The Awakened Kingdom by N. K. Jemisin is a novella that takes place after her Inheritance Trilogy in the beautifully envisioned world of gods, godlings, and mortals with strange powers. The Awakened Kingdom is an absolute delight to read for those who have finished the trilogy because it is narrated by a baby godling just as she comes into existence and explores the world to find her nature. And she is hilarious! However, it very much spoils the events of the trilogy so you probably shouldn’t read it if you haven’t finished and care about being spoiled about the major ending events. I had hoped that it could be read without worrying about the trilogy much so that it could introduce new readers to this amazing world, but alas it can’t be. You don’t have to worry about spoilers in my review though, just the blurb.
Note: I received an advanced copy of The Awakened Kingdom from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Awakened Kingdom by N. K. Jemisin (The Inheritance Trilogy #3.5)
Published by Orbit on Dec. 9th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 124 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Goodreads
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SOME TRUTHS MUST BE LEARNED THE HARD WAY...
As the first new godling born in thousands of years -- and the heir presumptive to Sieh the Trickster -- Shill's got big shoes to fill. She's well on her way when she defies her parents and sneaks off to the mortal realm, which is no place for an impressionable young god. In short order she steals a demon's grandchild, gets herself embroiled in a secret underground magical dance competition, and offends her oldest and most powerful sibling.
But for Eino, the young Darren man whom Shill has befriended, the god-child's silly games are serious business. Trapped in an arranged marriage and prohibited from pursuing his dreams, he has had enough. He will choose his own fate, even if he must betray a friend in the process -- and Shill might just have to grow up faster than she thinks.
- Jemisin’s writing shines even in short-form novellas! The Awakened Kingdom is bursting with the personality of the new godling (who is born without a name ;-) ). The Awakened Kingdom also breaks the fourth wall completely, which I love, and part of the fun is figuring out who Shill is actually speaking to the whole time that she tells her tale!
- Shill is seriously hilarious! I was laughing a lot at gems like the parenthetical statement inserted when she considers being an organism that doesn’t have a gender, “Like amoebas. I like being an amoeba! Glurgle glurgle squishchomp.” (From the ARC so it might change, but I hope it didn’t!)
- The Awakened Kingdom isn’t all laughs though and Shill spends a fair amount of time in a culture where women rule and men have no rights. This of course is a wonderful opportunity to explore gender roles and the complex history that led to current situation.
- The Gods and godlings are perhaps my favorite part about the Inheritance trilogy though it is pretty tough to decide! We learn a lot about how the gods experience their existence in Awakened Kingdom and I couldn’t get enough of it.
- The end of The Awakened Kingdom opens up some really interesting possibilities that I’d really love to see explored in a new series. I can’t say more, but it’d be awesome!
- Though there are spoilers for the trilogy, if you don’t mind those, you can definitely still enjoy The Awakened Kingdom quite a lot without having read the trilogy. The Awakened Kingdom is a great introduction to what makes Jemisin’s writing so darn addictive ;-).
- I find that novellas are often most useful if they can be used as a low-stakes introduction to a writer and world. Therefore, I’m pretty disappointed that The Awakened Kingdom spoils the trilogy so completely and will probably only be read by people who have read the trilogy and just want more in the world.
- I really dislike it when a novella is actually shorter that you think it is because there is a crap load of extra content at the end to promote another book. The Awakened Kingdom ended at 73% in my version and that really threw me for a loop.
- The Awakened Kingdom didn’t quite have the amount of closure I was looking for. It is never really voiced what Shill’s nature exactly is and omg I need to know for sure!!!
- Shill at times mentions going off and skating on moons and dancing with asteroids, but doesn’t go into detail because “you don’t care about that.” Shill, I totally want to hear about that! Tell meeeeeeeeee!
The Awakened Kingdom was quite enjoyable and is a great afternoon entertainment for those who loved the Inheritance Trilogy and can’t get enough! Unfortunately, it isn’t safe for those who want to check out what these books are about without the full commitment unless you don’t care about getting major events spoiled :(.
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
The Awakened Kingdom by N. K. Jemisin
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