(5 / 5)– It Completes Me!
I first read N.K. Jemisin’s groundbreaking work a few years ago. I enjoyed it (see original review below) though I often found myself a bit lost in the world building and social commentary Jemisin was articulating through her narrative. With a bit of time, a lot more reading in the fantasy world particularly with authors of color, and knowing the world already, I was excited to come back to this trilogy at the end of 2022 and it has been WONDERFUL!
I decided for this second read to listen to the audio of these books and this first book evoked an emotional connection I didn’t possess the first time through. Obviously, it helped being familiar with the characters and having some idea of their overall plot arc, though I am terrible at remembering particular details so rereading is always a delight and often even a surprise. I fell harder for Essun, Damaya and Syenite and their complex personalities alongside many of the supporting characters. With knowledge of the plot I was able to give myself over to these characters more openly and it made a huge difference in my reading.
Jemisin sets up an incredible world and epic story through the first book of her trilogy, but I love that this book stands as its own. It leaves you on a cliffhanger, but there is also a deeply satisfying resolution to the conflicts and plot devices within this book’s story arc. The first time I read this novel I gave it four stars, with a bit more maturity on my part, it is five star excellent!
Previous 4 Star Review from November 2018
I LOVED it!!! I picked up this trilogy based an on-line recommendation and I was not disappointed…at least in this first book. I haven’t gotten to the rest yet.
A fresh voice in fantasy for me with twists and turns that were unexpected yet delightful. The world took me a while to understand but by about half way through I had enough information to float within the world and sink my teeth into the characters.
Of course there is some amazingly deep and often times disturbing social commentary when it comes personal and systemic other-ing. All of it incredibly well done.
I was intrigued, entertained, surprised and I look forward to book two and where the story and characters will go!