Brenda Cooper

Reading Recommendation: N.K. Jemisin’s “The Broken Kingdoms”

Well, this is two reading recommendations in a row for N.K. Jemisin.  I enjoyed The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms so much I immediately ordered The Broken Kingdoms.  I left it closed as a carrot against getting some of my own editing done, but after one pass I just had to stop and pick it up.  This is the kind of book that convinces me to reach farther in my writing.  It is a bold book.

I am even more impressed by the fact that while it is solidly in the same fascinating world as the first book, and clearly in the middle of the same ongoing story, the characters and the events are different enough that it feels richer than most second novels in a series feel.  Its got its own structure that isn’t derivative of book one, and is equally good or maybe even better.  But both are so good it’s like choosing between brands of excellent rich dark chocolate.

The pair of them would make an excellent holiday gift for any fantasy reader.  But buy copies for yourself while you’re at it.  Note that these are not the urban fantasy that I devour in a few hours each (my version of TV).  These make you think about good and evil, and power, and if they remind me loosely of anything it’s Jacqueline Carey’s excellent “The Sundering” series.   I won’t be surprised if N.K. Jemisin is competing against herself this award season.