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[personal profile] kenjari
The Broken Kingdoms
by N.K. Jemisin

This sequel to The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms takes place ten years later, and most of the action occurs in Shadow, the city underneath the palace of Sky and the World Tree. Oree Shoth is a blind artists making her living selling trinkets in a heavily trafficked plaza of the city. She takes in a mysterious homeless man who glows at dawn and is clearly not human. This is not alarming to Oree, as Shadow has become home to many godlings, newly returned to the mortal realm after the events of the previous book. What is alarming is that godlings start turning up dead, and, at least partly because of her relationship with the homeless man, Oree finds herself in the middle of the mystery and conspiracy around the murders.
The Broken Kingdoms is even better than its predecessor. The plot is tighter and has some great turns, the characters are even more interesting, and the world-building continues to be terrific. I especially liked the smaller scale setting combined with large-scale issues - most of the story takes place in the poor and more marginalized parts of the city and among people without wealth or access to great resources yet involves cosmic-level conflicts and problems. I also really loved Oree. Her blindness never renders her helpless or passive, not does it dictate everything about what she does or how she experiences things.
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