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The Broken Kingdoms

(Inheritance Trilogy #2)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  17,261 Ratings  ·  1,430 Reviews
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. However, this act of kindness is to engulf Oree in a nightmarish conspiracy.
Paperback, 398 pages
Published November 1st 2010 by Orbit
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I've thought a lot about why N.K. Jemisin's writing doesn't appeal as much to me as it should. Undoubtedly, The Broken Kingdoms was an infinitely better book than The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. You could almost see Jemisin grow as a writer and as a person, as the world becomes more vivid and more real to her than the scattered pieces of lore she inserted into the first book. The writing style and characterizations, too, felt smoother and more personal. All in all, The Broken Kingdoms was a bette ...more
This novel was easily and truly better, imho, than the first in the trilogy.

From start to finish I loved the gentle rolling cadences of the story, the hope for a better life in the middle of so much poverty, even when it was the godlings and a certain shiny god that was experiencing the poverty. I originally thought this might actually turn out to be a mainline tale of redemption, and it was, for the most part, but I was even more surprised to enjoy the fact that it was a tale of demons, or the
Apr 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
So when I heard that the sequel to The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was about a blind woman who could see magic and who was a painter . . .?

. . . I made A Face.

A blind woman who sees magic and paints. I mean, seriously, this is the disability equivalent of the magical negro, you guys, and my face was not impressed.

After reading the book, I’m mostly puzzled. Because it was a pretty good book, full of win on several measures, and I just didn’t care all that much. It’s about a fallen god, but not abo
Dec 20, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What fascinated me with the first book in the series was how rich the world-building was for a series so short in pages. I love background on characters, history etc. Especially if this history is mainly on Gods created for a fictional universe.

This one was a really descent follow-up, and like the first book I loved how fast-paced it was. N.K. Jemisin has a knack for narrating amazing stories with incredibly interesting and complex characters. She knows how to uncomplicate them too, though and
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It is kind of unfair that I measure N. K. Jemisin's book against her other books - because this one was exceptionally brilliant as well, just not quite as awe-inspiring as The Fifth Season. So, for any other author this probably would have been a five star read as well, but I can't get myself to award them. I am absolutely, 100% in love with her writing and I cannot wait to read more book of hers. The next book in the series is already smiling at me from my night stand so I will probably not hav ...more
mark monday
more compelling adventures in the second volume of N.K. Jemisin's Inheritance trilogy. this one features a mortal trying to deal with a bunch of gods, a fanatical cult, and the slow shift in culture taking place on a mystical world. the novel is pure high fantasy, but in its popping pace, realistic-cynical perspective, often snappy dialogue, and Big City setting (as well as the polished but not particularly distinctive prose), it felt much like an urban fantasy novel rather than one taking place ...more
The Broken Kingdoms: Liked this better than the first book
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
Based on The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate (the first two books in her BROKEN EARTH trilogy), N.K. Jemisin immediately became my favorite SFF author of this decade. Her DREAMBLOOD series was also very good, an original fantasy based on Egyptian and Nubian themes. However, as I was working backwards, I got to her earliest series last, the INHERITANCE trilogy. And in comparison, I thought The Hundr
May 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, having drooled all over the first in this series, I didn't QUITE love it as much as the other, but the bar was set so high it would have been extremely hard to outdo my love for the first protagonist. I found myself feeling disloyal when I sided with this one occasionally, haha.

This book was very good though, I was definitely engrossed (except for a section where I got impatient with the character's plight, I don't want to spoil but I think anyone who reads will know what I'm referring to)
Original review posted on The Book Smugglers

Warning: this review contains necessary spoilers for book 1 as well some minor spoilers for book 2. If you read book 1, you should be ok.

The day I started reading The Broken Kingdoms was the day I did not go to bed at all. I’ve been really busy lately with Work and Real Life and my reading time has unfortunately suffered as a consequence: I always used to read till about midnight every day but these days this is a rare occurrence as I tend to kaput way
I really, really liked the first book in this series, but I loved this second book. It just got to me, man. The plot, the characters, the setting . . . hit me right in, like, three of my sweet spots.

