Hey everyone, and welcome to the second week of the readalong of N.K. Jemisin’s The Kingdom of the Gods, hosted by S Voss from Dab of Darkness, Lauren from Violin in a Void, Gabriella from Book Bound, and myself. The reading schedule is as follows:
The Kingdom of Gods – 575 pages
Week 1 Prologue – Chapter 4 (104 pages) Feb. 10th Dab of Darkness
Week 2 Chapters 5-10 (115 pages) Feb. 17th Violin in a Void
Week 3 Chapters 11-13 (119 pages) Feb. 24th Books Without Any Pictures
Week 4 Chapters 14-17 (117 pages) March 3rd Book Bound
Week 5 Chapter 18 – END (116 pages) March 10th Violin in a Void
This week’s questions were written by Lauren. The following questions and discussion will contain spoilers through the end of chapter 10.
1. Do you think Shahar can keep her childhood promise and be a good person and an Arameri?
One of the themes of The Kingdom of the Gods thus far is change and whether it is possible to change one’s nature. If Sieh, Shiny, and Naha can change, then so can the Arameri. Shahar seems like the right sort of person to bring that change to the Arameri. She’s clearly capable of playing the Arameri games, but she doesn’t want to, and she realizes that the world is far different than when the Arameri first grasped for power. Diplomacy is a necessity in the new world order, and the other Arameri are too blinded by tradition to see it.
2. The Arameri family has changed drastically and now we learn they’re being systematically killed off. Do you like the changes? Do you feel sorry for the family or are they getting what they deserve?
I feel bad for the Arameri. Why? Because the people who enslaved and abused the gods are dead. This is a new generation that hasn’t done anything yet other than have the bad luck of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I feel especially bad since most of the people who disappeared at first were from the lower ranks of the family, because they didn’t seem so bad to begin with. The Arameri’s fate should be determined by their actions. Individually, not as a group. And yeah, Shahar’s mother is a bitch, but my thoughts on her are no excuse for destroying everyone.
3. Any theories on the antagonist that Sieh meets in his dream?
Maybe the Maelstrom spit out another god.
4. Religious belief in the city and the palace has changed a lot, as have humans’ relationships with the gods. Thoughts? What might your beliefs be if you lived in Sky/Shadow?
I don’t think that the gods should be worshiped. Respected, sure, but they’ve proven that they are fallible creatures and their word can’t be taken as truth. Even more importantly, people can’t be trusted to be the gatekeepers of what the gods want. We saw how very wrong that is with Itempas’ followers in the last book. If I lived in Sky/Shadow, I’d probably befriend some of the gods and invite them over for the occasional afternoon tea.
5. Sieh’s not quite the charming boy god we saw in book 1. How do you feel about his character at the moment?
He’s a petulant teenager, and I love it. He’s got his flaws, his vengeance, his rebelliousness, his lust… he’s growing up, and is annoying in exactly the same ways that most adolescents are. Jemisin couldn’t have done a better job writing him.
6. Should Sieh work for Ahad?
I don’t trust Ahad, but I don’t hate him either. I did have a sneaking suspicion for a moment that Ahad might have been the entity that Sieh met in a dream, but I don’t think so. He seems as clueless as everyone else. I find Ahad’s “brothel” to be amusing, but it’s a peaceful place where people can explore their desires willingly and without judgement. Sieh is lucky to have found it; I don’t think that any other brothel would have the same care or consideration. He’s facing the same problem as many other of Sky/Shadow’s population, and he’s gonna have to worry about things like food and shelter that weren’t such a big deal when he was a god. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Sieh could certainly do worse than working for Ahad.