The Broken Kingdoms Read Along Part I

Chupacabra sacked out on the bed.
Chupacabra sacked out on the bed.

Welcome Everyone! this week begins the read along for Book 2 in N. K. Jemisin’s The Inheritance Trilogy. Anyone is welcome to join us and this trilogy lends easily to popping in when you like as each book is a stand alone story set in the same world, a mosaic trilogy I think is the term. So here is the Schedule if you want to play!

This week we covered the first 96 pages (Prologue – Chapter4) and Grace from Books Without Any Pictures is our host. So make sure to swing by her place to see what everyone thought.

Spoilers run free below!

1.  What do you think so far of Oree Shoth?  Do you like her as much as Yeine?

I like Oree quite a bit. She is very different from Yeine, but at her core, she is very comfortable with herself. Yeine at the beginning of Book 1 was still searching for answers about who her parents were and their lives before she was born. Oree in Book 2 doesn’t start with that kind of conflict.

I also like her very practical take towards relationships. Vuroy and his triple and the light flirting with Oree, who isn’t interested in anything more than that if she can’t enjoy some real sweetness.

2.  Sky is now referred to by its inhabitants as Shadow, and we get to see the city from the perspective of the commoners rather than the ruling Arameri.  What do you think of the book’s setting?

I love this! It is so complicated and messy. Not to say that the Arameri weren’t complicated and messy, they just took pains to 1) hide it and 2) ignore it if it couldn’t be hidden. Nope, things are right out there for the commoners living their lives.

As an example, I will point to the pilgrim family who decided to have a wee in the magicked alley…..and found out about the teleportation spell that is triggered by even partial disrobing. Haha!

3.  The gods play a much different role in this book than in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and spend their time interacting with the people of Sky/Shadow.  What do you think of the gods and godlings that we’ve met thus far?  Who are your favorites?

Ah, this is a hard one. Of course Madding is an interesting one. But then there is Shiny. Now if you have guessed who Shiny really is, you know he probably doesn’t count as a godling. So I will go with Madding for now. And poor Role! She must have been special in many ways to have Shiny and the godlings in tears and anger at her demise.

4.  Any predictions on who or what could be killing the godlings?

This is a reread for me and I think I remember the answer to this question. But when I first read it, I had no clue. I really thought there must have been either a poisoned weapon involved or some sort of magick-draining weapon.

As to why, I remember thinking it was probably a group of people who were fanatically dedicated to 1 or all 3 of the gods and felt the godlings stole glory, and worshipers, from them.

5.  For everyone who read the last book, Shiny’s identity should be relatively easy to guess, even though it hasn’t been explicitly stated yet.  Do you think his punishment is suiting, or is it too much?  Is there any chance he’ll come out of this as a normal person?  How do you think Oree will react when she finds out?

Yes, his punishment is suiting, but I am basing this on my knowledge of how this book ends. But even without that, he is not as he once was. Oree found him in a muck bin! And then it must have been a big blow to his ego to be taken care of by a blind artist, right? She couldn’t afford new clothes for him, they eat the most basic of food, and he has to take on odd jobs throughout the neighborhood to try to pay for his room and board. His punishment was solely about vengeance, but to also teach him compassion. And I think Oree is doing a great job of that.

Will he come out a normal person? Well, let’s say that a normal, middle-aged person has some life scars, some quirks, baggage. So, yes, he’s going to have those things for sure.

Oree seems able to take the punches of life and make the best of it. So I think she will be a bit surprised, but will then give herself a mental shake and think of Shiny in all his earthly forms – like the muck bin. Then she’ll be cool with it.

Other Tidbits:

Cool ‘deformed’ eyes. eh? I love the cover for this book, but I kind of wish they had added just a little more to reflect those eyes.

Shiny taking on the Itempas privet! It’s nice to see that he can be protective of his friends. And against the Itempas priests!

I love Oree description of working in her mother’s garden, and being able to tell certain plants apart. Sometimes when I garden, I have to use more than just visual cues to tell plants apart, so I found this little section quite amusing.

6 thoughts on “The Broken Kingdoms Read Along Part I”

  1. 2. What I’d give for magical pranks that target public urination…

    3. Oh dear, I’ve barely thought of Role except as a murder victim! But she must have been one of the nicest godlings, and I’m intrigued by the fact that Shiny – who doesn’t seem to care for anyone but himself – actually got upset over her death.

    5. I don’t feel sorry for Shiny at all. Ten years of living as a poor mortal is nothing compared to what the Enefadeh endured for two thousand years.

  2. The magic alley cracked me up both times I’ve read this book. It’s genius.

    I do feel bad for Shiny, even though I know I probably shouldn’t. Yeah, he did some terrible things, but the sight of Sieh kicking him to death was disturbing. It’s like the point is to take out the Enefadeh’s frustrations more than it is to make him whole again, and I remember hoping that ti wouldn’t drive a deeper rift between the Three.

  3. On the teleportation spell, it also made me laugh when Oree sold the woman a map, instead of suggesting she teleport herself. As she said, “If she doesn’t think of it herself…” 😀 I hope that Shiny stops being so sulky in a bit, and realizes he shouldn’t take Oree for granted!

  4. Oh, now you’ve given us hints as to the book end and I wonder what they mean, can’t wait to read to the end because I already know whatever I come up with will be completely wrong. 🙂

Comments are always appreciated, so don't be shy!