The Broken Kingdoms Read Along Part IV

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!

Grace from Books Without Any Pictures  is our host this week, so make sure to swing by her place to see what everyone else thought. This week we covered Chapter 17 to the End.

The End! I so enjoyed this book and the read along. A big thanks to all those who joined it. I loved revisiting this book and am looking forward to Book 3.

Spoilers run free below!

1.  We finally meet T’vril in his new role as Lord Arameri.  Is he what you expected?

I expected T’vril to be a strong ruler. How could he not be and still be in power all these years later, even with the Grey Lady’s blessing on him? I was hoping he would be fair. And I guess he was, brutally. He came up with a solution to the demon quandary he was handed, even though the solution was not an agreeable one to Oree. He was also brutal, but fair, to Lady Serymn.

The only thing that struck me as sneaky was not being up front about the demon blood they recovered from tearing about the House of the Risen Sun. Still, he might have felt he was under no obligation to tell Oree this if it wasn’t very apparent whose blood (Dateh’s or Oree’s) it was originally. Every ruler needs their secrets.

2.  Oree is given a choice, to live as the Arameri’s weapon, or to die.  What would you do in that position?

While there is life, there is still hope. If she died, she could not affect the Arameri or godlings any more. Alive, she could influence one or both, maybe find a way to taint her own blood so it was no longer usable. Perhaps destroy the cache of blood the Arameri held, counter the sigil, and disappear forever. So, yeah, I would go for life at that point.

3.  Do you think that Oree made the right decision by sending Shiny away?  How do you feel about Yeine’s role here?

Yes, Oree made the tough, right decision. This way, all 3 get to live (Oree, her little surprise, and Shiny). If she had chosen to die, it would have been 2 deaths and Shiny would have known that Nahadoth and Yeine had killed not only his lover, but his child. I think that might have broken open another Gods’ War.

But Yeine had to keep Nahadoth in check, and I think that was tough. Nahadoth went there for blood. Yeine had to change Nahadoth’s mind in small degrees instead of just giving him a slap and saying, ‘No, we aren’t killing Shiny’s lover today. go find your chew toy!’. So I think Yeine did a great job of keeping that all balanced and everyone alive.

And Shiny knows. He knows Yeine and Nahadoth were there and that he has to leave to keep Oree and her little bun alive. He’s protecting them by leaving and walking the Earth, usually alone, occasionally not.

4.  What did you think of the ending of the book?  Were you satisfied?

Yes, I was happy with the ending. Dateh was defeated. Lady Serymn made a God’s chew toy. T’vril still in power. The godlings freed to wander the Earth, not just Shadow. Oree and Shiny had their year together and a night of love. Nice, hot love. 🙂

So, yeah, I liked the ending and what it may portend for Book 3.

5.  How did The Broken Kingdoms compare to The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms?  Which did you like better?

Such a tough question! I think I will go with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, because it introduced me to the world. I have strong feelings for it because it wowed me. Book 2, I already know the world so I have to rely on the characters and plot to wow me (which they did). But Book1 wowed me with all 3 (plot, characters, & setting).

Don’t get me wrong, I love Book 2 also. Both books (and I suspect Book 3 will too) have a permanent place on my book shelf.

I really like that such an in-depth story was told by a blind character. With so many of the characters, their features can be imagined any way I wish, which I think let’s the reader have a more personal relationship with the book. How do you picture the features of Oree’s friends? Do they look a little like some of your friends? And how did you picture the features of the Dateh? Lady Serymn? Do they look a little like your enemies?

Oree’s ‘handicap’ wasn’t the only handicap in the story. Shiny’s lack of compassion handicapped him. Book 2 was clever in that way and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Other Tidbits:

Wow! Hado is more power-hungry than I thought. On the other hand, he spent the first 2000 years of his life (it was 2000 right?) without any control of his life, his body. So, I can see how he has a deep need for power ever since Yeine set him free.

Shiny had an opportunity to kill Oree, to remove her demon blood threat. Instead, he held onto her and told her one of his deepest shames. That was a very moving scenes.

Dateh! I think we finally know why Oree always saw the extra arms on him when he moved. They were shadows of the godlings’ souls he had ingested. So glad Oree and Itempas could put an end to him.

12 thoughts on “The Broken Kingdoms Read Along Part IV”

  1. 4. The godlings are free to wander the earth? I totally missed that…

    5. The Broken Kingdoms might be the first story I’ve read with a blind main character. Or any kind of character with a major disability. Shiny however, is more like a character with Asperger’s or serious emotional problems.

    – It’s a wonder that Hado’s 2000 years of slavery didn’t drive him completely insane!

    1. The free godlings were at the very end, a passing reference was made to a few and how Oree’s new town was trying to attract one.

      Good point about Shiny being just as disabled or even more so than Oree with his emotional issues.

  2. Here are my answers this week:

    1. I kind of wonder if he just didn’t mention the blood because doing so would confict with Arameri interests. I mean, he probably wasn’t going to give Oree her blood back, even if she asked for it. Imagining that happening seems like a very odd scene…

    Also, Hado did seem pretty power hungry, but I pretty much agree with your assessment of why. Given what he’s been through, it’s kind of amazing he ended up as stable and well-adjusted as he has. That’s especially given that he’s kind of Nahadoth, who’s basic nature is to be not stable.

    1. Yes, that would be an odd scene – here’s your blood. We were planning to keep it locked down in some super secret vault, but since it has your DNA, we rethought that and decided to make it a going away present to you.

      Once Hado has some power, he might be a little more Nahadoth like. shudder…..

  3. I was quite happy to see Hado make a life for himself. He certainly deserved it.
    You make a good point for staying alive in question 2. I didn’t think along those lines, I admit.

    1. I was also glad to see that Hado had a real life and didn’t fall into some pit of despair, wine, and dark feces-encrusted alleys. Oh, wait, that was Shiny’s problem. 🙂

    1. Hado seemed genuinely interested in helping Oree. Perhaps that was just as a means to gain further power, but he had plenty of opportunities to be a jerk to her and he didn’t.

  4. Alas I’m a couple months behind your group read of this series, but I’m working through it with another Goodreads book club Should get to the third book in April. Anyway, I just finished The Broken Kingdoms and posted my thoughts on my blog here –

    The “be a weapon or die” choice reminded me of Tyrion’s comment in Game of Thrones to the effect that death is the only predicament that cannot be eventually gotten out of and so anything is preferable to it. Anyway, it was nice to see your comments about the book. It is definitely a worthy series.

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