Dreamblood: "The Killing Moon" & "The Shadowed Sun"

by - Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It's not too long ago that I mentioned my thoughts about the different formats we can read books these days and how I prefer to read my literature, but it feels like ages since the last time I shared a book (or two in this case) with you. 

For those of you who follow this blog but don't know me all too well, let me just tell you that I'm a massive fan of fantasy literature. And when it's done right, and in this case it has been, I get so excited I can't stop blabbering about it! 

This is N.K. Jemisin's Dreamblood duology, "The Killing Moon" and "The Shadowed Sun"!

I remember browsing the internet a couple of years back looking for some new fantasy titles to read. Not too long before a new book had come out that was massively advertised within the realm of the fantasy nerds. I had read a synopsis about it and wasn't all that intrigued, but dear Amazon was there to suggest to me other similar books. And that's how I stumbled upon them two. 

I have to admit, I had never heard of N.K. Jemisin's name before, but to my defense, I had too many things on my plate and too little time to relax and find new books to read back then. Apparently she was a well respected member of the fantasy community, with praises such as "One of the most celebrated new voices in epic fantasy". She had published the Inheritance trilogy before Dreamblood and had already created her own little fan club. Little did I know I was about to join that club.

First thing that caught my eye was the atmospheric cover of both books. Even before you get to delve into them you are able to get a glimpse of the mysterious world they are set. 

Then came the titles. Some people may think they're too generic, but they work marvelously with the stories. And in all honesty, don't they get to intrigue you a tad? I mean, wouldn't you want to know why the moon is described as "killing"? Os the sun as "shadowed"?

And last but not least (actually this is the most important reason), if you're a teeny tiny bit like me then before you buy a book you want to have a feel for it first. You want to read an excerpt from it and see if it draws you in. Personally I was drawn in from page one (you can read the first chapter of "The Killing Moon" here). Why? Because Jemisin has such a graceful, flowing prose and pays attention to detail, which to me is what makes a book stand out from the pile of ordinary and becomes extraordinary. She has a sublime way of describing scenes that will take you straight into the world and the streets of Gujaareh. If that isn't enough for you, then I don't know what is. Well, yeah, I know, the stories must also be interesting, right? But trust me, they're one of a kind. They're unique.

Both books stand alone as stories, so you don't really need to read the first in order to get to the second, but if you do then you will have a more spherical idea of the world Jemisin has created and its ways. I definitely recommend both, because they're so different to each other. I loved Ehiru from the first book and Hanani from the second one, but that was to be expected really. 

In fear I will spoil the story line to you, I'm pasting here both them book's back covers.

"The Killing Moon"
In the desert city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Along its ancient stone streets, there is no crime or violence. Priests of the dream-goddess, known as Gatherers, maintain order: harvesting the dreams of the citizens, healing the injured, and guiding the dreamers into the afterlife… whether they’re ready to die or not. 
When Ehiru — the most famous of the city’s Gatherers — is sent to harvest the dreams of a diplomatic envoy, he finds himself drawn into a conspiracy that threatens to drag the dreaming city into war. 
So begins a hugely ambitious tale of culture and empire, war and religion…and the realm of dreams.

"The Shadowed Sun" 
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.

No matter the format you'll choose to read those, I definitely want your opinion on them. Or we could have a whole conversation. Or we could flood the author's blog with comments about the world and how amazing it would be if a roleplaying game was to be released, based on this setting. Or, wishful thinking, for a third Dreamblood book, who knows?

Until next time, 


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