a new perspective because the protagonist is blind.
It was very interesting reading a blind character. I don't recall reading blind characters very often. Jemisin did a very good job of portraying this. I thought that reading only about scents and smells and touch and impressions would be confusion and oblique, but I definitely learned while reading this that there are other ways of portraying environment.
One thing that bothered me is that while The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms had more interesting and complex villains, the villains in this book were more of the ordinary fare. Kind of surprising considering Jemisin's love of the extraordinary. However, given the over arcing story lines going on in the trilogy, this plot doesn't take away from the complexity of the book. It may be that Jemisin thought that if this plot was more complex it would take away from the broader action going on.
I didn't mention in my review of The Hundred Thousand Kingsoms that there's some interesting sex going on. I don't mean interesting as in, sex is happening and that is interesting, I mean as in challenging to some social mores, in more interesting ways than the usual ways. (i.e. homosexuality, BDSM, kinks) I probably should have mentioned this because it could be a turn off to some people, however, if you're comfortable with being made uncomfortable by a book, then it should be very interesting to you. I felt that the way that Jemisin approached the subjects of femininity, masculinity, dominance and power were very sensitive and well informed. Usually I skim through sex scenes, but in this trilogy the sexual encounters help to inform us about the nature of the characters and how their relationships are defined, or not defined. I thought it was interesting that in one part, the willingness of one character to submit to the dominance of another during a sexual act is an equalizing gesture that doesn't make her any less important or powerful in her relationship or the story. It was an idea that I'd never been presented before in any for of media.
That's just a small taste of some of the thoughtful surprises Jemisin has to give us in the interactions between her characters.
Great read! I had never read NK Jemisin before but I thoroughly enjoyed this series, which I read on my Kindle. Inventive, not your usual "high fantasy," and each book has a slightly different feel. Four stars because rather than choosing between Among Other's insightfully described "writing style vs. plot," Jamisin's Inheritance Trilogy has both: entertaining, accessible writing and creative, interesting plots that kept me reading through the night. Well, several nights. The subtle (sometimes not so subtle, but never offensively so) commentaries on race, culture, class, religion, and the question of nature vs. nurture were thought provoking, but never interrupted the flow of the story or digressed into preaching/ sermon.
Four stars, vice five, because I was disappointed that there wasn't an overarching focus on the main three characters development across the three books despite the above-noted common themes (each book feels like the same universe and is internally consistent all the way through). Maybe I'm just too used to the six episode Star Wars movies (ohhhhhhhh.... it really is ALL about Darth Vader....) or the feeling of LOTR (how Aragorn grows! Sam is actually a more interesting character than Frodo!), but I found myself waiting for that sort of bridging between novels, and it never really happened. The characters are all there, you see them from different perspectives (in a wonderfully skillful presentation of the complexity of humans, and the gods that act like them, and the lenses through which we all see the world), but each of the three/four main gods have their "moments" in each of the books. As a result, the character development/arch of the gods with more substance in the first two books felt incomplete when I finished book three.
That said --- don't let this relatively small comment stop you from reading these wonderful, hard-to-put-down fantasies.
Top international reviews
Still full of rich and independent characters, they now occupy a tale worthy of their crafting. The journey of one of the main characters, Oree Shoth, is a pleasure to share as is the development of the love affair between a mortal and a godling. I do think the climax is slightly rushed but the end of the tale is a well constructed compromise of politics and emotion.
I enjoyed this second book far more than the first and am looking forwards to seeing if this trend continues with the finale.
Fleecy Moss, author of the Folio 55 SciFi fantasy series (writing as Nia Sinjorina), End of a Girl, Undon , and 4659 now available on Amazon.
If you try this book for nothing else, try it for Jemisin's imagination. It is, without a doubt, out of this world. And I know that this is what any decent fantasy reader wants, but, honestly, it's like nothing I've ever come across before. It's close to so much, and then so far removed. It's weird beyond explanation, but so familiar. I loved it.
If you need another reason, then read it because of HOW it is written. Jemisin is a genius; the story is intricate and subtle and then so blindingly obvious that you wonder how you missed it. She doesn't give you more than you need to work it out yourself, but she keeps you guessing and pulls you along. Sometimes it's confusing, but that's the fun of it. It's only confusing because you're not thinking right.
A third reason (if you're not convinced or at least curious enough already) is that this book, in my opinion, is her best. Not because her other books aren't as good, or because this one has anything more than they do, but because, for some unknown reason, I stopped eating and sleeping for this book. It consumed me. Luckily, I'm just a hapless student so it didn't ruin my life or anything ridiculous like that. But this is what I do; if I love a book, I fall in. It's been a while since I have found a book that is good enough for that. These days I've found it very difficult to find a fantasy book that is truly different. A lot of the newer books that I have come across have just been convoluted attempts to rehash what is already out there, or they are written so badly that it doesn't matter how good their ideas are, it's impossible to read. This is nothing like those.
