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Publisher's Summary

Gujaareh, the city of dreams, suffers under the imperial rule of the Kisuati Protectorate. A city where the only law was peace now knows violence and oppression. And nightmares. A mysterious and deadly plague haunts the citizens of Gujaareh, dooming the infected to die screaming in their sleep. Trapped between dark dreams and cruel overlords, the people yearn to rise up - but Gujaareh has known peace for too long.

Someone must show them the way.

Hope lies with two outcasts: the first woman ever allowed to join the dream goddess' priesthood and an exiled prince who longs to reclaim his birthright. Together, they must resist the Kisuati occupation and uncover the source of the killing dreams...before Gujaareh is lost forever.

©2012 N. K. Jemsin (P)2012 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Blythe
  • Alberta (formerly California)
  • 04-09-16

Sequel to The Killing Moon

Picked up this sequel after enjoying the first book (The Killing Moon). It's set about 10 years after the first book ends and picks up the story of the city of Gujaareh, which has been made a protectorate of the Kausi people after the end of the first book. A few of the characters from the first book return, but much of the plot now revolves around two new characters: the deposed king's son Wanahomen, who has allied with the Banbarra (a tribe of desert nomads) and hopes to take back control of Gujaareh; and Hanani, the first woman to be allowed to join the healers of the Hetawa sect in Gujaareh.

There are lots of interesting ideas and perspectives explored in the book, including why the Hetawa is traditionally exclusively male; how Hanani is dealing with being the first female healer allowed; how the Kausi protectorate and the Hetawa deal with the occupation of the city; and how the Banbarra are not simply savages nor is Gujaareh quite as civilized as they might like to think.

Overall though, while it was a decent story, I just didn't find the characters and story as captivating as the first book. Also, trigger warning for those who want to avoid plot points of child abuse, incest and rape; these are fundamental to some of the story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Sad it's done

This was a fabulous book. The world created by N.K. is so vivid and complex. The story is wonderfully written and very compelling. If you read the first book in this series, this is definitely the next one to read. If you haven't read the first book, read it then follow up with this one!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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beautiful

the first book is about death, but this one is about life, love and desire. a gorgeous, powerful fantasy novel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • Champaign, IL, United States
  • 03-24-16

Cultures as characters. Delightful.

The Bambara culture is delightful: vivacious, earthy, soaring individualists, a perfect counterbalance to the Gujaharenes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!

Where does The Shadowed Sun rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is my favorite audiobook I've listened to so far. Narration put you right in the world and story swept me away!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • Denver, Colorado, United States
  • 08-13-14

Great, not spectacular like the first

I really liked the first book better than this one because it had a greater sense of presence than this book. That said I did enjoy this book quite a bit. Start with The Killing Moon then continue to this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

delicious with a slightly saccharine aftertaste

I really enjoyed this book, with the singular exception of the ending, which I cannot, of course, discuss. Without dropping too many spoilers (don't worry, lots of characters die) I can say that it was uncharacteristically, uncomfortably saccharine, for an author who I read precisely because she does *not* adhere to the usual guidelines schtick; with that singular exception, I really enjoyed this book.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Trigger Warning: too many rape scenes.

Personally, I frequently feel that one rape scene is too many. But this book has three intimately described rape scenes, one of them fairly violent. Plus two other interrupted almost-rape scenes. Plus the forced incest and long term horrific abuse.
Not to mention that one of the main characters, someone we're eventually supposed to regard as the hero, intentionally and knowingly sets up a woman to get almost raped.
I am not okay with this as a plot line. I have greatly enjoyed many of NK Jemisin's books. I like that her characters are ambiguous and complicated and struggle. But I am not okay with this book.

I love the world building and the intriguing style of magic. I love the different cultures, and the characters learning to check their assumptions about "civilized" or not. I love the un-simple conflict where you can see the different perspectives people bring to an argument.

I love that the story is set up to follow the first woman allowed into an all-male religious and magical role. I love watching her learn about herself, learn about her fellows and how and why they treat her differently. I love that she is not a cliche.

But the cavalier way rape is treated in this story leaves me very unhappy, uncomfortable and angry. Rape is not a convenient way to move the plot along. It is not okay to have your hero treat it as a tool. It is not okay to glorify the horror of rape just to give your character a back story, but not deal with the results. You cannot call one man the villain because he rapes his daughter and forces her to have sex with another man, and call that same other man the hero because he "didn't know" she was being forced. That is still rape. And I am NOT OKAY with the main character, a prince who is rewarded with love and his historic kingdom, being a rapist.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed both the series and the conclusion!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Shadowed Sun to be better than the print version?

Yes. The narration added a layer of depth to it I quite appreciated.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Shadowed Sun?

The dream war, when the prince and the sharer struggled against the wild dreamer.

Have you listened to any of Sarah Zimmerman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Only the first book in this series, I enjoyed her narration of both books, however.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

This book had a rare and satisfying conclusion, I was glad to have invested the time listening.

Any additional comments?

I have never read anything by NK Jemison I didn't enjoy - while this was an earlier set of stories, it compares well to her later work. I also finished her most recent series ending with "The Obelisk Gate" which was a fantastic read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Emily
  • Maryland, USA
  • 04-02-18

another fantastic story from Jemisin

What did you love best about The Shadowed Sun?

I loved the complexity of the characters. Nothing seemed cliché about any of them. The character development is phenomenal. However, I also adore how Jemisin weaves in themes of oppression, resistance, and equality/rights into her stories, and this one knocked it out of the park. Social and cultural commentary for the fantasy world is seamlessly woven into the fabric of this book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Shadowed Sun?

It's too hard to pick just one.

Have you listened to any of Sarah Zimmerman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have--I listened to the first Dreamblood book that she narrated right before this one. Her narration is spectacular, though I would have liked if she attempted to portray different characters better through her voice. This isn't a narration that you can determine the character just by the diction and cadence used.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. I nearly did. Downloaded it four or five days ago, and I'm severely disappointed that it's over now!

Any additional comments?

The only reason I gave this four stars for the story is that it contains abusive content. While I understand how it was used to develop the plot, it wasn't something I was expecting to hear, nor is it something I particularly enjoy. Warning that this book does contain child abuse, incest, rape, and assault.