If you read my November blog, you probably gathered that I really enjoyed N K Jemisin’s ‘Inheritance Trilogy’. So much so that I dived headfirst into her next books, ‘The Killing Moon’ and ‘The Shadowed Sun’, which together make up the Dreamblood saga. Gods take a back seat in this series, although religion and ritual are firmly in charge of the direction of the book, along with a good dollop of politics. Damaged heroes and heroines carry the story along to a very satisfactory ending. Loved it.
I took a short break from Jemisin to read Wild Cards vol 1, the first of the ‘mosaic novels’ curated by George R R Martin in the Wild Cards universe. Unsurprisingly, it followed a similar pattern and timescale to Vol 26, which gave us the origin stories of the British Aces and jokers. The stories were written a quarter of a century apart though, and it really shows in the writing and the plots. There were two standout stories for me, Zelazny’s ‘The Sleeper’ and Snodgrass’s ‘Degradation Rites’.
And then, back to Jemisin, with the same sense of anticipation that I have for Stephen King, Robin Hobb, Lisa Tuttle, Iain Banks with or without his M, and Chris Brookmyre. How could she disappoint? The Broken Earth Trilogy won a Hugo three years in a row, and it is absolutely deserved. I’ve not quite finished the third book yet, but ‘The Fifth Season’ and ‘The Obelisk Gate’ combine faultless worldbuilding, plotting and characterisation with heartbreaking themes of parenthood, betrayal, friendship and power that tie together centuries of the history of a future Earth.
I’m going to take a short break from reading when I’ve finished ‘The Stone Sky’ because I have a book of my own to write. See you on the other side!