While reading The Inheritance trilogy, I keep having to remind myself of how much I adore the author and man, the second one – The Broken Kingdoms – does not make that easy. There’s just something really jarring about exploring this new fantasy world and then suddenly your narrator bemoans getting “dumped” by her ex-boyfriend. But I’ve read her later books and I know how freakishly talented she is. Reading these is watching her get there, and it’s a nice reminder that people don’t just fall out of the ether that way.
If you’re like me and you’d forgotten where we left off, the one god that had killed his sisterlover and imprisoned his brotherlover is now himself being punished because they got back to being their old selves. This means that the millennias-old religion of the people had to change because suddenly there are a lot more gods running around. And godlings. And demons. Which are somehow different? I must have missed that part.
Our hero, whose name I have already forgotten, is a blind country girl who has moved to the city for … reasons. Because she can see magic and that’s where all the magic is. Things happen. Religious people get whack because that’s what religious people do. The story is frankly kind of forgettable and the writing is about 60% decent, 20% oh god why, and 20% oh holy shit yes. You can watch the writer that N. K. Jemisin will be begin to emerge and you are glad she published a few dregs so you can understand the journey to The Broken Earth (also, omg, you need new naming conventions, seriously).