N.K. Jemisin follows up her amazing Inheritance Trilogy with a new series, starting with The Killing Moon. Currently, there are only two books and I’m not sure if there are going to be more. It’s a shame if Jemisin doesn’t write anymore in this series, because the world she created in them is amazing.
Just as she did in the Inheritance Trilogy, Jemisin has created a world deeply affected by religion. The people of Gujaareh (the primary setting of the book) have built their lives (or have had their lives built around, some would argue) around the worship of the goddess of dreams. Using narcomancy (dream magic), this goddess’ priests can heal injury and madness, convey peace or ecstasy. They can also kill dreamers in their sleep. The story is told in turns by Ehiru, one of these priests; his apprentice, Nijiri; and an abassador, Sunandi. Ehiru and Nijiri are believers, deeply pious. But it becomes clear, especially to Sunandi, that the priesthood and Gujaareh’s prince are deeply corrupt. They are misusing their gifts, and the prince is planning to use narcomancy to conquer the world.
Sunandi, Ehiru, and Nijiri take it upon themselves to stop the prince. Not only do they have to contend with political machinations, by Ehiru and Nijiri are also dealing with a serious crisis of faith. Having been taught all their lives that taking the lives of the terminally ill is a holy thing, finding out that this gift is being used almost breaks Ehiru. It also turns what would have already been an interesting story into a very profound one.
The world Jemisin created here is amazing. It’s original and it feels real, given the thought that Jemisin put into the religion and culture and history. This is what makes or breaks a fantasy novel, for me.
If you’ll excuse me, I need to get the second book in this series from the kindle store.