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The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

The Broken Kingdoms (edition 2010)

by N.K. Jemisin

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6874013,926 (4.02)91
Title:The Broken Kingdoms
Authors:N.K. Jemisin
Info:Orbit (2010), Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library, Read, BOX10

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The Broken Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin


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The Broken Kingdoms is the second in Jemisin’s Inheritance trilogy. Despite that, I believe that you could read The Broken Kingdoms independently of its predecessor, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. However, I did like The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms better, so I would suggest starting with that book.

The plot springs from Oree Shoth, a blind artist, taking in a homeless man. If you’ve read the first book, you can probably guess who he is. From there, Oree becomes caught up in a conspiracy involving murdered godlings.

Unfortunately, I found this plot rather dull. Oree seems to stumble from one event to the next, and a lot of potentially interesting things happen off page.

Speaking of Oree, I’m not so sure about her being a blind painter. I can understand how she “sees” magic, as I’m guessing that magic is something actually perceived by senses other than sight. However, she also conveniently sees her own paintings? I guess the explanation for this is that her paintings are magic (presumably?), but at a certain point a blind character being able to see things like this becomes questionable. It also feels like she’s using the trope of “the blind can see things other people can’t.”

I didn’t find the romance scenes as bothersome as in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, but that’s not saying much. I did skip one scene near the end, but the rest were at least readable. I think the problem is that you know practically from the get go who Oree’s going to end up with, even if it makes zero sense. The romance is then foisted in with tired old tropes like “love interest is injured and must be warmed with body heat!” This is entirely groan worthy and characterizes most of Jemisin’s attempts to write romance.

On the bright side, I loved the descriptions of the city, which is overshadowed by a giant tree. Jemisin really managed to create the feel of a strange and magical place.

Anway, overall I felt lukewarm about The Broken Kingdoms. I will read the sequel, and hopefully I’ll like it more. I guess I would recommend The Broken Kingdoms to people looking for an urban fantasy that’s a bit different or to people who want to know more about the world of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Mar 9, 2015 |
This is a very different kind of book than it's predecessor The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and can almost stand as a stand alone if more about the world was explained like it was in the first book. The characters from the first book only make a few appearances. I enjoyed reading the book; I stayed up way late to finish it last night, but at the same time I don't know what to think of it. I liked it, but I didn't like the ending. I like to get closure and I don't feel I got any here. With most trilogies you can just say that the next book will have that closure, but with this trilogy which each book focused on a totally different cast of characters, I don't feel that I can expect that. But the story was intriguing and kept me reading. I haven't decided if I'll read the third book or not. The writing isn't too bad and the stories are good, but we'll see. ( )
  Kassilem | Feb 1, 2015 |
This book more or less suffered the same as the last book. Only this time with a super controlling love interest that's also a god. Lest to say in the end it is a man that once again has to rush to the rescue of the lead and save her and everyone. The book showed a bit more promise than that, but ultimately failed. ( )
  Maverynthia | May 5, 2014 |
I'm tempted to make this review just one word ("Shiny") but that wouldn't be very helpful now, would it? Neither would me wondering how in the world someone managed to break all one-hundred-thosand kingdoms at once be - that's still a lot of kingdoms though! Did someone just put them on a shelf and let a cat lose in the room?

Alright, alright. I'll stop. So. Both the worldbuilding and the way the exposition is done have improved a lot since the first book in the series. Or maybe I've just gotten used to the latter? I'm not sure, I breezed through this book so quickly. Shadow definitely felt more alive than Sky did though, which might have been intentional... once again there's an intriguing mystery plot weaved through the rest of the narrative and once again I enjoyed it a lot - maybe even a bit more than in the first book.

And once again I'm here mostly for the characters, whose characterisation I just loved. Oree and Shiny are the ones that stand out the most, but I also got a really solid sense of who Madding or Hado (...) are and enjoyed the glimpses at all the other godlings and humans who showed up in this story, even if sometimes they were gone a page after they first showed up. And sometimes they showed up again when I least expected them to...

You know what else is happening again? I can't really properly gush about why I love all these characters without huge spoilers. But I love them, and the writing and commentary and the style and and and---

what can I say, it's a very shiny book.

(Sorry.) (Not really.) ( )
  Lymsleia | Mar 23, 2014 |
I have issues with human/god romantic liaisons due to power differentials. However this aspect of the book felt better integrated than it did when (a couple of years ago now) I read the first book of the trilogy. Can only assume the third book will continue the theme.

Actually I think I liked this one better on the whole than the first one in other ways too, though my memory of the first is vague now. I did at times get confused around what was going on (especially trying to figure out what I was supposed to remember what was going on) but mostly everything was revealed at just the right points to keep me rapidly turning pages. ( )
  zeborah | Mar 20, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jemisin, N. K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Freeman, CasaundraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, CliffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Panepinto, LaurenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
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. However, this act of kindness is to engulf 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?
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After a band of killers begins murdering godlings, blind artist Oree Shoth wonders if her recent guest is at the heart of it, his presence putting her in danger.

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2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Orbit Books

2 editions of this book were published by Orbit Books.

Editions: 0316043966, 0316043958


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