The kingdom of the gods

The kingdom of gods / N.K. Jemisin

The kingdom of the gods is the final book in N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance trilogy. It shakes things up a bit by transferring the point of view to one of the gods, and as a result has a notably more “cosmic” tone than the previous two.

This post will be fairly short since I’ve already written about the first and second books in the series.

Brief plot summary

Sieh is the first child of the three original gods. Although this makes him the oldest godling, as the child-god he remains an eternal child, as acting against his nature will destroy him. His friendship with two humans will have permanent consequences for all of the gods and their children.

So how is it?

For a series that was epic in scope from the beginning, the final installment ramps things up even higher. As in the previous two books, the gods are believably godlike and as living archetypes their characterization works well.

In the end, it’s everything one would expect from a sequel. The stakes are raised, everything is bigger and better, etc. etc. Fans of the previous two will probably enjoy this one, and fans of mythic fantasy in general should enjoy this final volume especially.

One of the more unique aspects of the series and this book in particular is that it’s in many ways a romance. Considering the mythic nature of the series, the romance itself has plenty in common with creation myths from around the world, which is a nice touch even if the rather unconventional (for humans) nature of the relationships involved probably won’t attract readers of Stephanie Laurens or Sophia Galen.

With the romantic aspect, the ending is dripping with sentimentality and as a result fans of more traditional fantasy novels will probably be disappointed. I wasn’t, particularly, but I’m at least 50% Muppet by volume (at least 75% by weight) so I’ve a weak spot for that kind of thing.*

It’s good and worth checking out if you enjoyed the rest of the series. Those who didn’t won’t get anything more out of this one.

The only characters that all three books have in common are the gods, and while the trilogy does tell a single story the books are distinct enough that they could each work on their own. I wouldn’t recommend them that way, but if someone read the first book and liked the mythological aspects but wasn’t thrilled with the human characters then it might be worth skipping the second one and just reading this one.

 

*I know the Muppets are more well-known for silliness than they are for their emotional content, but it’s definitely there. Watch the test shots from the filming of the original Muppet movie where Kermit and Fozzie discuss what it means to be “real”.

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