The gods have broken free after centuries of slavery, and the world holds its breath, fearing their vengeance. The saga of mortals and immortals continues in The Broken Kingdoms. In the city of Shadow, beneath the World Tree, alleyways shimmer with magic and godlings live hidden among mortalkind. Oree Shoth, a blind artist, takes in a homeless man who glows like a living sun to her strange sight.
This act of kindness engulfs Oree in a nightmarish conspiracy.
Someone, somehow, is murdering godlings, leaving their desecrated bodies all over the city. Oree's peculiar guest is at the heart of it, his presence putting her in mortal danger - but is it him the killers want, or Oree? And is the earthly power of the Arameri king their ultimate goal, or have they set their sights on the Lord of Night himself?
©2010 N.K. Jemisin (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
incredible work by ms. jemisin! I have listened to all of her books now, but wish the final book in this trilogy was available on audible! her writing is unlike any other; dreamlike and poetic. she is a storytelling shaman - weaving you into intricate otherworldly realms that you never want to leave...! now that I am done listening to all of her available books I am promptly going to listen to all of them again!
This series is set in an invented world in which gods and their offspring walk or live among human beings, something like Greek mythology. There is something very fresh about Jemisin's approach to the genre. In this book, the narrator is a blind street artist who is only able to see magic, which she perceives as glowing light, or her own paintings. A narrator who can't see most of the action makes for a challenging portal through which to explore a strange world, but the author makes it work, playing off the tension between what Ori can't perceive and the heightened perceptions of her other senses. Also she's vulnerable, a very humble, down-to-earth person, so she also "sees" the social order of the novel from a perspective that all the more powerful characters cannot. This one is not in the least predictable. The narrator occasionally seems to be in over her head, but mostly does fine. I frequently found myself lingering over chores and even extending my gym workouts because I was so eager to hear what happened next.
I enjoyed this more than the first book of the trilogy, Looking forward to the third book!
I would recommend this audiobook to a friend. The world-building within the novel is excellent. It is a standalone book within the series (as all three of the novels are, I have heard) so you don't have to read its predecessor to know what's going on. The romance is subtle most of the time, but it's believable and enjoyable.
The plot is intricately woven at parts. The characters grow and change in believable ways. I began the novel heavily disliking one character for many reasons, but two-thirds of the way through, I learned to understand him and he became one of my favorite characters. There's such a depth to the story that you feel like you need time between listens to unravel what's going on.
I highly enjoyed the voices that Casaundra Freeman gave the characters. Some male characters had similar voices to each other, but every important character had an easily distinguishable, believable voice. Her narration style perfectly fits the first person narration style of the main character Oree.
My one recommendation to future listeners is to look up the names of the most important characters within the novel while listening to the audiobook. A few names were difficult to understand because of their fantasy nature until I saw them in writing.
This book is full of action, interesting ideas, and further explores the world first shown to us in the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. In that book a lot of things changed, and here is a view from outside of the noble houses.
Book 2 continues the story ten years after the events of book 1. This time the main character is a blind woman who sees magic. This seems a bit cheesy for a main character, but I ended up just going with it because I love Jemisin's writing. As usual, her prose is on point, and her characters are complex and compelling. At the end of this book, I did not feel compelled to continue the series. I just didn't end up caring about this world or characters as much as I did her other ones. Here's how I'd rank Jemisin's series so far.
1. The Dreamblood duology. Some of the best new writing out there! (esp book 2)
2. The Broken Earth trilogy. Book 3 comes out in August, but so far the series is badass.
3. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms trilogy. It's some of her earliest work, and she was still developing her voice and writing style. There is a lot to forgive, but the characters and landscapes are still quite good.
So this series is not the best, but if you like her other work, you'll probably forgive the flaws in this series.
Props to Casaundra Freeman! She rocks as a narrator!
I also loved its predecessor in the series. I'm do unhappy that the third book of the series is not available on Audible.
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