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The Killing Moon (Dreamblood #1)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  6,914 Ratings  ·  971 Reviews
The city burned beneath the Dreaming Moon.

In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and amongst the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers - the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe . . . and kill those judged corrupt.

But when
ebook, 334 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Orbit
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Popular Answered Questions

Annie Not to be mean, but not wanting to buy books in case they are "disappointing" is exactly what libraries are for. A lot of public libraries also listen…moreNot to be mean, but not wanting to buy books in case they are "disappointing" is exactly what libraries are for. A lot of public libraries also listen when patrons are interested in a book they currently do not have, and budget permitting, can acquire it for you/their collection. Goodreads even has a little "library" button under the details of this book, which takes you to WorldCat, where you can type in your zipcode to see if there's a library near you with this book. I'll even post the link here:

Also, the Dreamblood duology was written after the Inheritance series. I personally feel this series is stronger, in terms of writing and world building, but I don't know how to answer your question as you left out what it was about The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms that you didn't like.

Editing to add: Orbit (the publisher) has a sample chapter of this book which is available here:

Hope that helps.(less)
Guillermo From what I understand, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was her first book/series. And by all account s she has definitely improved since then, so I'd…moreFrom what I understand, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was her first book/series. And by all account s she has definitely improved since then, so I'd say give it a chance. (less)

Community Reviews

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May 21, 2012 Carol. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you, if you want an unusual fantasy read
Every now and then, something special brings a new flavor, a blending of colors, an amazing moment, that just leaves me saying 'wow.' Jemisin did that for me in The Killing Moon. An unusual story line, an interesting fantasy world, multi-culti characters, and theological sophistication while being oh-so-readable made for an engrossing, delicious read. I sat down today and read until it was finished, breaking only for dinner and to follow the sun as it shifted around the yard.

The story takes plac
Feb 17, 2017 Brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this one fairly slow going in comparison to how much I loved her other novels, oddly enough. Things went big-time with the Inheritance Cycle and MUCH bigger with The Broken Earth, so I felt like a floundering fish in a relatively deep exploration of two cultures where dream magic is shrouded with dark secrets and a very careful and gentle facade.

The best part is the magic and the world-building, in my honest opinion, but I really shouldn't overlook the importance of just how much ground
David "proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party"
Beautiful, complex, and refreshingly original, The Killing Moon shines bright!

Ehiru-the dreamer- Ehiru is a Gatherer in the city-state of Gujaareh. He has devoted his life to serving the goddess Hananja. Upon taking a commission, he enters a person's dreams and gathers the dreamer's soul so that they will live in peace forever, even though their body dies in the process. Ehiru has never questioned his faith...until now! After a Gathering goes horribly wrong, Ehiru begins to doubt his own magical
The Killing Moon is the first in a new epic fantasy series by the author of the The Inheritance Trilogy, N. K. Jemisin. Jemisin has said that The Killing Moon is her "homage to epic fantasy — as opposed to the Inheritance Trilogy, which was more my eyeroll at epic fantasy". This book hit me hard and stole me away from reality, completely. I was not expecting it. I had read great things about the Inheritance Trilogy, which I really need to read (I now fully understand that I really need to read i ...more
Jan 27, 2013 Felicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Ah NK Jemisin, you can do no wrong. For some reason it took me a long time to pick this up, mainly because I loved her OTHER world so much I got pouty that she was moving onto another one. Well, she built the last one to be amazing, she does no less in this one, perhaps even BETTER.

The blend of cultures and lore she draws on to make this very unique world is just stunning, and the fact that she inhabits it with such 3-dimensional characters is even more impressive. The Gatherers are some of the
Mike (the Paladin)
Aug 26, 2012 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
One of the things I say frequently is, "this was an interesting book". Well, this was an interesting book. The world according to the author has multiple influences...though it springs largely from ancient Egypt. There are influences from all over however and if you care to look you can see them.

Actually however I'd suggest you just relax and enjoy the book. This is an exercise in detailed and skilled world building. Ms. Jemisin had to build the world, lay out the "magic system" and then build t
The Killing Moon: A challenging and excellently-crafted work
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
N.K. Jemisin is my favorite fantasy author of this decade. In just six years, she has already established herself as a major force with three fantasy series to date, INHERITANCE (2010-2011), DREAMBLOOD (2012), and BROKEN EARTH (2015~). What makes her so distinctive is her incredible world-building skills, strong and complex characters and themes, and insistence on avoiding the overused conventions
May 18, 2012 Traci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
I'm really struggling with my rating here. I loved this book. Absolutely and completely. The whole time I was reading it I had that magical feeling going when we read a new favorite book, one of many and many, for the first time. But my conscious is questioning whether it deserves a full five score. For now I'm saying yes. But for any objectiveness you can bring it down to four and a half if you wish.

