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A Reader of Fictions: You're All I Have - Snow Patrol

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Friday, June 22, 2012

You're All I Have - Snow Patrol

The Shadowed Sun
The Dreamblood, Book 2 

Author: N. K. Jemisin
Pages: 492
Publisher: Orbit
Source: From Orbit in exchange for an honest review

Description from Goodreads:
Gujaareh, the city of dreams, suffers under the imperial rule of the Kisuati Protectorate. A city where the only law was peace now knows violence and oppression. And nightmares: a mysterious and deadly plague haunts the citizens of Gujaareh, dooming the infected to die screaming in their sleep. Trapped between dark dreams and cruel overlords, the people yearn to rise up—but Gujaareh has known peace for too long.

Someone must show them the way.

Hope lies with two outcasts: the first woman ever allowed to join the dream goddess’ priesthood, and an exiled prince who longs to reclaim his birthright. Together, they must resist the Kisuati occupation and uncover the source of the killing dreams... before Gujaareh is lost forever.

First Sentence: "There were two hundred and fifty-six places where a man could hide within his own flesh."

I read book one of The Dreamblood, The Killing Moon, back at the end of April. My memory's pretty bad, so any sort of gap between books in a series can be dangerous, and when I started reading The Shadowed Sun, I had NO CLUE what was happening. I didn't recognize the characters, and nothing was what I remembered, except for the country and customs. So, just fyi, this book picks up TEN YEARS after book one. So, for once, it totally wasn't my issue. Also, that sounds critical, but, really, I'm fine with it, except that it would have been helpful to know beforehand, thus the me telling you.

Moving on, when I read book one, I really enjoyed the writing and was astounded by the world-building. The reason my rating wasn't higher was that I felt that there was a huge knowledge dump. There kind of had to be, but it was still rough. Well, you get your pay off for making it through all of that now. This one is all about the characters (new and old), and it has a much faster pace with much less telling. This one was an entirely absorbing read all the way through.

The world building continues to be completely epic. I am unsure whether you could read this book without reading The Killing Moon. Maybe, but you would definitely miss out on some things, since Jemisin doesn't do a quick summary of book one like some authors do in the early chapters. Anyway, though Jemisin has the bulk of the world built already from book one, she adds some more, and it is great. I loved the view into the 'barbarian' desert culture, the Banbarra. This was such a wonderful look at how complex societies are, and how hard they are to judge from outside.

Book one's big bad (well, one of them) was a Reaper, essentially a Gatherer gone bad. The Reaper was seriously horrifying, so I didn't expect Jemisin to top that, especially since she had the whole Civil War/colonization plot line going. Well, she did. The Shadowed Sun adds a plague that attacks people in their dreams, to which there appears to be no cure. The dream itself is terrifying, and how it came about is SERIOUSLY CREEPY. So yeah, Jemisin perfectly balances so many plot threads in here. Guys, it was just SO GOOD.

Although I did like the characters from the first book, I LOVE these new ones. They, too, are just so much more vibrant and interesting. Hanani really grows on you. At first, I was fooled, like everyone else, into believing that she was shy and weak. On the surface, she is. She's quiet and stutters when she talks. However, I should have seen the strength at her core underneath; a weak-willed woman does not become the first female Sharer, the first female in the Hetawa. I loved watching her grow into herself and become more confident. And, in the end, I loved her even more for having seen her overcome her discomfort in society and her fear of not being respected by her peers, and instead learned to be who she was, no matter what others thought or expected.

I also need to talk about Wanahomen. Oh. My. Wanahomen is one incredibly sexy hunk of man. I don't know what it is, but recently I've definitely had a bit of a thing for the bad boys in books. Wanahomen is a warrior, and he will do anything to win. He's not always a nice guy. And yet. There's something just so charismatic about him. Also, when the sexy bits happen (yes, there are sexy bits!), he's just...wow. Yeah. LOVE HIM!

Though I liked The Killing Moon, I didn't love it, and I didn't start telling everyone how they need to read it, because I wanted to wait and see how I felt about the next book. Well, now that I have, I am telling you that if you like epic fantasy YOU NEED TO READ THIS SERIES!!!

Rating: 4.5/5

Favorite Quote: "‘Any woman can face the world alone, but why should we have to?’"

"There is a darkness deep in you
A frightening magic I cling to

Give me a chance to hold on

Give me a chance to hold on
Give me a chance to hold on
Just give me something to hold onto

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