Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Kingdom of Gods, by N. K. Jemisin

The Kingdom of Gods is the third book in the Inheritance Trilogy, and a 2011 Nebula award nominee.  I had to buy this one, my library did not, but it was pretty cheap by then.  The third installment focuses on Sieh, first child of the Three and the most powerful godling.  He's kind of an irritating thing, remaining a child forever.  Except in this novel, where he is turned mortal and grows up.  This is accomplished by the Arameri twins Shahar and Dekarta, who form a bond of friendship with him.

There's a struggle to return Sieh to his godhood before he dies of old age, and a struggle against a godling of Vengeance who wants to join the Three, but this second plot is somewhat confusing and not fully developed.  It's all about Sieh and his developing love for mortals, his two friends in particular.  There's a tendency to dwell on the tender moments in the chaos, overdone in my opinion.   Sieh's not really likeable enough, in my book, to carry this off.  I kind of struggled through the middle of it, until toward the end the book gets back to the action and scale that made the first two installments memorable.  I am not sure why this installment got a nomination and the second one, The Broken Kingdoms, did not. The Broken Kingdoms was better, in my opinion.  Three stars for this one, but only just.  Read it to finish the story.  And if you do, go ahead and read the short story at the end, it is worthwhile.

I see that Jo Walton's Among Others got the nod for the Nebula (and the Hugo) this year.  I agree, at least in the case of the Nebula, it was the strongest entry, and such a paen to SF could hardly lose.

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