The Broken Kingdoms Readalong, Week 4

Grace 27 January, 2014 Readalongs 11 comments

The Broken Kingdoms

Hi everyone, and welcome to the conclusion of our readalong of N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Kingdoms.  This week’s questions were written by myself and cover chapter 17 through the end of the book.

I’m putting a Mr. Linky at the bottom of the page for anyone who wants to link up their posts.

***The following discussion will contain massive spoilers.  This week is the week that we all rant about how much we loved/hated/cried at the end of the book, so if you don’t want to know what happens, stop here.  You have been warned!***

1.  We finally meet T’vril in his new role as Lord Arameri.  Is he what you expected?

So, during The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, for some reason I pictured T’vril as kindly and a little sad.  I didn’t expect him to cut out somebody’s tongue (even if she did deserve it), or to try to enslave Oree.  We see a completely different side of him here, and although it makes sense that he feels like he has something to prove, it still startled me.

2.  Oree is given a choice, to live as the Arameri’s weapon, or to die.  What would you do in that position?

I’d be scared to die, and so I’d take T’vril’s deal.  The knowledge of what I had done would haunt me, and I’d have a hard time living with myself.  Meanwhile, I’d be hearing stories from the Arameri about what life was like before, and one day I’d summon the courage to call Naha and ask him to fuck me to death.  Or at least, that’s what I’d imagine I’d do.  *grin*

3.  Do you think that Oree made the right decision by sending Shiny away?  How do you feel about Yeine’s role here?

I was pissed at Yeine cause she gets to spend eternity with the man she loves but denies Oree a short lifetime of the same pleasure.  I get that Naha is still pretty angry, and I know why she felt like she had to break up Oree and Shiny, but seriously, not cool.  The punishment is supposed to be Shiny’s, but other people are getting caught in the crossfire, and that bothers me.  There has to be another way. They’re gods, for fuck’s sake! Change the terms of the spell, perhaps.  Make it time-based, or “whenever Naha and Sieh are ready to forgive.”  I was glad to see that Oree stood up to Naha, but I was saddened by her plight and by the ending of her time with Shiny.

4.  What did you think of the ending of the book?  Were you satisfied?

The scene with Dateh was so creepy!  It reminded me of a nightmare, and when Shiny was like “Release my children” I was cheering for him all the way.  I kind of hoped there would be a way out for Madding, but at the same time, I would have been disappointed if there was because it would have trivialized death, which wouldn’t make much sense at all.  I didn’t expect the scenes after T’vril, to be quite honest, even though I was reading the book for the second time, because any other story would have ended right there.  I’m glad that Oree was allowed to live, and she’s going to bring another beautiful demon baby into the world.

5.  How did The Broken Kingdoms compare to The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms?  Which did you like better?

While The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms remains my favorite, The Broken Kingdoms was a fantastic read and didn’t suffer from the dreaded middle-book-syndrome in the least.  It had so many things to love–magical art, a blind protagonist, fallen gods, nightmarish villains… I enjoyed it a lot, and I was glad to get to read it with all of you.  :)

Thank you all for being a part of the readalong!




11 Responses to “The Broken Kingdoms Readalong, Week 4”

  1. Lauren

    1. I think ten years of rule has changed T’vril. Also, he’s seen through Oree’s eyes, and she’s a commoner. He wouldn’t treat her as he did Yeine (a fellow aristrocrat and higher-ranking), and Oree would perceive him as more fearsome too. If we saw more of T’vril, if he had a chance to have dinner with Oree or something, then I think his gentler nature would emerge.

    3. That’s a good point – why can’t Yeine just change the terms of Shiny’s punishment? If they want this to last another thousand years at least, then he’ll probably start to fall in love again. Will they just keep ruining his relationships? That’s no way to rehabilitate someone!

    4. I wanted Madding to come back, but I also felt like that would be too easy, and too cheesy.

    5. Me too! And I love being part of this read-along as well :)

    • Grace

      1. Good point. I hadn’t really considered the class difference between Oree and T’vril, and it makes sense that he’s much scarier as a ruler than as a peer.

      3. If it becomes a trend, it might end up making Shiny resentful and undo any chance of rehabilitation.

  2. Gabriella

    1. I’m fairly happy for T’vril, I think he deserves to be King… even though I’m annoyed at his decision that he gave to Oree, even though he does sort of renegade backwards to letting her slide out of the deal.

    2. Agreed 100% :P

    3. I just don’t understand why Nahadoth really has to be so ‘moody’. If he was given all of his children, like Sieh, to be with, why can’t Shiny have one person too?

    5. Such a fun read alone ^_^

    http://schreibenundwriting.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/the-broken-kingdoms-read-along-week-iv/

    • Grace

      It’s weird, because as much as I love Naha from the first book, I think he’s incredibly unreasonable at the moment. That’s one of the things I like about getting to see the same characters from different people’s perspectives; we get to see them at their best and at their worst, and it makes them seem a lot more human.

  3. Allie

    “I kind of hoped there would be a way out for Madding, but at the same time, I would have been disappointed if there was because it would have trivialized death, which wouldn’t make much sense at all.”

    I feel the same way. I really wanted Madding to come back (I had hope when we saw his soul come out of Dateh), but then didn’t at the same time. I hate when books kill off characters, only to bring them back again. It trivializes death, and I also feel like it kind of mocks the reader’s emotional connection to the characters. I feel silly for having been sad when they died, in the first place.

    “I’m glad that Oree was allowed to live, and she’s going to bring another beautiful demon baby into the world.”

    I almost typed the sentence in my answers, “At least Oree has her demon baby,” and then realized that sounded like the plot of a horror movie, when read without context. :D But I am glad, too, that Oree lives, and that she has a little half-Itempas baby that she can raise with love.

    • Grace

      Haha, it does sound like the plot of a horror movie, doesn’t it? I just hope that the kid grows up in a world where he/she is loved and accepted rather than feared or used as a weapon.

  4. Ines

    Love your answer to question 2. I also think I would have a hard time living with myself knowing I was responsible for godlings’ deaths.
    Am I the only one who preferred this book to the previous one? (haven’t read all the posts so far so I can’t tell yet)

    • Grace

      It was really hard to pick a favorite because both books were so good, but I think that most of us did end up preferring the first one. I’m curious about book three, because I had read the first two before the readalongs, but hadn’t gotten around to the last one yet. :)

  5. nrlymrtl

    While T’vril cut out Serymn’s tongue, he did it quickly and he didn’t seem to take any joy in it. For instance, he didn’t eat the tongue. And while I think he did it mostly to protect himself, it also protected Oree.

    I hadn’t thought about inviting Nahadoth into bed as a delightful, ecstatic way to exit life. ;)

    I remember the first time I read this, that I was hoping with the defeat of Dateh we would somehow get Madding back in some form. But you are right, that would have trivialized the permanence of death, not only for Madding but for the other godlings too.

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