When I first picked this book up I thought it was going to be a continuation of Yeine’s story. It was not so I put it down, mostly because I was annoyed, I mean who is this Oree and how dare she take over the story line? Well I can hold a gruge because it has taken me almost three years to read this and you know the only one who was missing out was me.
For the summary, The Broken Kingdoms takes place about 10 years after the events in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. As you can guess we switch narrators to a blind artist named Oree. Oree is blind to everything but magic which kind of explains why she has relationships with godlings (children of the Three gods). For the most part life is somewhat normal but when she takes in a homeless man who is mute but glows in the morning with magic life then a short time later Oree comes across a murdered godling and from then on things to start to get ugly. Everyone wants answers and the gods/godlings want justice unfortunately for Oree she is caught up in the middle.
While this book offers cameo’s of characters (Yeine, Naha, T'vril, Hado and Sieh) from the first book I think it can stand completely on its own, however reading The Hundred Thousand Kindgoms makes this book much more enjoyable. What I loved the most about this book was the characters. Our narrator is a blind woman who sees in magic and as a first person narration this could have been troublesome but it read rather effortlessly and it is refreshing for example “Rising from the dead? Glowing at sunrise? What did that make him, the god of cheerful mornings and macabre surprises?”. In our last book Itempas was our villain – one who I was not prepared to like at all, but through Oree we get a different understanding and it made me sympathetic. Almost like there is a grand plan and no matter how painful our cast of characters all must play a role in it.
Before I start telling spoilers let me move on. This story is much more of an emotional roller coaster than its predecessor. At times I was excited and laughing other times I was horrified and heartbroken. The overall tone is quite dark as the gods and godlings are all still angry and hurt, for them nothing has changed yet the reality is everything has changed except their bitterness which for me made the storyline believable. It was also interesting to watch Oree bring about change with her having very little inclination that she was doing just that
Like the first book the ending was just as bittersweet. There were a few issues that bothered me mainly the pairing at the end. It did not feel right for either of them. Anyway I guess this means the book is not perfect but it is rather wonderful. I cannot wait to read the last part of the trilogy.