Friday, June 17, 2011

Review: The Broken Kingdoms by J. K. Jemisin

Summary: "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 strange homeless man on an impulse. This act of kindness engulfs Oree in a nightmarish conspiracy. Someone, somehow, is murdering godlings, leaving their desecrated bodies all over the city. And Oree's guest is at the heart of it. . ."

My interest in the story fluctuated.  I found Oree complex but overall a boring character. The world of Shadow, however, was interesting. The way magic worked for mortals and the social structure of the city, Shadow, helped make up for my disinterest in other parts of the book. It became obvious who was behind the intrigue and why so I wasn't reading to see what happened.

What kept me coming back to the book was Jemisin's writing style. I love the way she describes the world and action scenes. Sometimes I find many writers have difficulty writing concise action scenes that are easy to picture but Jemisin's action scenes were great. The chapters are titled like paintings and we are told with what materials the "painting" is  made. Along with Oree being an painter, the chapter titles gave the book an artistic feel. I liked trying to figure out what the chapter would be about based on the titles.

The Broken Kingdoms continues where the first book, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, left off but does so through mostly new characters. Only a few from the first book made brief appearances. I found the first book to be very heavy on the romance while The Broken Kingdoms focused much more on the "the story."

I'm not sure if I'll read the final book in The Inheritance Trilogy when it comes out. I felt like the story ended with this book but I may read the last just to see it through. I  do suggest reading the first book and not jumping ahead. It will make much more sense who this "homeless man" is and why he acts the way he does if you've read book one. This text counts towards the PoC Reading Challenge!

Publisher: Orbit, 2010     Pages: 416
Rating: 3 Stars     Source: Public Library

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