Ithlilian's Reviews > The Broken Kingdoms

The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
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Jan 12, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, fantasy
Read in December, 2010

Unlike many fantasy series out there, the Inheritance Trilogy changes main characters with each book. This could be potentially bad for someone that may not enjoy the main character each time, and it is also a bit strange to be called a trilogy when there isn't complete continuity between each book. For instance, The Broken Kingdoms is set 10 years after The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and while events from that book are mentioned, it's not completely necessary to have read it to understand or enjoy this book. It may be strange to have each book be completely self contained, but thankfully the story here is wonderful. After all, this is set in the same world as The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and it is a fully realized and beautifully portrayed world. Jemisin has a knack for never overburdening the reader with unimportant detail, yet paints a world that is so real you feel like you are there. Even more important than the world, is the characters. The characters are the focus of each story, and I think this series is character based fantasy at it's best. First person viewpoints rarely entertain me, they always feel shallow and strange. The Inheritance Trilogy is the exception. Everything feels more real when viewed through the eyes of our main character, Oree, so much so that an uninvolved narrator simply would not do. There is so much heart and realism here that it's actually touching. I feel fully invested in all of the characters, and the author does a great job of making them come alive. One more ingredient completes the picture, and that is never knowing completely what is going on. These books are told from the memory of one person, and memory is flawed. I love when authors don't reveal everything right away. Not only does it make you want to keep reading, but it adds to the realism as well. Honestly, if you enjoyed The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms you should enjoy The Broken Kingdoms. Even if the main character is not the most appealing to you, the author is a great story teller, and it will suck you in. It's not often that I give 5 star reviews, but this is a book I could not put down. Beautifully told, and I can't wait for the conclusion.
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