The Broken Kingdoms read-along END

And here we are at the end of The Broken Kingdoms read-along! Our host is Grace from Books Without Any Pictures, so head over there to see what everyone else had to say. Also feel free to leave your link in my comments and I’ll put you on a blog-hop list 🙂

If you’re interested, the read-along for the final book, The Kingdom of Gods, begins on 10 February, but I’ll post the full schedule later this week.

There will, of course, be SPOILERS below. Continue reading

Rate this:

The Broken Kingdoms read-along part 3

Hi everyone, and welcome to part 3 of the The Broken Kingdoms read-along. I’m the host for this section, covering chapters 11-16, so be sure to leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll add it to the blog-hop list 🙂

Spoilers for book 1 are no longer an issue, but there will of course be loads of spoilers for this book, in both the questions and answers. Continue reading

Rate this:

The Broken Kingdoms read-along part 1

I read some really bad and boring books over the past few weeks, so returning to the Inheritance Trilogy felt like going out for drinks and dinner with a good friend after spending way too much time at work. Part 1 takes us from the Prologue through to the end of Chapter 4: Frustration (watercolour). Our host is Grace from Books Without Any Pictures, so head over to her blog for links to the other participants, and be sure to leave your own in her comments and mine 🙂

I mentioned in the introduction that this book can be read as a stand-alone, but I hadn’t realised how that would complicate things in this read-along. Grace’s questions are free from spoilers for book 1 (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms), so it’s a good thing she was first instead of me, because it might not have occurred to me to be so careful!

I have included some HTK-spoiler content in my answers, but I put that in white text so you don’t accidentally read it if you don’t want to. If you’ve read book 1, just highlight the text to see it. If you plan on reading the comments, be warned that you might encounter HTK spoilers there. Since this is only part one, I’ve kept the main text free of spoilers for The Broken Kingdoms. Continue reading

Rate this:

The Broken Kingdoms read-along: Schedule

I enjoyed The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms so much that before I’d even finished the book I signed up as a read-along host for the rest of N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy. I’ll be joined by Susan from Dab of Darkness, and Grace from Books Without Any Pictures. However, we still have room for one or two more hosts, so if you’re interested, let me know!

If you want to blog along or just read along, then leave a comment and I’ll add your email to the list so you’ll get the discussion questions on the Saturday before the posts go out. And don’t worry if you haven’t read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms – the books in the trilogy are all connected, but you can read them on their own.

Here is the schedule: Continue reading

Rate this:

Best novels of 2014

Happy New Year everyone! 2014 was a great year for reading, especially after a somewhat lacklustre 2013. As I think back, it seems that this was a year for making much-needed changes, challenging myself, and trying new things. That made it a tough year, at times, but also an exciting one that sets the stage for an even better year in 2015 🙂

I can only hope that there’ll be just as many great books as I read in 2014. Here are my favourites, in the order that I read them: Continue reading

Rate this:

Some basics of polytheism in The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin

You can find an absolutely amazing academic resource in Open Yale Courses, where you can download video or audio recordings of all the lectures for some of Yale University’s introductory courses, as well as the transcripts and reading lists of those lectures.

My favourite is RLST145: Introduction to the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible), by Professor Christine Hayes. I’m not religious, but I am interested in the bible as a literary, cultural and social text, and that’s exactly how this course approaches it (as opposed to treating it as scripture). I haven’t listened to all the lectures, but I’ve listened to the first few a couple of times, and they offer a fascinating perspective on the bible, with a ton of surprises. A lot of what I’ve learned from priests, Sunday-school teachers, and the well of Christian common-knowledge turned out to be wildly inaccurate if not completely false, like the idea that Adam was created before Eve and is therefore superior.

Anyway, as some of you will remember, I recently did several fantastic read-alongs for The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin. In this trilogy, the gods, their histories, and ongoing lives play a major role. The other day I started listening to the Hebrew-Bible lectures again, and the second lecture kept reminding me of the novels. This lecture – The Hebrew Bible in Its Ancient Near Eastern Setting: Biblical Religion in Context – compares polytheism to monotheism, using the writings of Yehezkel Kaufmann. Kaufman’s theory was that the move from polytheism to monotheism was revolutionary rather than evolutionary because the two belief systems involve fundamentally different ideas about god(s) and the universe, rather than simply having a different number of gods.

This relates very strongly to fantasy, mythology, and the nature of god(s), which is why I kept linking it to Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy. It no doubt has relevance for other epic fantasy or other fiction where gods or their mythologies play a role; it’s just that this trilogy was foremost in my mind. In Jemisin’s world, the gods are real. Not only do they exist, some of them live among humans. For the reader, they’re major characters. Kaufmann’s theory isn’t perfect, and it doesn’t fit Jemisin’s world exactly, but it still provides an interesting framework for understanding her worldbuilding and characters.

It’s worth watching/listening to/reading the lecture in full, but I’ve picked out the main points about how polytheism differs from monotheism, and explained how they relate to The Inheritance Trilogy. I’ve kept it SPOILER-FREE, but please forgive any inaccuracies or lack of information as I didn’t re-read the books for this article, since I’d only just read them a few months ago. If you spot anything that needs to be corrected, let me know in the comments. Continue reading

Rate this: