The Kingdom of Gods Read Along Part I

One of the few times Smudge has willingly held still for her photo.
One of the few times Smudge has willingly held still for her photo.

Welcome everyone to the continuation of The Inheritance Trilogy with Book 3, The Kingdom of Gods. I’m your host this week, so please leave links to your posts in the comments so we can all visit one another.

Want to join in the fun? It’s never too late to join us. Here’s the SCHEDULE but feel free to leap in as you like.

This is my first time reading this book, so it is ALL new and exciting! I’m very glad to be experiencing it for the first time as part of this read along.

Chapters 1-4 are discussed below. Spoilers are having a party!

1) Do you think the twins’ names Dekarta and Shahar are portentous of who they will grow into?

This is my third Jemisin book and I have not found her choosing names out of mere whimsy or convenience. So I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that she gave these children such names with a purpose. We know that the original Shahar Arameri founded the Arameri dynasty as we know it today, and, if I understand correctly, was Itempas’s lover (the one who drove him to despair by killing his son). Yes, Shahar is not a name to be tossed around lightly. I wonder if the tidbit about being Itempas’s lover is kept in the Arameri records, or if that bit was lost to time?

Then there is Dekarta, Deka as we meet him. His name sake, a great, great grandfather some levels removed? A grand uncle? Anyway, Dekarta Senior once loved, and gave up that love for power. Will Deka follow the same footsteps? I hope he and Shahar can find a way to pull strength from their name sakes and not the weaknesses and brutality.

2) Yeine and Itempas. Too early? Or will Yeine be the bridge that puts everyone back together?

I was surprised at first. Itempas has only been on mortal walk about for what, 2 decades at that point? He’s learned to love 1 mortal, sort of, and is that enough? On the other hand, Yeine, who we know is compassionate, has never known the cruelty of Itempas. While Enefa, who shares her body and soul space, has known Itempas’s cruelty, she has been without him or anyone for a very long time. At any rate, I feel Itempas still needs to be on mortal walkabout for a bit longer as there is still plenty for him to learn. If Yeine wants to pad his bed from time to time, I can be OK with that.

I am expecting that Yeine will be the bridge. We have already learned that it will most likely take a fully-powered Itempas to heal Sieh and everyone wants Sieh alive and whole. Nahadoth will have to chose between his anger at Itempas and his love of Sieh. Right now, I am not sure Sieh will be given a choice if the Big Three decide to play nice together and patch Sieh up.

3) Sieh seems to have some need, or at least an attraction, to be in Sky Palace. Healthy or unhealthy?

Sieh experienced some of his strongest feelings in Sky Palace – both negative and positive feelings. I think this has made a connection for Sieh to that place, which is understandable. Sieh went from having no power over his life in Sky to having absolute power, and now to having limited power. When he was powerless, I definitely felt that his interactions with humans were unhealthy, while his interactions with the other Enefadeh were mostly positive.

Now that he is of limited power, he still chooses to stay at Sky Palace. He’s changing and perhaps the surroundings that are so very familiar give him some comfort as he tries to deal with these changes.

4) In just this beginning section, we see more than just physical changes in Sieh. What do you think is happening to him, and more importantly why?

The story started off with Sieh’s voice as we know it from the previous two books. It’s all fun & games, need, quick, full of whimsy, etc. But even in these first few chapters, we see his voice changing, becoming more thoughtful, more complete, lingering on certain subjects. Sieh is aging, but will it be total mortality? Nahadoth and Yeine seem to think so.

Either Sieh is changing because he simply is or someone is forcing the change. Yeine/Enefa definitely changed. Itempas has changed. Nahadoth is nothing but change. So why not Sieh?

But what if someone is forcing Sieh to change? Good or bad intentions? Right now, I am suspecting an outside force is changing Sieh and it is an attempt to kill him. It’s quite clever actually, if a mortal is willing to take their time to force a godling into mortality and simply wait for them to grow old and die. If Itempas is the only one who can possibly save Sieh, why can’t Yeine and Nahadoth locate him? Perhaps because whoever wants Sieh aged and arthritic, also knows Itempas could save him and has some how imprisoned him.

Most likely, I am way off, but tis fun to guess.

5) Shahar is quite angry with her mother and has been for some time. Justified? How do you think their relationship will shape this story?

Right now I am not sure if it is justified or not. On one hand, it seems Shahar and Deka had little love and cuddling from their mother. And she did send Deka away, separating the twins. But she also has not used the Scrivener magic to keep Shahar from harming her. And she may well have sent Deka away to protect him from the palace rumors that he, and he alone, pissed of Sieh and nearly got himself and his sister, the heir, killed. So, need more info before I decide.

Oh, but there was that casual way she simply handed her daughter over to Sieh as a plaything….hmmm….But it’s not like she could do anything to protect Shahar is Sieh really wanted her as a plaything, is there?

I think Shahar will continue to contemplate killing her mum for a good chunk of the book and then either she will or there will be some beautiful coming to terms with hugs and kisses all around. Probably the first.

6) Why do you think Shahar’s letters to her brother return unopened?

Well, Deka could be dead, instead of ‘sent away’. He was supposedly sent away shortly after the incident with Sieh.

Or Deka might not be receiving the letters at all and Shahar is simply left to believe that he refuses to read the letters. They could be playing the same game with Deka, returning letters he writes to his sister unopened. I think this could be a real possibility as it totally fits in with how Arameri love to power play, to control.

Other Tidbits:

Sieh and his planet orrery – fascinating and sad all at the same time. It was very cool of Yeine to place En on a necklace for Sieh to keep his pet star close by.

Shahar and Sieh kissing. It’s really an activity that might be at the cusp between childhood and adulthood. It was cute with the bed jumping and all.

Sieh may have the body of an adolescent male, but he can still be a child! Trying to get Shahar’s mom to glance at his personal equipment – such a naughty young man!

My Fellow Readers:

Books Without Any Pictures

Violin in a Void

Book Bound

Tethyan Books

15 thoughts on “The Kingdom of Gods Read Along Part I”

  1. “I wonder if the tidbit about being Itempas’s lover is kept in the Arameri records, or if that bit was lost to time?”
    Interesting question. In the appendix for the first book there was a historical document written by Shahar’s daughter, and she made no mention of a demon child, a murdered brother, or her mother’s sexual relationship with Itempas. I imagine that if it is somehwere in the records, it’d be kept secret because Itempas broke his own rule about not consorting with humans. And on the whole it just seems too unflattering and disturbing. The Arameri do have a habit of murdering their family members and worse, but they like to pretend that they’re not monsters.

    2. I think more than 2 decades? In the last book he’d been mortal for one decade, and T’vril was Lord Arameri. Now T’vril is dead and his granddaughter is Lady Arameri. I thought Yeine might actually have referred to someone other than Oree when she mentioned taking “her” from Itempas.

    I love En! Pity about the rest of the orrery 🙁 It says a lot about Sieh’s nature as a god though. Acting like a child makes him powerful, but it works against him too.

    1. Good point about the Arameri keeping the records – and only keeping the parts that forward their monarchy (the terrifying, the powerful, etc.). Admitting their part in a Gods’ War probably wouldn’t go over well.

      Good point – definitely more than 2 decades then. In that case, maybe Yeine & Nahadoth took Itempas from his daughter? That would be a twist!

      1. Yep, they may have taken Itempas from his daughter, or another woman he fell in love with. I was wondering if perhaps that’s why Jemisin made it ambiguous – “her” rather than “Oree”. Makes me a wee bit nervous. The last time Itempas lost a mortal child, things did not go well for the world.

  2. Eeps! I’m so uncertain about Sieh’s relationship with Shahar. We’ve never seen such actions by him… I’m used to him doing strange and childlike things in his spare time. I wonder what kind of activities he’ll get up to now 😉

    ooh! I didn’t even think that Deka might be dead! I certainly hope not. I hope he’s more of a character later.

    Also about Itempas. I hope they find him soon. It seems like to me that Itempas maybe wants to teach Sieh a lesson because he wouldn’t not save his son. (right?)

    Also: Post:

    1. Sieh has definitely become an unknown now, hasn’t he? Since he is changing, he probably doesn’t even know what he will do or feel. Growing pains!

      Yes, i worry about Itempas’s absence too, especially since his oldest surviving son is ‘ill’.

      1. He’s turning into such a teenager, and it’s awesome. I feel like his adolescence can’t be quite normal, because he’s dedicated so much of his life to not growing up. He’s gonna make a lot of mistakes and have fits of passion, methinks, and he’ll be easy to take advantage of by people who see things as an adult.

  3. I kind of hope it doesn’t end with Itempas being restored and fixing Sieh, or at least not that simply. I agree with you that Itempas still has more to learn, and I’d rather Sieh have a more active role in the climax of the story :).

    You see different possibilities than I did on Sieh’s change the letters to Deka. I suppose it does make sense that this could be an attack on Sieh, especially considering Itempas’s weird absence. But then again, what was that ‘resonance’ with the Maelstrom? That seems out of anyone’s control. I really hope Deka is not dead.

    My answers:

  4. So, uh, I totally forgot Shahar was the name of the founder of the dynasty. Reading comprehension fail. I agree with you, definitely no accident. Anyway, I don’t have anything specifically to add to the discussion questions this time around, but I am loving how dark and cruel Sieh seems. It’s totally justified but still took me by surprise. The stuff happening to him is genuinely frightening and heartrending, and I love that too. I’m hoping Deka shows back up on the scene, because at the moment I have this feeling that Sieh-Shahar-Deka will in some way mirror Itempas-Nahadoth-Yeine. Not quite sure how, but that’s the vibe I’m getting.

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