Another fascinating story by N.K. Jemisin.
I really enjoyed her Inheritance Trilogy, so I bought this one and the sequel, The Shadowed Sun when they came out. It’s taken me until now and Calico Reaction’s book challenge to get to read it. I’m very glad I did.
I did find the book quite slow at first, but I’m not sure if that was the book or me, working my way through a totally new world and society and belief system. I felt the pace picked up about 40% through and I read from there to the end in day. Again, that may have been the book, but may also have been me getting to the point where I had enough of a grasp on the world to fall deeper into the story. It it may have been both, with the author doing it that way quite deliberately to give me a chance to get into the world before hitting me with the guts of the story.
Certainly, by the end of the book, I felt I understood those things I needed to know that had confused me at the beginning.
Jemisin has set up a fascinating essential belief in the Law of Hananja. It’s one that I, with my modern, western perception, still can’t decide if I can agree with or not. In theory and in essence, there’s a lot going for it, and it seems to work fairly well within the story – although the book at its heart deals with the problems that occur when the ideal fails due to the failings of human nature. All the same, by the end, it is the Gujareehan way that is seen to be more successful than the alternatives. It’s perfectly right within the story, it’s me that is left feeling thoughtful.
These kinds of endings, ones that feel totally right for the story and yet leave the reader still thinking about it, seem to be something in which Jemisin excels. I found myself with the same feeling at the end of each of her previous books.
Once again, Jemisin has left me feeling both satisfied and thoughtful. I look forward to reading the sequel, but I’m also not feeling I need to do it immediately. I’m feel nicely full and satisfied right now and I’m going to let myself enjoy that.