The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms left off with Yeine, barbarian princess, completely changing the status-quo and achieving godhood. How can a goddess be the main character of a story? She’s too high on the scale for me to care about her issues. Gods are only interesting as they affect other characters.
NK Jemisin gets around this by not giving Yeine a major part in The Broken Kingdoms. Instead we jump ahead ten years and meet Oree Shoth, a blind woman who sells trinkets in Shadow – the place where the city Sky used to be until Yeine grew a world-tree around the sky-high palace. Oree has magic of some sort, and her can see a glow where the gods are. She’s getting along OK selling her art. Then the gods start messing up her life. Then humans start messing up her life. Then she starts making them regret it.
* A blind woman is busy getting on with her life, please don’t stop to pity her blindness unless it means she can jack up the price of her trinkets. 😉
* The villain from the last book does not get a happy ending. He does not get to be happy at all, because his victims are still judging him. (Hi, child-god Sieh, thanks for remembering that kids hold grudges like anything)
* The villain from the last book! I figured out his disguise about 2 pages before it was revealed!
* The blind woman does not miraculously become a wonderful swords-woman or fighter. Instead she has to think her way out of bad situations. And her magical development is clearly processed from ‘dad showed me this’ to ‘if enemy can do this, maybe I can do that?’
* The devotees of the God of Light are conspiring against the other devotees. Does anyone know about this new sect?
* Coolest plot twist as Oree tries to protect her god-lover and the knife *spoiler spoiler*
* Oree’s new house-guest kills himself – and comes back to life – and kills himself. Too much death.
* All the gods bunched together in one house couldn’t protect one woman from attack?
* The god of light breaks his own rules and there are no consequences. Boo.
The Double Take:
* The palace on a stem that was on the cover of the previous book is now a palace with a world-tree growing through it. *croggle* I want art. Lots of art.
* A blind woman paints. Whut.
* Holes in the world!