|The Broken Kingdoms is the second volume in Ms
Jemisins Inheritance trilogy (the first being the Hugo award nominated The
Hundred Thousand Kingdoms), and coincidentally her second book.
Kingdoms starts ten years after the action of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
and is that divorced in viewpoint, characters and storyline from the previous volume that
it could be read as a standalone novel. However, an appreciation of the power games and
interplays between the gods brings an extra depth to this, the second book, that a
knowledge of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is recommended.
The Broken Kingdoms tells the story of Oree Shoth, a blind itinerant
artist living in the city of Shadow, which sits below Sky the city of the Arameri (the
political rulers of the world) and the domain of the gods. The gods born of the void and
their children are immortal, but someone has started killing them. Oree has the misfortune
to stumble on the first body and gets drawn into the investigation first as a
suspect, then as a pawn and a tool. She also has drawn the attention of the gods of the
void and that is something more dangerous as the god of darkness has been freed from
servitude and has cast down the god of light. Past this point I cannot say more without
giving away too much in the way of spoilers and plot detail.
In the Inheritance trilogy N. K. Jemisin has done something really unusual, she has
written a story of rebellion, struggle and redemption not of war and physical journeys,
but of personal change, growth and spiritual journeys and in the process is making a
series of books that should stand the test of time much better than the traditional sword
and sorcery sequence. In case you hadnt noticed I am very impressed with this author
and strongly recommend her. This is an author that deserves to go far. Buy, read and
onwards recommend; accept no substitutes.