Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Length: 11 hours and 28 minutes
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Release Date: November 3, 2010
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Inheritance Trilogy
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
This is the second book in the Inheritance Trilogy by Jemisin. This was a well done fantasy but I didn’t like this book quite as much as The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.
The story starts 10 years after the last book ended and follows a blind woman with strange magical abilities named Oree. Oree finds the body of a dead Godling in an alleyway and then shortly after that Oree stumbles upon a strange mortal who glows in the mornings who she nicknames Shiny. The mortal man ends up being the fallen Bright Itempas (this isn’t really a spoiler since it’s pretty darn easy to figure out right off the bat). Between Shiny and getting involved with the dead Godling, Oree ends up drawn into a conspiracy of Godlings and mortals.
While I still enjoyed this world and thought the book was well written, I didn’t enjoy Oree and Bright Itempas as much as characters. They are both a little standoffish and hard to relate to.
Oree is an intriguing character, she is older…in her 30’s and experienced in life. She has an off and on Godling lover and makes a living selling trinkets to tourists. She has an interesting power, she is able to see magic….but nothing else. She is mostly determined to mind her own business and stay out of the way…but at events culminate and she discovers that she has other strange powers, she is drawn into a conspiracy against the Night Lord himself. There are some wonderful surprises that are revealed around Oree and I enjoyed these.
Bright Itempas, aka Shiny, is just as obnoxious as he was in the first book…but without the endless power. This book is partly about him learning what it is to be human and learning to care about the humans that worship him. He is a very complex character and he does grow and change as the book continues…however I still didn’t really enjoy reading about him.
We also get to meet a number of other Godlings…each of who has their own special realm of influence. There are cameos by Yeine and the Night Lord, I loved this characters so I was glad to see them in the story a little bit. Sieh is also in the story a bit and it was fun to read about him, he is one of my favorites from the first book as well.
The world building is fantastic. This is a richly detailed world full of a complex system of Godlings and the humans who worship them. I loved some of the descriptions of life living beneath the World Tree in the city of Shadow. I also really loved what a great job Jemisin does in portraying Gods and Godlings, they have infinite power and are incredibly old but still have some humanity…Jemisin does a wonderful job of capturing this complexity in a way that is easy to understand. It is just one of the best characterizations of Gods/Godlings I have ever read.
The plot is mostly a mystery. Oree ends up trying to track down the murderer of the Godlings as well as figure out who/what Shiny is. It is well done, fast-paced, and wraps up nicely. There is some humor throughout, as Oree is very snarky at times.
Overall this was an excellent fantasy. I didn’t like the characters as much in this book as much as in the first book of this series. I still really did enjoy the world and thought the plot was well done. The book is beautifully written and the characterization of the Godlings is spectacular. I am looking forward to seeing what the third book in this series holds.