The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
Gorgeous! And it echoes the cover of the first, while still being distinct.
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. This act of kindness engulfs 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?
This is the second of three volumes. They do each focus on different characters, and so could conceivably be read as standalones.
So wonderful. Jemisin is such a good writer.
Worldbuilding! Jemisin is no Tolkien–which is not to say that she doesn’t have the world fleshed out in her head–but she chooses instead to drop hints and let the reader infer cultural and geographical aspects of the world. Although it’s sometimes frustrating, it keeps the reader intrigued and engaged in a way that Tolkien doesn’t always (for some readers).
Mythology! The mythology of the world is one of the most engaging aspects of the worldbuilding, especially with the “godlings” in this volume.
Cameo Appearances! Although this book focuses on different characters than the first, Nahodoth, Yeine, and others make cameo appearances.
Such beautifully spare writing and fabulous worldbuilding–of course I’m going to recommend it! Seriously, if you like good writing and don’t absolutely hate any kind of fantasy (if so, why are you reading my blog?), then I think you should probably read Jemisin’s work. She is so worth your time.
Borrowed from library, because no one ever sells her books to us at the store! But I would like to own a copy, too.