The Broken Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy No.2) – N.K. Jemisin
A decade ago the city was known as Sky, for the floating palace of the Arameri, and strict monotheism was enforced upon its citizens by the followers of Bright Itempas. Now that palace is ensnared between the branches of the World Tree that towers over all, giving this place the new name of Shadow, and it is overrun by the children of the gods. They walk among mortals, making homes, taking lovers, answering the prayers of their worshippers in between managing their more mundane enterprises. The trails of magic they leave behind are visible to Oree Shoth alone, and magic is the only thing she can see. Beloved of one godling and living with another, she is already subject to more celestial attention than she would like; then she finds an impossible corpse, and realises the disaster has just begun.
Jemisin has a clear, engaging style and a wealth of beautiful imagery – which, given the book’s blind protagonist, is presented in an inventive variety of ways. It is rare to see a character with a disability placed at the centre of a novel-length narrative, and Oree holds that space decisively. Hers is a different kind of strength to Jemisin’s previous heroine, Yeine, but she’s equally enjoyable company. I also loved some of the secondary characters, particularly Lil and Nemmer. The trilogy concludes with The Kingdom of Gods.