May 062014
 

Jemisin shows astounding worldbuilding at creating a society kind-of but not really based on ancient Egypt. This is a fantasy of political machinations and a magic that is woven in with religion, spirituality, and day-to-day life. Jemisin’s warrior-capable priests are charged with ending the lives of the ill or corrupt by weaving them an everlasting pleasant dream, then draining their ‘dreamblood’ for use in healing. The reader is plunged deep into the world at the start, and it takes a few chapters to work out what’s going on, but it’s a lovely, interesting journey – despite for occasional pages of italics.

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Sep 252013
 

 

Something of an exercise in frustration: On the first hand, Jemisin has created a stunning world with its own creation myth that’s uncovered, layer by layer, over the course of the story… but we hardly see any of it. It’s meant to show an out-of-touch ruling glass, but doesn’t really work. Our heroine Yeine is plucked up by her god-emperor grandfather and used as a political tool in a world where the pure order reigns. Gods, godlings, plenty of hot god-on-human action and nasty politics struggle for clarity through an experiment in narrative structure which muddies this strong first effort.

 

Get it here (UK) or here (US)