The Kingdom of the Gods: Ends an engaging trilogy

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fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews N.K. Jemisin The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms audiobookThe Kingdom of the Gods by N.K. Jemisin

The Kingdom of the Gods concludes N.K. Jemisin’s debut series roughly a century after book two, The Broken Kingdoms, by focusing on Sieh, who seems to be dying despite being a god. And, once again, the end of the world as we know it becomes a major plot point.

THE INHERITANCE TRILOGY garnered a lot of praise with each book. While I didn’t have quite the same level of response, I did find the series entirely engaging throughout, mostly due to the voice of the narrators and the creative use of the gods and their stories.

The Kingdom of the Gods is bothersomely overlong. It definitely lagged in places for me even though I enjoyed the overall story. I would have been happy to see it lose 100-150 or so pages. Sieh is a good choice of character and his dying adds a good sense of urgency to the storyline, an urgency that gets ramped up by the apocalyptic nature of another threat. The gods become deeper characters in this one, and the book as a whole has more of an emotional and philosophical heft to it than the prior two (another reason I bemoaned its too-long nature as it dilutes that heft a bit).

Overall, while I didn’t have the same blown-away reaction as many did, I was wholly engaged through nearly the entire trilogy with only a few patches of dead narrative space. The main characters are fully drawn, as are many of the secondary characters. I also liked the way the books explored serious themes throughout, especially themes of loneliness and power. I would have liked more worldbuilding and less romance, but those were relatively minor complaints compared to how the books mostly swept me along. Recommended.

Published in 2012: For two thousand years the Arameri family has ruled the world by enslaving the very gods that created mortalkind. Now the gods are free, and the Arameri’s ruthless grip is slipping. Yet they are all that stands between peace and world-spanning, unending war. Shahar, last scion of the family, must choose her loyalties. She yearns to trust Sieh, the godling she loves. Yet her duty as Arameri heir is to uphold the family’s interests, even if that means using and destroying everyone she cares for. As long-suppressed rage and terrible new magics consume the world, the Maelstrom — which even gods fear — is summoned forth. Shahar and Sieh: mortal and god, lovers and enemies. Can they stand together against the chaos that threatens? Includes a never before seen story set in the world of the Inheritance Trilogy.

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BILL CAPOSSERE, who's been with us since June 2007, lives in Rochester NY, where he is lately spending much of his time trying to finish a book-length collection of essays and a full-length play. His prior work has appeared in Colorado Review, Rosebud, Alaska Quarterly, and other journals and been recognized in the "Notable Essays" section of several Best American Essay anthologies. When he's not writing, reading, reviewing, co-writing the Malazan Empire re-read at Tor.com, or working as an English adjunct, he can usually be found with his wife and son on the frisbee golf course, the ultimate frisbee field, or trying to keep up with his wife's flute and his son's trumpet on the clarinet he just picked up this month.

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One comment

  1. Jesslyn /

    I enjoyed the 1st book the most–it was the one that blew me away. I didn’t really care as much for the 2nd and 3rd book. I will be reading her other series because the way Ms. Jemisin puts words together is pretty magical.

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