The Broken Kingdoms Read Along Part III

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!

Lauren from Violin in a Void is our host this week, so make sure to swing by her place to see what everyone else thought. This week we covered Chapters 11-16.

Spoilers run free below!

1. Oree chooses not to reveal Shiny’s identity to Dateh. Did you agree with her decision? What might have happened if she’d chosen otherwise? 

I think she was right to withhold this info. Even though it was a big unknown whether Shiny could and would help her, she needed every possible out available. And there is also the fact that Dateh and crew would have demanded proof. How would they get that proof? Would Oree have shared that he can only act up for save a mortal? If Dateh wanted to test that, would he have had Oree tortured to observe Shiny and see if glowed? Also, would Dateh hold to the scripture, the scripture that says Itempas cannot lie…..and we know that Shiny can. So, too many unknowns. I don’t think Dateh would have believed Oree but he might have enjoyed testing the ‘delusion’ just to break Oree’s spirit a little more.


2. Madding’s dead 🙁 How do you feel about his death? What do you make of his last words to Oree?

Ah! NK Jemisin pulled at my heart strings with this one. Madding had pushed Oree away int he past because he didn’t want to experience the pain of her aging and dying. Now he is the one to die in her arms… her poisonous blood. I think his last words, said without hate and with love, became a source of strength to Oree. He did not blame her for his ending. I hope he got to take out a few Lights before he passed, though since Oree cannot see, it was unclear if he did or not.


3. Itempas has seen what terrible things people do in his name. What do you make of Dateh’s interpretation of Itempan faith? Could this help rehabilitate Itempas or will he simply see the New Lights as a delusional sect?

Dateh compares the choice of the Gods to kill off some of their offspring (the demons) in order to secure their lives to his own plans. I think he wants a godhood and he sees this as the closest thing he’ll ever get to it. He also chatted about how Itempas himself banished the godlings from this realm and now that Itempas is ‘indisposed’ the godlings has acted up like naughty children and encroached on this realm. Of course, Dateh wants to punish them by banishing them or killing them off. Once again comparing himself to a god and making god-like decisions that affect a whole world.

I think Shiny paying witness to that discussion, especially after his lengthy stay in the Empty, definitely gave him something to think about. He has been one of those parents to the world that says, do as I tell you, not as I do. Now he is seeing that people see him as the most efficient killer and they want to emulate him, not merely serve him.


4. After Madding’s death, Oree loses the will to live, except to stop the New Lights. Shiny wants to kill her because she’s a demon. Do you think she’ll survive the events of the novel? Is it safer to wipe out the demons?

Well, I remember the ending, so I won’t give away how it does end. I will say that Oree has a pair of brass balls. Not only is she willing to die if it reduces the forthcoming destruction by the Lights, but she was also willing to give up an arm to Lil just to get word to the Grey Lady. That takes guts. But it also means that Oree may sooner or later give up her life to end the Lights.

Well, the Big Three tried to wipe out all the demons ages ago and obviously that didn’t last. Hopefully, they will see that and try something else this time. Also, even if they got every single demon, who’s to say the godlings wouldn’t make more? No, the Big 3, Godlings, and Demons all need to sit down over raspberry tea and chat this all out and hammer out some simple rules, like not making blood popsicles and leaving them in the freezer without proper markings to indicate Demon’s Blood or Godling’s Blood, etc.


5. Itempas shares his feelings about his actions in the God’s War. Have your feelings about him changed at all?

Itempas says that he is incapable of change, but in just the 3/4 of the book we have seen him, he has changed a little. He’s taken on menial chores like cooking for Oree, lived in a crate from time to time, asked Oree for her company, and also helped with her little suicidal nose-dive plan even when he didn’t like it because it was running away from combat instead of starting it.

If Itempas can change, then I guess my feelings can change too. These little things do not make up for all the thousands of years of torment he put others through, all the hundreds (thousands?) of demons he destroyed. But perhaps his regret, coupled with long-term change and effort will earn him a place back in the pantheon eventually.

