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The Shadowed Sun (Dreamblood) Paperback – June 12, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Dreamblood Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The second book of the Dreamblood series is even better than the first...Jemisin excels at worldbuilding and the inclusion of a diverse mix of characters makes her settings feel even more real and vivid. " - RT Book Reviews Top Pick!

"Excellent conclusion to Jemisin's Dreamblood duology features the epic plot and well-rounded characters her fans have come to expect. Highly recommended. "―thebookbag.co.uk

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 2)
  • Paperback: 517 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; 1 edition (June 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316187291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316187299
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #375,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stefan VINE VOICE on June 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Last month, N.K. Jemisin treated the world to The Killing Moon, a brilliant new fantasy novel set in a strikingly original world and populated by some of the most fascinating characters I've met in years. Now, barely a handful of weeks later, here's the second and (for now) final novel in the Dreamblood series: The Shadowed Sun.

If you haven't read The Killing Moon yet, you should probably stop reading this now and instead go take a look at my review of that first novel (or better still, just read the book) because the rest of this review contains spoilers for The Killing Moon. If you're just curious whether this second novel is as good as the first one before committing, rest assured: it is. Actually, it's even better. Just don't read the rest of this review if you haven't read that first book yet.

The Shadowed Sun starts ten years after the events portrayed in The Killing Moon. King Eninket's ambitious bid for immortality and conquest has been stopped, but at a great price: the powerful city-state Gujaareh is now under the control of the Kisuati Protectorate. The resulting changes in the world's political setup have created a whole new set of tensions, as the Gujaareen citizens and the Hananjan clergy chafe under Kisuati rule and, outside of the Dreaming City, the desert tribes jockey for position.

Hanani is the only female Sharer-Apprentice in the Hetawa. In order to blend in, she is forced to hide her femininity and dress and behave like a man. Her character initially feels somewhat similar to The Killing Moon's Nijiri: a devout priest-apprentice with a complex pupil-mentor relationship who is on the verge of graduating in the Hetawa.
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I am completely hooked on the writing of N.K. Jemisin. She has a unique voice and builds worlds that have features of some cultures and religions on Earth but are still fresh visions. Her characters are complex adults and the plots have substance and are not predictable, The action scenes are well done but the real beauty in her writing are the layers of the story that do not easily explain the motivations and goals of all the characters. She trusts the reader to have the intelligence and patience to wait for the story to unfold. Very refreshing in a genre that still seems to be dominated by authors that are telling enjoyable, fast paced stories that owe much to Tolkien and Robert Jordan but ultimately are junk food for the brain. (I like junk food but Jemisin's books can take my breath away at times and that is more fun for this reader.)
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N.K. Jemisin's The Shadowed Sun picks up the Dreamblood saga ten years after The Killing Moon (Dreamblood). The sequel brings back the priest-assassin Nijiri and the diplomat Sunandi, but they both play a smaller role. Instead, Jemisin turns over the reins to two new characters. Hanani is the first woman admitted to the priesthood of the Hetawa, the dominant religious order in the city-state of Gujaareh. Wanahomen is the heir the Sunset Lineage, son of the last Prince of Gujaareh.

At the end of The Killing Moon (spoiler alert, at least as far as TKM is concerned), Nijiri and Hetawa brought down the corrupt Prince, ushering in "the Protectorate," foreign rulers from Kisua. The Kisuati have appointed as overseer Sunandi, a Kisuati politician who had aided the Hetawa in stopping the Prince. But she is unable to restrain her army of occupation, and the Gujareen have had enough of foreign rule. The Hetawa must once more serve as king-makers, this time to aid the son of the man they had previously overthrown. And they must also contend with a dream-plague that threatens to wipe out the entire city.

While The Killing Moon was notable for its chaste sexuality, sex plays a more significant role in The Shadowed Sun. There is nothing graphic, but sex runs the gamut from true love to horrible acts of sexual abuse. This sexuality represents the Hetawa's movement away from the idealized pursuit of the divine to the realistic needs of the world.

Matt Hlinak
Author of DoG
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...not to mention some of the best storytelling in any genre. People who look down on speculative fiction--fantasy especially--as somehow not worthy of being called "literary" just make me tired. This is one of those books that proves them wrong. Prose, worldbuilding, plot, characters; they're all excellent, as I've come to expect from Jemisin based on her previous four books. I don't really have anything to add to what the other 5-star reviewers said, except that I'm not *positive* this is Jemisin's best book... that seems a bit like trying to pick your favorite child! I very much love her previous Inheritance trilogy and the first book of this duology, The Killing Moon (seriously, read that one first so you have a bit of context). And I very much recommend also reading her Inheritance trilogy (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, etc), which I assume you have not, or you wouldn't need to read these reviews to decide if you want to buy this book. Like me, you'd just buy anything she writes as soon as it's available!
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