Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Killing Moon (Dreamblood, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Killing Moon (Dreamblood, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Killing Moon

(Dreamblood #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  14,796 ratings  ·  1,761 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
Paperback, 440 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Little, Brown
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Killing Moon, please sign up.
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)
Chris "Devolve into a mindless orgy"? I'm going to have to read "Hundred Thousand Kingdoms" again because I don't remember anything like that at all to see …more"Devolve into a mindless orgy"? I'm going to have to read "Hundred Thousand Kingdoms" again because I don't remember anything like that at all to see what I missed. I only remember one particularly notable scene toward the end that proves central to the trilogy's story line. I do, however, remember scenes involving multiple participants in "The Fifth Season" (i.e., more orgy-like). I've never felt Jemisin's use of sex in her books was "cheep"; i.e., gratuitous in a way that had little to do with character development, world building, or story progression.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,796 ratings  ·  1,761 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Killing Moon (Dreamblood, #1)
May 21, 2012 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
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 magic
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
Lauren (Shakespeare & Whisky)
“Evil was the most contagious of diseases, so virulent that no herb, surgery, or dream-humor could cure it. One’s sense of what was normal, acceptable, became distorted by proximity to wrongness; entire nations had succumbed this way, first to decadence, then collapse.”

To be totally honest I was pretty disappointed by this novel. N.K. Jemisin is one of the best fantasy authors currently writing. I rave about her Broken Earth series (The Fifth Season) constantly.

But I had a really hard time
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)

DNF at: 42% . Perseverance is me.

Warning: the gif is incredibly strong in this one. You are quite welcome.

Believe it or not, I was forced to DNF this book for medical reasons. Doctor's orders and stuff. I kid you not. Now why would Dr Prawn advise me to relegate this most fascinating book to the DNF Graveyard, you ask? Because too much adrenaline. Yes, that's right. This story is so bloody shrimping thrilling and such an exhilarating roller coaster ride that I heart palpitations while reading
Jan 27, 2013 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
3.25 stars - this took some time for me to get into but I was enjoying it by the end. I did not, however, feel as attached to the characters as I have in her other series. This also concluded in a way that makes me wonder how it’s a duology...
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
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“True peace required the presence of justice, not just the absence of conflict.”

So What’s It About?

In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and among 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 a conspiracy blooms within Gujaareh’s great temple, the Gatherer Ehiru must
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jemisin writes a multiculturally appealing, rich world.

Being introduced to Jemisin's work through the outstanding Fifth Season, what most intrigues me about all of these 'other Jemisin', is to observe the writing without the inventive linguistic devices and the distinct structural suspense, which were perfected to be such a striking feature in the aforementioned.

Also present here was the one thing, which seems constant throughout Jemisin's work - and which I find most agreeable: the wont to buil
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, fantasy
“The shadows of Ina-Karekh are the place where nightmares dwell, but not their source. Never forget: the shadowlands are not elsewhere. We create them. They are within.”

A well-written, well-structured story in a fascinating setting, just hampered by both the storyline and the characters being severely underdeveloped and dull.

Still, Jemisin writes good stuff, all right.
Mike (the Paladin)
Aug 26, 2012 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
Aug 01, 2014 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
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Oct 03, 2012 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
While not as monumentally successful an achievement as N.K Jemisin’s later work — the brilliant, shattering, transcendent Broken Earth Trilogy — I remain nonetheless very impressed by many aspects of this novel. In its finest scenes, an incredibly rare and welcome complexity of feelings and ideas suffuses the crystalline prose. And the world she has created — with its various and specifically-drawn cultures, societies, histories, and religions — presents itself as fully-imagined and authentic as ...more
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
A story about an ancient civilization that worships death and dreams and bears a striking resemblance to Ancient Egypt as written by the brilliant N.K. Jemisin? Yes, please!!! A couple of years ago, my husband, who is a slow reader, devoured Jemisin’s “Broken Earth” trilogy ( in less than a couple of weeks. His enthusiasm was very contagious, and I was impressed with her stunning world building and moving stories. I couldn’t wait to read more!

The Dreamblo
Stefan Bach

“It was said that the Gods favored fools because they were entertaining to watch.”

Remarkable prose, stunning and unique worldbuilding filled with intricate characters, and unapologetic and daring questions book asks of you throughout reading it.

“Magic was mother’s milk to the people of Gujaareh.
They were steeped in its necessity, proud of its benefits, dismissive of its consequences.
It was impossible to understand Gujaareh without understanding the source of its power.”

Story f
May 18, 2012 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
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was the first book in a two part series, but strangely enough, the way it ended, with everything tied up neatly, it felt like a standalone. I read it after The Broken Earth Trilogy, even though this series came before that one. And I could not help comparing the two, with The Broken Earth books coming out the winners. I had thought those books grim, but this book was even more so since it lacked the abundant humor in that other series, which took the edge off the hopelessness of that world. ...more
May 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is a book I picked up hoping to love but it didn't quite work for me. I have read the Broken Earth trilogy by this author and loved that, but this series (written before that one) just felt a little lacking in some areas for my liking.

We focus on a world where people who are known as Gatherers have the ability to 'Gather' people and send them along to their deity. They do this by entering the dreams of the person who needs to be 'Gathered' and then guiding their soul along the pathway to t
Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Dawn C
I loved the short story “The Narcomancer” in Jemisin’s short story collection, it moved me a lot and made me want to explore this world a lot more, so I picked up this novel. The premise is incredibly interesting, but what could have been a fascinating debate of a (frankly) morally dubious religion/practice, I felt it was too much of a generic monster hunt for me. I was waiting for the criticism of the narcomancy, or at least all the moral struggles of it, but I didn’t feel that ever came. Here ...more
“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
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Allison Hurd
I really enjoyed this in the end. At first it felt a bit stereotypical and young, but I shouldn't have doubted.

CONTENT WARNING: (just a list of topics) (view spoiler)

Things to love:

-The main characters. Ehiru and Nijiri are great, multi-faceted, kind, and endearing.

-The mythology/magic. As always, Jemisin's worlds are whole, with rifts, different interpretations based on culture, and a gravity that feels lived i
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
DNF @ 16% This was my third try with this book and I finally faced the truth - it just ain't gonna happen. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky, #1)
  • Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #1)
  • Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2)
  • The Book of Phoenix (Who Fears Death, #0.5)
  • The Empress of Salt and Fortune (The Singing Hills Cycle, #1)
  • Who Fears Death (Who Fears Death, #1)
  • A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan #1)
  • Wild Seed (Patternmaster, #1)
  • A Desolation Called Peace (Teixcalaan, #2)
  • Imago (Xenogenesis, #3)
  • An Unkindness of Ghosts
  • Piranesi
  • The Deep
  • The Raven Tower
  • Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis, #2)
  • When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain (The Singing Hills Cycle, #2)
  • The Empire of Gold (The Daevabad Trilogy, #3)
  • Riot Baby
See similar books…
See top shelves…
N. K. Jemisin lives and works in New York City.

Other books in the series

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

Articles featuring this book

N.K. Jemisin, one of today's most beloved fantasy authors, is back this month with a brand-new series, the first since she wrapped up her...
125 likes · 25 comments
“True peace required the presence of justice, not just the absence of conflict.” 77 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.” 29 likes
More quotes…