Spoilers for book one follow in this review. (You can actually read all three of these books separately, but you'll definitely get the most out of all of them if you read all three.)

The Broken Kingdoms takes place ten years after The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and features a different set of main cha
Oct 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review is from my reread of the book in October 2015.

This was my favorite book of this trilogy when I initially read the series, and so far that continues to be the case. This is largely down to the main character, Oree Shoth, a blind artist who can see magic and perform some small acts of magic herself. In the Shadow of the World Tree of Sky magic and godlings are common, and Oree herself is friends with many of them. Her ex-lover is the God of Obligation. So she doesn't have any problems
Alex Ristea
Overall, I enjoyed this book, but definitely not as much as the first. It's technically the second in a trilogy, but is so loosely connected that it can be read as a standalone.

First, what I liked:

- The protagonist is blind, and this is written in a first-person POV. Fantastic writing skill here to describe scenes using other senses. Probably the most redeeming quality of the book.

- A cool, new setting. Though still in the same world, we see it in a different light. Incredibly immersive, and is
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I barely know where to begin a review of this one. It's a much smaller tale than The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, with an extremely tight focus on our main character, the blind artist Oree. She's drawn to the transformed city of former-Sky, Shadow, now dominated by the World Tree. And in it, she practices an art more like magic and dallies with godlings. One, day, she finds a dead godling in the market place. From there, her associations, her magic, and her very nature take her into the investigat ...more
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-read
This second book in The Inheritance Trilogy again shows Jemisin's skill in world building and flair for creating interesting characters.

The main character in this book has a quiet and mature strength about her which is appealing, and continues to struggle with her own ideas of identity and independence in a very realistic way.
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favourites
I can't remember exactly when I reread this -- July, I think. Not sure why I didn't review it again at the time. Anyway, I think for the sheer absorbingness of Jemisin's writing this would get five stars every time from me, even if reading it again I decided that I preferred the first book. The fact that she has a disabled main character, and takes a lot of care to make that realistic, really endeared this book to me the first time. I think there are a few cracks where it's not quite believable ...more
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cbriii
What a difference a book makes. When I reviewed Jemisin’s freshman work, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, I noted that while she had an eye for interesting subject matter, but was exceedingly hampered by a lack of practical experience. Just one book later, Jemisin has successfully cast off her reliance on an irregular narrative, and crafted a compelling plot that doesn’t rely on an enormous plot twist to wrap its story up. Broken Kingdoms pulls together the best aspects of its prequel, and discard ...more
Megan Baxter
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am continuing to love this series. It's fantasy with its own voice and world, and a focus that's unlike anything I've read so far. I love that. So much fantasy is so much the same, and I get so bored. This was never boring, not even for a second. I'd like to thank N.K. Jemisin from the bottom of my heart for writing so damn well. Even if I spent a good portion of the first book wondering if it was really science fiction.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goo
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even better than the first! Love this author and this trilogy.
Fantasy Review Barn

I start off with something of a tangent here but something started messing with my head as I was reading this book. The Inheritance Trilogy, or at least the first two books of it, have the strangest titles in relation to the books I can think of. These are books that in each case deal with a single person and their intimate relationships with the various gods and demigods in this land. Yet they have titles (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Broken Kingdoms) that suggest th
Alex Fayle
May 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I’ve never thought about writing epic, god-infused, politcal/family intrigues, I love reading them when well done. Part drama, part soap opera, part mystery, and part commentary on society, all with a fantasy sheen. What’s not to love?

N.K. Jemisin’s debut novels The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Broken Kingdoms offer it all. And what’s more, they’re accessible because the main character is a (relatively) normal person thrust into something they neither understand nor particularly wa
I really like N.K. Jemisin as a writer. She has tremendous skill at pulling the reader into her characters' mind, she writes beautiful prose, and she has such interesting and complex mythologies. However much I enjoy those things, I often find myself lost in her plot, and not necessarily in a good way.

The Broken Kingdoms is a sort of sequel to The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms focusing on a different set of characters. Oree is a blind artist living in Shadow, below Sky (the setting of The Hundred T
Rachel Hartman
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. Liked it much better than the first one, and I didn't dislike the first one, so.

