by N.K. Jemisin
Let me just start out by saying that this is the final volume in N.K. Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy, all of which are full of fantastic imagery and amazing characters.
Back of the Book:
For two thousand years the Arameri family has ruled the world by enslaving the very gods that created mortalkind. Now the gods are free, and the Arameri's ruthless grip is slipping. But they are all that stands between peace and world-spanning, unending war.
Shahar, last scion of the family, must choose her loyalties. She yearns to trust Sieh, the godling she loves. Yet her duty as the Arameri heir is to uphold the family's interests, even if that means using and destroying everyone she cares for.
Each book in this series is told through a different character's POV, something that kind of threw me off when I got to book two. I became very attached to the characters, so I was naturally disappointed to see them become "recurring characters" rather than main ones in later books. DO NOT LET THIS DETER YOU. I fell just as much in love with the new main characters as the series went on.
This novel is narrated by the godling, Sieh. Sieh is the god of Childhood and Trickery. He is the oldest child of The Three (the main gods, basically). His parents love him and many of his younger siblings respect him, but he is desperately lonely. It's not until he accepts the friendship of a pair of mortal twins (Shahar and her brother, Dekarta) that he realizes why he is so lonely.
What I like most about this series is its constant reassurance that real love can be forever. Throughout the course of the trilogy we see love defy gender, family feuds, betrayal, accidental murder, all-out god wars and even mortality. Sieh often describes how pointless it is to love humans, because their lives are but a moment in a god's existence. But they do it anyway, because it's worth it. Sieh is willing to change his entire existence to be with someone he loves, even if it is only temporary.
Jemisin does some fantastic world building. A lot of the problems the mortals face deal with political issues; which I imagine would get very boring if their world wasn't so beautiful. I'd love to live in a city built around a giant tree, although I imagine there is bird poop everywhere.
I'm so sad that this series is over. There's a fun short story at the end of the book to tie up a couple loose ends, but I want MORE! I would read a whole other trilogy, because the lady characters in this series kick ass.
The first two books in the series are The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Broken Kingdoms.
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