“Kingdom of Gods” by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit, 2011)


N. K. Jemisin’s final book of her Inheritance Trilogy is a thrilling what if that goes where few think or expect it to go, and then continues on to new and unpredictable destinations.  For two thousand years, the powerful Arameri family has ruled and controlled the gods that created them, but now the gods are free and the Arameri’s power is weakening.  Jemisin brings the series to a building crescendo of a close that is both shocking and fitting for the world, changing it forever.

Readers became familiar with the childishly cute and trickster godling, Sieh, in the Broken Kingdoms.  In Kingdom of Gods, readers get to experience and enjoy this wonderfully detailed and complex world from the viewpoint of this powerful being.  Beginning with a playful introduction as Sieh behaves like the godling he is, playing with children’s minds, satisfying his own whim.  There are two youngsters he fixates on: the beautiful Shahar, next in line to rule, and her twin brother Dekarta, who is young and powerful in his own right.  Then a freak accident occurs as all three join hands and Sieh attempts to use his godling power.

When Sieh awakens, the godling is alive but weak.  Returning to Shahar and Dekarta, he discovers that much time has passed and they are now teenagers.  Also the godling soon notices there is something very wrong with him: he is aging, growing older, like a human.  The gods that conceived him are unable to stop this process and he must confront this new fate, as well as work with Shahar and Dekarta as they face the approaching evil, the Maelstrom, which will consume the entire world.

Kingdom of Gods is a great finale to the trilogy, going down many unpredicted paths and pushing the characters to their very limits.  Readers will be riveted to the page, wondering who will live and who might die and how exactly it will all end.  And will there be a world left after?

Originally written on March 14, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

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