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The Killing Moon Paperback – 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Dreamblood Series

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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

About the Author

N. K. Jemisin is a Brooklyn author whose short fiction and novels have been nominated multiple times for the Hugo, the World Fantasy Award, and the Nebula, shortlisted for the Crawford and the Tiptree, and have won the Locus Award. She is a science fiction and fantasy reviewer for the New York Times, and her novel The Fifth Season was a New York Times Notable Book of 2015. Her website is nkjemisin.com.

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Product Details

  • Series: Dreamblood (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; 1 edition (2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316187282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316187282
  • ASIN: 0316187283
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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