The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin

kingdomofgodscover.jpg Can a brutal, elitist, entrenched ruling race change for the good? Read The Kingdom of Gods — the third instalment in N.K. Jemisin’s excellent Inheritance Trilogy and find out.

Book three follows Sieh, eldest godling of Nahadoth, Itempas, and Enefa. Sieh, the god of childhood — mischief-making eternal boy extraordinaire — is aging, and no one knows why. Does his shocking transformation signal the end, or a new beginning?

The Kingdom of Gods explores antithetical pairs: love and loneliness, loyalty and betrayal,  vengeance and mercy, and honesty and corruption. What I loved about this book is that it shows us that we don’t have to repeat the negative patterns and cycles entrenched in our so-called natures. Once you comprehend your true nature you can use that strength to evolve, to create a new, positive cycle. Yes, sometimes it takes surrender, self-sacrifice, and relinquishing control, but nothing worth having is ever easy.

The Kingdom of Gods shows us we can embrace differences like race and gender provided you transcend mere tolerance and acceptance to get to mutual respect.  After all, as Sieh says, “Life is never only one thing.”

All these weighty themes and a magical realm not unlike our own? Fascinating, complex, wonderfully flawed characters? A delightful, loyal sun-pet given to endearing tantrums worn about the neck of a godling?  Yes, please. This is a meaty and satisfying read that deserves your time.

I read this book back to back, twice.

— November and December, 2015

Cycles, patterns, repetition

The Goddess of Earth looked at me then, and suddenly I understood. Sieh, Deka, and I; Nahadoth, Yeine, and Itempas. Nature is cycles, patterns, repetition. Whether by chance or some unknowable design, Deka and I had begun Sieh’s transition to adulthood — and perhaps, when the chrysalis of his mortal life had finally split to reveal the new being, he would not have transformed alone.

The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin

Such a beautiful line: “…and perhaps, when the chrysalis of his mortal life had finally split to reveal the new being, he would not have transformed alone.