“The Broken Kingdoms” by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit, 2010)

Broken Kingdoms

After getting a strong introduction of gods, godlings, politics and the complex world in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, the first book of the Inheritance Trilogy, debut author N. K. Jemisin throws the reader right back into the thick of this incredible fantasy with a new character and different viewpoint to this unique and dangerous world.

Oree is blind, but has the ability to see magic and people with magic abilities, such as the gods and godlings.  She spends her days creating original works of art with her special abilities in the city of Shadow beneath the towering World Tree.  Oree gets by with the selling of her work and is able to navigate around the city with little problem.  Then she discovers the corpse of a godling in an alley; after a cursory examination, she soon finds out that the godling has been murdered.  She begins her investigation to find out who did it, while two groups begin pursuing her: one is a fanatical religious group looking for a scapegoat to blame for the murder; the other can only be the people behind the murder.

The Broken Kingdoms is a surprising second book to the trilogy, as it has little to do with most of the original characters of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and is set a decade later.  Yet, perhaps it is this which makes The Broken Kingdoms that much more interesting and compelling, as it is another story in this distinctive world from a completely different viewpoint and storyline.  The book is a welcome sequel that reveals Jemisin’s talents as a writer both with strong characters and good plot, leaving readers anxiously awaiting the conclusion to the trilogy.

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Originally written on December 13, 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.

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