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#54 The Broken Kingdoms by NK Jemisin

Oree Shoth is a self-proclaimed “woman plagued by gods.” The latest god to enter her life (and home) is a man whose abilities appear to be limited to glowing with the rising sun, and resurrecting himself once he has been killed. But Oree's life is complex enough even without her strange house guest. She is a blind woman with the unique ability to see magic. When a godling is murdered in an ally near where she sells her artwork, the city of Shadow begins to panic. Who or what could be so powerful to kill a god?

The Broken Kingdoms is the second book in The Inheritance Trilogy. You don't have to be familiar with the first book to enjoy it, although you're bound to guess at the direction of the story if your familiar with the outcome of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Despite the fact that the two novels are pretty stand alone, it's difficult to read The Broken Kingdoms without comparing it to it's predecessor. Admittedly, I don't think The Broken Kingdoms quite lived up to the very high standards made by The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, but I still felt it was a very enjoyable book.

Oree proves to be a likable protagonist. At times I was skeptical that she was able to really see everything she claimed to, but that wasn't too much of a distraction. Similar to The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, Oree finds romance with the gods. Her relationship with the godling Matting grabbed my attention because we enter their story not at the beginning of their love, but almost at the end. Oree and Matting have tried a relationship, and despite the fact that it did not work out, they still share affection. I thought this was a nice change of pace from what's normally found in fantasy literature. Similar to the first book in the series, there is some really interesting world building to be found here. I enjoyed watching the results of Yeine's actions at the end of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, especially in ways it impacted the books' religious system. The storyline involving the murder of the gods and the role that Oree comes to play can be quite exciting, and it connects to the characters in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms in ways I did not suspect.

Despite enjoying The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms in print form, I decided to listen to The Broken Kingdoms on audiobook. I was pretty happy with the performance of the narrator, Casaundra Freeman. Her efforts were a little more low key than I'm used to, but at times she could be surprisingly moving. As a result, I would recommend giving the audio version a chance.

The Broken Kingdoms
is a very enjoyable fantasy novel filled with dangerous magic, an exciting storyline, and enjoyable romance. I'm quite happy I finally picked it up.

Rating: four and a half stars
Length: the print version is 411 pages
Source: Readfield Community Library
Other books I've read by this author: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

Next I will be reviewing The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold and Naamah's Blessing by Jacqueline Carey

xposted to temporaryworlds , bookish , and goodreads
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