I am so intrigued by her gods. They're both human and inhuman; they're more like monsters, or very powerful aliens, to me. I have to admit, the mythology of it doesn't resonate deeply with me, but there's still a lot here to chew over. The politics and ethics of it are where I connect, rather than the symbolic level.
aPriL does feral sometimes
'The Broken Kingdoms' is book #2 in The Inheritance Trilogy by N. K. Jemison. I do not think it entirely standalone in that much more of the novel will be understood if book #1 The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is read first. It introduces a new heroine, Oree Shoth, who re-discovers much that is in book #1 and so the backstory is retold.

Jemison writes of a world somewhat controlled by gods (the Three - Nahadoth, Bright Itempas, Enefa) having created it and human beings. A ruling family of mortals, t
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second book of the series is set ten years after the end of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, the narrative shifting to a young blind woman with special abilities. Most of the book takes place in the World Tree city Shadow, below Sky, but the world is further explained; there are old characters mixed with new ones, well written; the information is casually and contextual disclosed. I just like the way Jemisin uses language:
Above the godlings were the gods, and above the gods was Maelstrom, the
Oct 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh for goodness sakes, all of you people just commenting "comment" to win the Twitter thing.

I read this and Hundred Thousand Kingdoms back to back, and Broken Kingdoms is actually my favorite of the two. Oree's viewpoint provides a very unique counterpoint to Yeine's -- she has a community memory that fears Nahadoth and loves Itempas, she's urban poor rather than a country noble, she explores the city rather than the palace, she gets to know demigods before gods, she's experienced the Bright in
Simon Brading
Much better than the first book in the series; things actually happened in this one... which was nice. Having said that, it still didn't quite make it to four stars; like the first book it didn't hold my attention and I found I was at times reluctant to pick it back up - usually if I have spare time I read, but I found myself looking for something else to do before reading this.
Having said all that, the book is good, I think its more the style that puts me off.
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first book in the Inheritance Trilogy was told by its main character, Yeine, in recollection. I read it a second time almost immediately and was blown away by all the clues to the slowly, deliciously unravelled mystery that Jemisin so carefully and subtly wove into the story. You’d think reading a book a second time within that many months would mean boredom, but instead, it was an eye opening experience.

The Broken Kingdoms is a similar and yet entirely different experience that takes dramat
Matthew Quann
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
TEN-THOUSAND (okay, ten) QUICK THOUGHTS ON The Broken Kingdoms

1. Second instalments in trilogies have a bum rep. I didn't think it was as good as the first one, but it isn't a bad fantasy novel, and it is still fun.

2. This is a story set in the same world as The Ten Thousand Kingdoms. In an intelligent move, Jemisin decided to switch the focus of the story from the Arameri upper crust of the first novel to the common folk.

3. Where The Ten Thousand Kingdoms left off, this story picks up with the
Oct 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I really wanted to give this book more stars, I really wanted to love it, but it never quite made it there for me.

I never connected with the main character and there wasn't much screen time for characters I did want to follow.

The story was fairly interesting but I found myself distracted easily and it was too easy to put it down and pick up something else.

I love this world, though. I love the magic and Jemisin's writing is excellent. It was so easy to transplant myself to the city of Shadow a
Rebecca McNutt
This fantasy novel was pretty good; it tells the story of an artist who does an act of kindness for a homeless man but then finds her life in danger when magical beings come to get her.
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Goodreads Librari...: Please correct book description 2 19 Feb 08, 2017 05:05PM  
NK Jemisin Fans: The Broken Kingdoms Read Along Part IV 1 13 Feb 05, 2014 07:18AM  
NK Jemisin Fans: The Broken Kingdoms Read Along Part III 1 6 Jan 25, 2014 08:22PM  
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N. K. Jemisin lives and works in New York City.

Other books in the series

Inheritance Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance, #1)
  • The Kingdom of Gods (Inheritance, #3)
“This means, in a way, that true light is dependent on the presence of other lights. Take the others away and darkness results. Yet the reverse is not true: take away darkness and there is only more darkness. Darkness can exist by itself. Light cannot.” 40 likes
“Love betrayed has an entirely different sound from hatred outright.” 35 likes
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