The Awakened Kingdom (Inheritance Trilogy #3.5)
By: N.K. Jemisin
Format/Source: Trade paperback; was a Christmas gift
SOME TRUTHS MUST BE LEARNED THE HARD WAY…
As the first new godling born in thousands of years, Shill’s got big shoes to fill. She’s well on her way when she defies her parents and sneaks off to the mortal realm, which is no place for an impressionable young god. In short order she steals a demon’s grandchild, gets herself embroiled in a secret underground magical dance competition, and offends her oldest and most powerful sibling.
But for Eino, the young Darren man whom Shill has befriended, the god-child’s silly games are serious business. Trapped in an arranged marriage and prohibited from pursuing his dreams, he has had enough. He will choose his own fate, even if he must betray a friend in the process — and Shill might just have to grow up faster than she thinks.
The omnibus includes a novella that takes place in the world of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Which is fun because there’s so much more you could write about in this world. Some spoilers ahead if you haven’t read the trilogy!
OMG you guys, how stinkin’ cute in Shill? I love how she was written, she really is a baby godling, is really a baby despite of her abilities. It’s so sweet, the way she views the universe and reality and her existence. It’s also interesting to read her story as she learns her power and what her role is in this universe. Themes of existence, of finding yourself, of family expectations (children replacing the loss of children and the grief there is repeated a few times throughout) are prominent in this novel.
This story was also interesting because it shows the fallout from the last novel of the trilogy. It’s quite a satisfying close to the story in that it feels like you’re back at the beginning, full circle, going back to Darre and what was happening there. Admittedly the social commentary with gender role reversal and men fighting for their rights to own property as well as race relations were quite apparent in this story; not sure if it’s because of everything that’s been going on but I was acutely aware of it in this tale.
Overall, The Awakened Kingdom comes full circle with the Inheritance trilogy that started with Yeine’s journey. Cute with Shill’s story and her journey of self-discovery, but also a quite a close.