|The Killing Moon is the first book in N
K Jemisins new two book series "The Dreamblood". Ms Jemisin first came to
my attention in 2010 with her Hugo Award nominated book The Hundred Thousand
Kingdoms, the start of a very well imagined and quite different fantasy
series. Well, once again Ms Jemisin has written a fantasy and in so doing has mined
separate veins of inspiration and setting to her colleagues in the sword and sorcery
genre; this time bringing forth a tale of narcomancy (dream magic) in a sort of Nubian and
As you may guess from that introduction I was most taken by The
Killing Moon. Not only is this a book that is different from the current crop
of fantasy in both its setting and magic system Ms Jemisin does not over-play the magic,
but leaves it sitting there as a very visible elephant in the room because this is
a book about politics, corruption and betrayal and dream magic (but only one of the
acts of that magic) is central to the story. And that one act is loved in one country and
an anathema in the other.
The Killing Moon centres on two dream gatherers, a master and his
apprentice, and their personal struggle with institutional corruption, betrayal and
politics. To say more would give the game away, but there is murder, misdirection and just
a little bit of mayhem.
Although this is book one in a series, it read as a standalone novel. One can read The
Killing Moon and be done with the series at that point. For book two this reader
expects the next book to start with no direct connection to the first book, but to be an
obvious sequel nonetheless: N K Jemisin is very adept at that conceit. Whatever is in
store in book two I for one cannot get that book soon enough.