6. There’s something odd about Hado. Shiny says to him “You are not quite yourself. […] Something of him lingers.” Oree notes that Hado’s shadow is darker than the non-magical things around him. Could he be more than just a spy, and if so, what?

‘Something of him lingers’ and Oree sees him as a dark shape. I think this is Naha, the Naha who was separated by Yeine and given a real life, free of Nahadoth. Very interesting that he chooses to spy for T’vril Arameri. I forget how things turn out in this, as it’s been too long since I read the book last, but I think Oree and Shiny are going to be OK with Hado and T’vril.

Other Tidbits:

Painting on the wood floor with cheese….It’s something you can do when you are a little kid and when you are a delinquent oldster. But try it when you are fully functioning grownup and all hell breaks loose!

Dateh and his little sneaky listening holes of Empty! That asshole!

Did anyone else have to ponder that scene where Shiny is finally returned to Oree and he wakes up. He needs her, first ordering her to stay, and then asking? I think the Empty was incredibly hard on him and perhaps he realized just how much even he needs some sort of daily contact with people and the world.

I love Lil! Daughter of Nahadoth and Itempas. Complete badass!

11 thoughts on “The Broken Kingdoms Read Along Part III”

  1. 4. Lol, raspberry tea and blood popsicles! I actually wouldn’t mind trying some of that god’s blood… Anyway, I agree, I want the demons around, and just because their blood could be used to kill the gods doesn’t mean they should all be murdered. We can be killed by dangerous animals, but that doesn’t make it right for us to drive them to extinction.

    6. Ah, Naha! I hadn’t thought of that! My guess was that he was possessed by a god or godling, like Viraine was.

    *slaps forehead* One of my potential questions was “Why does Itempas need physical contact so badly?” At the end I left it out but also completely forgot to mention that scene in my post. It reminds me of Nahadoth in book 1. He didn’t just need physical contact but sex. I suppose Itempas is the same. Don’t know what he did for the last two thousand years. Gave the godlings lots of hugs? Spooning with them? Slept in a pile like puppies?

    Lil was pretty awesome 😀

    1. I wouldn’t mind some god’s blood too. I am sure it would be quite relaxing and lead to silly, drunken conversations with whoever’s around – my man, the cat, the lamp.

      Even Itempas has needs for physical contact and I think even he forgets about that (or wants to) as it can be a weakness. And very human.

      Lil is freaking awesome! Note to self: Leave some carrion around just for her in case you ever need her assistance.

  2. Lil was really impressive! I hope she survived, but I’m afraid that Dateh may have killed her and Dump, too.

    I also really liked how Oree didn’t let Shiny order her around. He needed contact, but he didn’t get to just demand that someone else supply it. Maybe sensory deprivation is worse on godlings for some reason, but I bet I’d be pretty clingy if I’d been stuck in the Empty for days, too.

    1. I also fear for Dump and Lil. Dump was fun to meet, even though it was brief (hence I hope he survived so we can spend more story time with him). Lil was just plain awesome!

      And, yeah, I would be clingy too after so much quality time in the Empty. I bet it was near impossible to keep time in there, so Shiny might have felt he was left there for months or years. Helpless. That’s a long time for him to be helpless.

  3. I love Lil, and I hope Oree lives through this and continues to pray to her. She’s dark and creepy and glorious.

    I like your suspicion on Hado. Even though I read the book before, I completely forget the ending. The only thing that came to mind was naHADOth. There’s got to be some connection, and it would explain the darkness.

    And on the physical contact thing, I think maybe it’s just one of the small comforts of being human. Even Sieh was always asking for hugs and to be held in “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.”

    1. Lil is awesome and I think that if she survived Dateh’s vortexes, Oree will be leaving her weekly offerings in gratitude.

      Good point in that Sieh, one of the oldest godlings, showed great need for physical contact and comfort in Book 1, so it seems logical that even Mighty Itempas would occasionally need some comfort.

        1. Maybe mental health and balance is a bigger concern among the immortals because they have to live longer with questions of morality and with guilt. I can see Shadow booming with mental health clinics for the godlings in the near future. 🙂

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