( Kindle ) ♹ The Broken Kingdoms ♨ MOBI eBook or Kindle ePUB free
I ve thought a lot about why N.K Jemisin s writing doesn t appeal as much to me as it should Undoubtedly, The Broken Kingdoms was an infinitely better book than The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms You could almost see Jemisin grow as a writer and as a person, as the world becomes vivid and real to her than the scattered pieces of lore she inserted into the first book The writing style and characterizations, too, felt smoother and personal All in all, The Broken Kingdoms was a better reading experience But there is one common thread between these books that really disturbs me on a personal level Jemisin seems to like making her heroines so very helpless It s not a function of disenfranchisement or marginalization that makes them so it seems to be built into them, this instinct to fall apart when the shit hits the fan Like Yeine in the first book, Oree spends a lot of time being the victim of circumstance Her actions rarely empower her, and her epiphanies are all forced out of her by the actions of other people There were way too many times in this book where she was not just fatalistic about her impending death, but actually ready and willing to embrace it And not in a positive way, either mostly she knew it was coming and didn t do anything but accept it The other area where Jemisin leaves me cold are her romantic relationships In fact, I think both The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Broken Kingdoms would have been better, solid books if the author hadn t tried to write a romance into them Tried being the operative word view spoiler For me, the romance between Madding and Oree was far moving and convincing than the romance between Itempas and Oree I think this is because of two things a Since Oree and Madding were already established as a couple before the book started, there was no need for Jemisin to try to develop the romance, which seems to be a weak point of hers, and b I felt like the author wasn t trying to force a feeling of love between these two characters, since she knew Madding was going to die anyway, and that made it so much real than the unconvincing romance between Oree and Itempas I would have liked this book so much better if it had developed the friendship between Shiny and Oree without resorting to a romance trope hide spoiler So when I heard that the sequel to The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was about a blind woman who could see magic and who was a painter I made A Face A blind woman who sees magic and paints I mean, seriously, this is the disability equivalent of the magical negro, you guys, and my face was not impressed.After reading the book, I m mostly puzzled Because it was a pretty good book, full of win on several measures, and I just didn t care all that much It s about a fallen god, but not about how our heroine saves him with her vagina In fact, it s mostly about her, imagine that, against a background not muddied by assorted racial and sexual fail And hell, it even did a pretty good job with a blind point of view I spent a hundred pages grumbling to myself about how the narrative didn t feel peculiar to me, about how nothing stuck out, where was the POV work oh Nothing was sticking out at me, because the inner landscape sounded a lot like mine, with visual referents used only as far as they ve been culturally absorbed from everyone else, not because they actually mean anything to her Though the occasions when she could see via looking at magic were weirdly pedestrian to me, described almost completely in bog standard visual terms It felt like cheating, frankly, like functional sight could be flicked on and off at narrative convenience But it mostly wasn t about the Amazing Insight TM that that narrator has by being disabled or whatever, so there s that.But mostly, eh Didn t care much And when there s a book about a blind woman my age who broke from her family to move across a continent to live on her own near the center of power who lived my life, basically and I don t care Someone brilliant said these books feel like anime, and that is so fucking true Long haired emo gods, and people with thematically significant names, and, well, a blind woman who paints.And sees magic And paints I cannot point that out enough Because really. This novel was easily and truly better, imho, than the first in the trilogy.From start to finish I loved the gentle rolling cadences of the story, the hope for a better life in the middle of so much poverty, even when it was the godlings and a certain shiny god that was experiencing the poverty I originally thought this might actually turn out to be a mainline tale of redemption, and it was, for the most part, but I was even surprised to enjoy the fact that it was a tale of demons, or the progeny of gods and mortals, if you prefer, and I don t mind either way I thought it was a very beautiful story I ve got a really huge soft spot in my heart for tales like this.Even if it s a redemption tale for the biggest asshole in the first book Oh, but let me be clear, here Shiny hardly gets anything that he desires, and the briefest of tastes of happiness is still going to have to last him for the next two thousand years, if twilight and darkness continue to have any say in it, but it s the glimmer of hope that I choose to focus on.I m certain that Oree would agree with me I really love her She s the consummate observer, strong in will and understanding, and never lets her blindness hold her back The little gift she holds makes her very interesting and gives the reason and impetus of the story, as well, but than that, it throws us into the middle of the lives of the godlings without ever being truly a part of it Such a nice balancing act The realism and the humorous beginnings, aside, the plot was nothing to sneeze