So my advice: try this book, try all the Inheritence Trilogy books, try the Dreamblood books too (they're completely different in worlds but Jemisin through and through). N. K. Jemisin is something new and worth it on so many levels.
I won't go into detail, as it will probably contain spoilers, but this book is unique, well written, and has a good, flowing structure that makes it easy and engaging.
It took a bit of getting used to Oree as the first-person narrator, since in many places her tone was quite similar to Yeine’s in the first book of the trilogy. It was a little bit frustrating at times, but as the book progressed, it was easy to see how Oree and Yeine stood on their own as unique characters. They weren’t without their similarities and parallels, however, the least of which being the style in which they narrate. Though Yeine did have more of a habit of getting sidetracked than Oree did. It’s interesting that they both have a real purpose in narrating the way they do, though, unlike many books that are written from the first-person viewpoint. It’s worth pointing out as a comparison to the sheer amount of first-person POV novels around these days, because while most of them stick to that perspective as a way to get the reader to relate more to the protagonist, the method of narration itself is a part of the story here, adding another little bit of depth to the story as a whole.
I also found it interesting that where the gods are major players in the first book, here they appear mostly as cameos. There are a few exceptions, of course, but most of them are characters that weren’t mentioned in the first book, or who only made brief appearances themselves.
Though I confess to a thrill of glee when Nahadoth was around. I’ve got a real soft spot for him. And Sieh. They’re quite possibly my favourite characters in the series thus far, and I’m glad they got a little bit of screentime here, so to speak.
Jemisin weaves a wonderfully complimentary story in this book, expanding on what she established in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and once again doing an amazing job of making the gods real and accessible, understandable and yet still apart from humanity. I enjoyed the chance to get to know Itempas as something other than a distant and controlling mythological figure. Here, he’s as real and touchable as any other character, equally as flawed, and in some ways just as much a sympathetic character as any of the gods were while they were bound and chained. The issue and history of the demons was also quite fascinating, and something I hadn’t expected to see dealt with. But weaving around all these issues was the equally intriguing and terrifyingly simple concept of nobody being as dangerous as a madman with a vision and the power to carry it out. It all combined into a smoothly-paced adventure that kept me turning pages at a fierce rate, seeing how it would all play out.
The hardest part about writing this review is that if I took the time to talk about everything I enjoyed about it, every scene and section that I loved, then I’d essentially have to rewrite the entire book. Aside from some initial trepidation about the narrative tone before I settled into Oree as a character, this book was simply fantastic, and pinning down the best parts of it is exceedingly difficult.
Many people told me that if I enjoyed the first book of the trilogy, then I would love this one even more. I’m not sure if I enjoy it more, but it certainly ranks just as high as the previous book did, and makes me hungry for the last one, to see how it all ties together. Jemisin is a masterful storyteller who isn’t to be missed, and if you haven’t read any of her works thus far, then I heartily recommend this trilogy. You won’t be disappointed.
Die Handlung schließt an den ersten Band an, man kann das Buch jedoch problemlos lesen, auch wenn man Teil 1 - "The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms" - nicht gelesen hat.
Die Hauptperson, Oree, ist wiff, interessant und auf ihre Art und Weise einzigartig. Obgleich Oree blind ist und die Autorin die Geschichte aus ihrer Sicht erzählt, geht nichts von der Spannung verloren. Jemisin schafft es (und das ist ein kleines Wunder!), dass der Leser die Welt durch Orees blinde Augen sieht und die Umwelt dennoch SIEHT! Wie das geht? Oree hat eine besondere Fähigkeit, die ihr erlaubt, Magie in all ihren Formen zu erkennen, aber das war es auch schon; der Rest ist schwarz. Fühle, taste und rieche - Jemisin wagt etwas, das vermutlich kein anderer Autor so wunderbar geschafft hätte.
Von Jemisin ist man es gewohnt, dass sie keine glanzvollen Helden schildert, denen vielleicht auch noch alles vor die Füße gelegt wird - Jemisin beschreibt die Armut und die fatalen Fehler der Menschheit. Wieder überzeugt sie mit außergewöhnlichen Charakteren, einmaligen Landschaften und einer Idee, die den Leser verblüffen wird. Wenn man sich zusätzlich in Figuren aus dem ersten Teil verliebt hat, dann kann man sich freuen - einigen wird man wiederbegegnen. Auch ihr einzigartiges Vokabular verknüpft mit ihrem einfachen Schreibstil überrascht mich jedes Mal aufs Neue.
Wenn Sie gerne ein richtiges Abenteuer lesen, in dem es noch um Menschen und ihre Opfer geht, dann sind Sie hier richtig.