...Where to start? I'm definitely not going to try to explain the plot. But let's just say for w
Oct 03, 2012 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
N. K. Jemisin was already established for me as a very promising newcomer on the fantasy scene, with her Inheritance series. I was both intrigued and apprehensive about her decision to try something completely different for her second outing, thinking of some rock bands who put out an excellent debut album, only to follow with a lukewarm, rushed second, containing outtakes or failed experiments. But I like her courage to explore new subjects and not stick with one successful setting for an
Simona Stoica
Apr 15, 2015 Simona Stoica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Recenzia completă:

„Ştiai că scrierea poveştilor le ucide?”

După câteva minute risipite în neant, timp în care am admirat coperta şi am zâmbit la scurta notă a autorului, m-am desprins cu uşurinţă de realitate şi de lumea înconjurătoare pentru a păşi pe străzile din cetatea Gujaareh, unde am fost prinsă într-un vis mult prea frumos şi tulburător pentru a-i dori sau grăbi sfârşitul.

Nu este un secret că iubesc cărţile fantasy şi că îmi este teamă de fieca
Aug 01, 2014 Gavin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This turned out to be a bit of a bore. I had high expectations for The Killing Moon due to its non-typical fantasy setting, it was loosely based on ancient Egypt, but N.K.Jemisin's description of her fantasy world was so sparse that I only ever managed to form a vague picture of it.

I was not a great fan of Jemisin's writing in general. As well as the sparse descriptions of the settings this book was lacking in background information that would have made the world, characters, and plot easier to
Jul 11, 2014 Anasylvia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy Lovers
There is nothing to fear in nightmares, so long as you control them.

Two things about me: I love ancient Egypt anything. I love fantasy.
Combine those two things what do you get? One very happy Anasylvia.

I’ve been hearing amazing things about N.K. Jemisin for a very long time. I was actually planning on reading her Inheritance Trilogy, but then I saw this one, and just take a second to look at that cover. Isn’t a beaut? And well after learning about the ancient Egyptian like setting, I ne
Wow... That was amazing. This is a fantastic book. 2012 continues to prove a fertile year for fantasy with the first in a new series by NK Jemisin. So far, it appears that there will only be two books, this volume and the next, titled The Shadowed Sun, which I'll be acquiring as soon as it comes out, which is thankfully on a payday for me.

Overall, I enjoyed this book more than The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. The growth in her writing is extremely evident. Her distinct authorial voice is still th
Aug 31, 2016 Alina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
It takes some time to get into the story, as it starts with a whole new creation myth for an exquisite world, new and unknown concepts. I heartly recommend reading the glossary at the end before starting the book, as it may considerably ease your immersion into the story. I loved how each chapter begins with a quote from Hetawa's Law or Wisdom, helping you better understand the society and its system of beliefs.

The characters are exceptionally well written, all complex and layered, with flawed a
I've liked fantasy, or at least the idea of it, pretty much since I could read. And yet my feelings about the high/epic/whatever variety have always been rocky. Some of my favorite and least favorite books fall under that category, and the latter caused me to steer clear of the genre for the last few years. Even so, this quote by JRR Tolkien sums up why I didn't give up entirely:

I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it i
Arielle Walker
“True dreamers are both geniuses and madmen. Most lands can tolerate only a few, and those die young.”

What a stunning, stunning read. Jemisin's universe is utterly immersive, her world building solid, and the details she gives us actually stay consistent - without info-dumps or hammer-over-head obviousness.

It's heartbreaking to realise how few fantasy books there are available, still, with a POC as a main character. It's heartbreaking to realise how few books there are available, still, that a
Don't let my 2-star rating dissuade you from reading this book. The Killing Moon was not for me. There are aspects of the book I enjoyed such as the magic system and desert setting but the story didn't click with me.

The Killing Moon follows 3 main characters. Sunandi is a Speaker (a political office of sorts) from the city-state of Kisua. She gets involved with two Gatherers, servants of the goddess Hananja, who gather people's souls and help them move on to Ina-Karekh, the land of dreams where
Sometimes, if you are very lucky, books come along when you need them to. I was very lucky that The Killing Moon arrived when it did and I chose to read it when I did. The Killing Moon is Jemisin’s second trilogy after her widely successful Inheritance Trilogy and as I had read and enjoyed her debut work, I figured I would try the Dreamblood series. Jemisin’s world building is so detailed and exquisite and hey, she is blurbed by Kate Elliott. I am not one to usually read a book by the success of ...more
Dec 28, 2016 YouKneeK rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been hearing good things about this author, but this was my first time reading any of her work. I was pretty impressed. The story and the characters grabbed me right away and held my attention to the end. There are some morally-ambiguous plot elements, as opposed to a story where it’s very clear what’s right, what’s wrong, and what to root for.

This is one of those books that will exasperate some people, at least in the beginning, because the author throws a lot of unfamiliar terms, names, a
A.E. Marling
NK Jemisin's best yet. Halfway through the story I worried resolution would be deferred to the next book, which will be released shortly, but the author slammed the end of the story down like a card player laying a flush of spades. I would love to see more fantasy like this, featuring an end at the end, a rich setting at the beginning, and a magic awash with moral uncertainty.