at, either The direct implications may not have been as grandiose as the first novel, but the long term definitely was The complete assassination of all the gods Wow And the ignorance was just as staggering, giving me a great time yelling at the bad guys, saying No, don t You idiot Don t you know Too funny I really enjoyed this novel Jemisin is a master storyteller I m going to be running through her entire catalog before long. It is kind of unfair that I measure N K Jemisin s book against her other books because this one was exceptionally brilliant as well, just not quite as awe inspiring as The Fifth Season So, for any other author this probably would have been a five star read as well, but I can t get myself to award them I am absolutely, 100% in love with her writing and I cannot wait to read book of hers The next book in the series is already smiling at me from my night stand so I will probably not have the willpower to not start it sooner than later After the events of the last book, Sky or Shadow as it is now called has fundamentally changed, for one thing there is now the massive tree growing in the middle of the city But importantly the godlings have returned and are mingling with humans When one of these godlings turns up dead, Oree Shoth, a blind artist able to see magic, is pulled into a dangerous and weird turn of events What I loved than anything was how the focus of the story shifted and we get to see Yeine and Sieh and Nahadoth from a totally different perspective This changes so much about them and recontextualizes so much about their behaviour and the way they appear while still maintaining a core of what they seemed like when the reader was closer to them I so so loved this Sieh was even otherworldly and even cruel without Yeine s love for him colouring the way the reader experiences him I thought that this was such a brilliant writing choice and I cannot wait to see how his characterization develops in the last book I love how the way the stories are framed make so much sense in universe while also serving as a way of distinguishing Jemisin s world from others.N K Jemisin has such a brilliant way with worldbuilding while at the same time never forgetting the emotional core of her storywriting and I cannot think of many authors, fantasy or otherwise, who are as adept at this I have said it before, but THIS is why I read fantasy.PS I have changed my rating to 5 stars anyways because I do love it so. ( Kindle ) ♂ 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
What fascinated me with the first book in the series was how rich the world building was for a series so short in pages I love background on characters, history etc Especially if this history is mainly on Gods created for a fictional universe This one was a really descent follow up, and like the first book I loved how fast paced it was N.K Jemisin has a knack for narrating amazing stories with incredibly interesting and complex characters She knows how to uncomplicate them too, though and that s the most important thing of all So, this one follows a different plot and different characters from the first and that was the first thing stroke me as strange but I got used to it real fast.While the first one is about ascension to divinity, this one was about the Gods offsprings, intriguing and very original Oree, the main character, is the pigheaded kind of woman, and she s very interesting to read about, since you can t easily predict what her next move s gonna be.Oree is blind, for some reason though she can see magic, and whatever creature is holding magic within it Her paintings are vivid things, coming to life when she wills them Real interesting, huh Death, love, passion, anger, and some pretty good twists made up for this really good follow up If you ve read the first book and liked it then I heartily recommend this to you. Well, having drooled all over the first in this series, I didn t QUITE love it as much as the other, but the bar was set so high it would have been extremely hard to outdo my love for the first protagonist I found myself feeling disloyal when I sided with this one occasionally, haha.This book was very good though, I was definitely engrossed except for a section where I got impatient with the character s plight, I don t want to spoil but I think anyone who reads will know what I m referring to The world was further filled out from the first book in interesting ways, and the ultimate twists in character were unexpected.I think the biggest thing I liked about it was that it took the plot of the first novel, and twisted it to see from a differing characters POV It was interesting to see events differently, and emphasized that there is no black and white, just gray subjectivity Can t wait for 3 now compelling adventures in the second volume of N.K Jemisin s Inheritance trilogy this one features a mortal trying to deal with a bunch of gods, a fanatical cult, and the slow shift in culture taking place on a mystical world the novel is pure high fantasy, but in its popping pace, realistic cynical perspective, often snappy dialogue, and Big City setting as well as the polished but not particularly distinctive prose , it felt much like an urban fantasy novel rather than one taking place entirely outside of our own reality this is not to its detriment in particular during the first quarter, which sketches the heroine s life as a young artist trying to make her way in the big city with a little help from her friends the beginning made me recall my own 20s, finding my way in San Francisco.quite possible to read as a standalone it has been several years since I read the first novel in the series, and for the first half of the book I really wasn t connecting any dots between books, and that was fine although after a consult with Wikipedia and the author s own webpage, some of the characters had quite a bit