May 29, 13
Read on May 29, 2013
I can't decide which I liked best of this duology. I think I do prefer The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms et al, on the whole, but this was really enjoyable, and my favourite aspect was that Jemisin took a character we wouldn't expect to sympathise with and slowly made us realise he wasn't so bad at all. His character also opened an avenue to explore other parts of the world, too. I could've wished for more time with Nijiri, Sunandi, etc, but they weren't really at the heart of this story, so to focus on them would've been superfluous, really.
There is a lot of rape and abuse and general violence at the heart of this story. It took me a while to figure out how I felt about it, but ultimately I think all of it was necessary for the evolution of situations and characters. But I wish that there'd been more about Tantufi: I wish she'd been treated more as a person by the narrative, given a voice.
I love how Jemisin's work can stand alone, but links up to form a larger, richer world as well. Her world building is very, very satisfying, and well done: sometimes there's a lot to take in, but for me there's always enough to work out the rules.