This book revolves around moral dilemma. Dreamblood seems to be the energy released when a soul is shoved/escorted to the
Jan 27, 2011 Nikki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, lgbt
I saved this duology for quite a while before reading, because I don't know when there'll be more of Jemisin's work for me to enjoy. And enjoy it always is: I was warned that my anxiety issues might be sparked a bit by the world set up here, but they weren't.

God, I loved the characters. Ehiru just -- at first I feared that he might be too sure of himself, too arrogant, or perhaps even worse, too perfect. But he wasn't perfect, and I ached for him, and for Nijiri because of how much he loved him.
As is so often the case with great novels, the opening chapter of N.K. Jemisin’s The Killing Moon offers a snapshot of the conflicts and relationships that end up driving the whole story. We meet the Gatherer Ehiru as he stealthily travels through the city-state Gujaareh at night, collecting tithes of “dreamblood” for the goddess Hananja from its dying or corrupt inhabitants. This dreamblood will then be used by his order’s Sharers to heal and help others. Ehiru’s first commission is an old man ...more
Apr 28, 2012 TheBookSmugglers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2012
First Impressions:

Ana: You might not remember this but Jemisin’s debut novel The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms knocked my socks off so completely I became an insta-fan. Thus, it was a non-brainer that I would be reading her new Dreamblood Duology especially considering its Ancient Egypt-inspired setting (hey, growing up I wanted to be an Egyptologist). And HOLY MOLY, for its beautifully realised setting, its complex characters, its brilliantly developed story, The Killing Moon is made of 100% Awesom
Nov 24, 2014 Giovanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read

Buddy read with Cari! :3

Oh, expectations, you truly are the devil.

I had high expectations for The Killing Moon. Yes, I might have not loved The Hundred Thousand Kingdom trilogy, but I enjoyed it a lot. And considering that I was really interested in this book I hoped to truly fall in love in this case.

*dramatic pause for the sudden death of my expectations*

...I never learn, do I?
Don't get me wrong, The Killing Moon does have a lot of qualities, but it wasn't that good, not as much as I expect
Jan 28, 2013 Desinka rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a huge disappointment. The promised Arabian night world was never built and it was left to the reader's imagination to provide all the details. There was no characterization but through not very exciting dialogue so I never really started to care for the characters. The only thing that saved this book and kept me reading was the intrigue, which got old at some point and I struggled to finish the book even with it!

The story was not helped at all by the worst narration ever! The narrator
I can't say I loved it, but I can see the appeal. I found it a bit slow at times and I didn't really connect with any of the main characters. I thought this book explored a lot of interesting themes but I wasn't captivated enough to think deeply about them.

I wasn't taken by this book, but I understand why many have been.
Dec 17, 2014 Kiwi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Undoubtedly an original setting for a fantasy novel, the concept of a religion linked to mercy killing was interesting but I didn’t click with any of the characters and the reapers reminded me of vampires. Ultimately not my cup of tea, I will not continue the series.
Nicholas Kotar
Dec 03, 2015 Nicholas Kotar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"A myth, I repeat myself, is nothing but our active relationship with a phenomenon. Because no event or phenomenon exists in and of itself. Any thing or event exists only in relation to our experience of it, which we either conflate with an existing myth, or create new myths. And this is very important, and not only is not wrong to do this, it is absolutely essential."
- Evgenii Vodolazkin

Recently, Ursula LeGuin announced the imminent death of what is so strangely called "literary fiction," to b
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I won a copy of this in Twitter, and was really glad I did! I had read Book 1 of the Inheritance Trilogy by the same author, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, which is one of those books that wasn't bad, but just was clearly not my style. (Worth a read, though, and is up for a Nebula Award.)

The things I liked about The Inheritance Trilogy are even stronger in The Killing Moon, and I think we can start assuming these are just Jemisin's strengths - the world building is the best part. She has crafted
Tudor Ciocarlie
Excellent novel that for me works much better than The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. I love the characters, the world inspired by Ancient Egypt is one of the most interesting settings in fantasy ever and the magic is a mind-blowing combination between Ancient Egypt's medicine and Freudian dream theory.

This year, Elizabeth Bear with Range of Ghosts and N.K. Jemisin with The Killing Moon, made me fall in love with epic-fantasy all over again.
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  • Cold Steel (Spiritwalker, #3)
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N. K. Jemisin lives and works in New York City.
More about N.K. Jemisin...

Other Books in the Series

Dreamblood (2 books)
  • The Shadowed Sun (Dreamblood, #2)

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“True peace required the presence of justice, not just the absence of conflict.” 36 likes
“Suffering is part of life,' she said. 'All the parts of life are jumbled up together; you can't separate out just the one thing.' She parred his hand again, kindly. 'I could let you kill me now, lovely man, and have peace and good dreams forever. But who knows what I get instead, if I stay? Maybe time to see a new grandchild. Maybe a good joke that sets me laughing for days. Maybe another handsome young fellow flirting with me.' She grinned toothlessly, then let loose another horrible, racking cough. Ehiru steadies her with shaking hands. 'I want every moment of my life, pretty man, the painful and the sweet alike. Until the very end. If these are all the memories I get for eternity, I want to take as many of them with me as I can.” 18 likes
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