resonance after recalling their parts in the first book but a WARNING consulting Wikipedia about which gods are which meant I was seriously spoiled in regards to the second half of the book the gods were fascinating although a couple of them may as well have been humans, most were sufficiently strange and unearthly to truly seem a race apart my favorite was the whimsical, sinister child god Sieh, who it turns out was my favorite in the first book too the conception and characterization of Shiny great nickname was pretty impressive and often really funny, for such an aloof and often threatening god I also really dug the first level of that one god s mansion, which was basically a floor full of differently sized whirlpools and hot tubs I could live there.the protagonist was the most compelling part of the book ideally this should always be the case but unfortunately it is often not but at least in The Broken Kingdoms we have a wonderfully complicated, pugnacious, relatable heroine who capably carries the whole of the story on her shoulders a heroine with a disability that is detailed without a whiff of maudlin sympathy and that is only one part of her, and not even the defining part just one part of a fascinating whole Oree has agency and angst and anger and energy she s a dynamic character, always moving forward she s never a bystander and I loved that. The Broken Kingdoms Liked this better than the first bookOriginally posted at Fantasy LiteratureBased on The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate the first two books in her BROKEN EARTH trilogy , N.K Jemisin immediately became my favorite SFF author of this decade Her DREAMBLOOD series was also very good, an original fantasy based on Egyptian and Nubian themes However, as I was working backwards, I got to her earliest series last, the INHERITANCE trilogy And in comparison, I thought The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was not as amazing as her BROKEN EARTH books In particular, the YA mortal girl falls for sexy but troubled immortal guy aspect really didn t interest me.So I was pleasantly surprised by The Broken Kingdoms, her follow up to The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms It dialed back on the romance elements somewhat, and I really liked the heroine Oree Shoth, a young blind woman who sells art to religious pilgrims who come to Shadow, the city below the World Tree that grew following the climactic events of the previous book The reign of Bright Itempas came to an end, the Gray Lady was born or reborn, perhaps , and Nahadoth the Night Lord was freed, along with a host of godlings who made their new homes in Shadow It is a fascinating milieu, and one I much preferred to the palace intrigues of the first book In addition, we see the lives of commoners and street merchants.What is really great about this book is that we see the events and characters of the first book from a completely different perspective, that of Oree She is special for two reasons she is blind, but she also has an ability to to see the magical auras projected by goslings and scriveners So in her world of darkness, these beings glow with bright auras And when one day she stumbles over the dead body of a murdered godling and then takes in a strange man who glows very brightly, she names him Shiny since he doesn t offer his name or any other information , her life will never be the same.Oree is a great heroine, one who refuses to let her blindness become a disability or excuse to give up on life She has a circle of friends who help her, and she makes a precarious living by selling her art In fact, despite her blindness, she has an uncanny knack for creating incredible paintings that have real power However, she knows that revealing this ability may attract the unwanted attention of the Order Keepers of Itempas Since the godlings have been released unto the world once again, the political and religious climate has been thrown into flux Several religious orders still revere Itempas, and the Arameri still hold political power in Sky, but beneath the surface many factions seek to leverage the situation to their advantage As it turns out, one group in particular wants to completely upset the hierarchy of the gods, and is murdering godlings as a means to this end They decide that Oree s abilities may be of use to them and come in pursuit.Oree, Shiny, and their allies find themselves entangled in a series of intrigues that will reveal unexpected strengths and powers However, their enemies are ruthless and powerful Finally, the gods themselves will get involved, and we will see new sides to them as things come to a head in the finale There is even a coda that adds a bittersweet note to the lives of the two main characters In hindsight I thought the characters, plot, pacing, and world building of The Broken Kingdoms was superior to the first book Sure, there were still mortal god romance elements that I could live without, but it didn t overwhelm the story here Jemisin also revealed a lot backstory about the War of the Gods and the religious and political ramifications of events of the first book More than anything, the descriptions of Oree s world, in many ways a hyper reality informed by her unique visualizations, was something fresh and intriguing Casaundra Freeman remained the narrator for this book, and she does an exemplary job with the characters and story she tells the story with relish and enthusiasm So I would be willing to give the third book Kingdom of the Gods a try, but for some inexplicable reason Brilliance Audio has not produced an audio version. Original review posted on The Book SmugglersWarning this review contains necessary spoilers for book 1 as well some minor spoilers for book 2 If you read book 1, you should be ok.The day I started reading The Broken Kingdoms was the day I did not go to bed at all I ve been really busy lately with Work and Real Life and my reading time has unfortunately suffered as a consequence I always used to read till about midnight every day but these days this is a rare occurrence as I tend to kaput way before that Enter The Broken Kingdoms, the sequel to The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms one of my top 10 reads of 2010 , A.K.A the book that has kept me awake until I was done reading it Because it is FABULOUS and I loved it as much as I loved its predecessor and that is no mean feat given how that book blew my mind away.It s been ten years since the events at the end of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms The world and its people are still in the process of understanding what exactly happened that day when a God fell, another was freed and a Goddess was reborn How exactly those events affect the political system that kept the Thousand Kingdoms under the rule of the Arameri the Human family that held the power of Gods and the religious system that sustained everything is still left to be seen Because the cohesiveness of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is effectively broken the Arameri have lost most of their power and Kingdoms are regaining their freedom and starting to stand on their own feet the one Order that worshiped Bright Itempas, the One God that ruled them all, started to lose its importance just as other Gods major and minor have come back and entered the worshipping roster.In a smaller scale, people are minding their own business around the city Oree, the narrator of this book, is a blind artist she can t see with her eyes, but she can see with her magic trying to make her living but having a hard time staying away from Gods and Godlings s business she is, as per her own words, a woman plagued by Gods The former lover of Madding, a minor Godling whom she still has strong reciprocated feelings for and friends with a strange figure that turned up at a rubbish bin near her house and who she ended up inviting to stay over This bloke whom she calls Shiny for his ability to shine when the sun is rising, speaks very little and dies a lot only to resuscitate almost immediately If you read the previous book, you will know who that is and why he is the way he is Oree doesn t at least not to start with and part of the fun of this book is to see how long it will take her to figure out who he really is Speaking of fun, please allow me an aside oh, the cameos I loved them.The real plot kicks in when Oree comes across a dead Godling, something that should have been an impossibility as only other Gods could ever have the power to do something like this This whodunit is part of a larger plot that has to do with religious fanatics and political factions which in turn has to do with the even larger question of identity, of the relationship between Gods and Humans and ultimately the power balance between the three major Gods of this pantheon.And it is in this combination of the small scale and the big picture that lays the excellence of this series Oree is the main protagonist of this novel and the murder mystery the moving force of the plot but they are not the centre of this universe no, the central aspect of these novels are the three gods and their relationship with each other and with the universe at large How they balance each other or not , how their presence and or absence influence the universe and how their relationship with puny humans have consequences.This is fascinating because it is so well played out by the author She somehow manages to make Oree important even as it is than clear that her importance is a fleeting thing She is after all, mortal, nothing but a blink in time in contrast to Gods and forces that are basically eternal She is important because she matters to the people who know her like any other person in the world ok, so perhaps she matters just a little bit in the end given her heritage but still Her narrative is awesome Granted it is not as spectacular as the one in the previous book but I have yet to find a narrative that engaged me so much as Yeine s all the backs and forths were exactly what I loved the most about that book Yeine s narrative was spectacular because it was grand, tense and urgent Oree s is less so, it is friendly, focused and intimate almost like a conversation In fact, yes, it feels as though Oree is conversing with the reader the truth is something else entirely but not that far from this How is that for cryptic Because of this sense of intimacy, I felt her fear, her love, her chagrin, her grief, her isolation and loneliness as well as her fierceness and I loved her.One of my favourite scenes is when Shiny tells his side of his story and although I felt for him a small Very, very small degree of sympathy, I was interested in hearing how Oree was relaying his story, how she felt about it and how she reacted to it There is a great examination of how meaningful regret even true, heartfelt regret is in face of terrible acts And how cool was it to see her, as a blind painter, understanding and examining the nature of Light Although there are themes such as identity, freedom, humans x Gods not to mention, of course the overarching story of the three Gods that connect The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Broken Kingdoms, the two books are very different I would say that The Broken Kingdoms is less dramatic and is thoughtful and quiet than its predecessor It is SO sad and has an extremely bittersweet emphasis on the bitter yet fitting and therefore, perfect ending It would have made my top 10 last year had I read it in time and I have been beating myself up for waiting this long to read it I will not make the same mistake with the last book, The Kingdom of Gods It is on my nightstand staring at me I predict another sleepless night And I welcome it.