The Kingdom of the Gods Readalong, Week 1

The Kingdom of the Gods

Hey everyone, and welcome to the first 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

For anyone who still wants to join, it’s not too late.  Let me know and I can make sure you’re added to the list.

The following discussion will contain spoilers from the first four chapters.

Do you think the twins’ names Dekarta and Shahar are portentous of who they will grow into?

I get the impression that Dekarta’s name in particular foreshadows the tension between the conflict between being an Arameri and being a horrible human being.  Dekarta tried, in his own way, but he failed.  Perhaps the new generation of Arameri brats will be able to break the cycle.

Yeine and Itempas. Too early? Or will Yeine be the bridge that puts everyone back together?

Not too early, but a little weird.  I get that she’s trying to pull everyone back together, but I don’t think Itempas is her type.

Sieh seems to have some need, or at least an attraction, to be in Sky Palace. Healthy or unhealthy?

A little bit of both, perhaps.  Even before the accident, Sieh seems to be growing up.  Going back to Sky is part of his healing process, but at the same time, Sieh’s healing is contrary to his own nature.  I’m also wondering if perhaps Itempas’ isolation from Yeine and Naha is why the order of the world seems to be changing.  Because Itempas isn’t there to preserve order, the laws of nature are thrown into chaos, and things are falling out of whack.  You’ve got the resonance in the Maelstrom, an aging Sieh, and I suspect a lot more troubles that we just aren’t seeing yet.  I’m thinking it’ll be the end of the world unless the Three get back together.

In just this beginning section, we see more than just physical changes in Sieh. What do you think is happening to him, and more importantly why?

See my answer to the previous question.  When Itempas was ruling and the others were enslaved, there was order, but it was a violent and cruel kind of order.  When you leave Naha in charge, there’s going to be an unhealthy chaos, even if it’s not at all what he intends to do.  Only when the Three are together will there be balance, and that’s the only way that Sieh can be healed.

Shahar is quite angry with her mother and has been for some time. Justified? How do you think their relationship will shape this story?

Her mother is an Arameri through and through.  If Shahar finds a way to rebel against her mother by being a good person, she’s also going to need to find a way to prove herself as an Arameri.  It’ll be interesting to see her try to strike a balance as she comes of age.

Why do you think Shahar’s letters to her brother return unopened?

I get the distinct impression that their mother might view the twins together as a threat, and I wouldn’t put it past her to be intercepting the letters before they ever get to Dekarta.  He never reads them, and so he’ll think he’s abandoned by Shahar, who will in turn think she’s being snubbed by Dekarta.  I’m just hoping that the two of them are smart enough to see through it.

Other thoughts…

Sieh is an interesting choice as a protagonist.  It gives us an insider’s perspective on the Gods’ War and on the dynamic between the Three.  You can see how much he’s been hurt over the years, and how his embrace  of both the innocence and pettiness of childhood helps him cope.  Right now he’s experiencing a loss of innocence more profound than ever could have occurred at the hands of the Arameri, and I feel sorry for him.  I hope things work out for him in the end, even if he does have to grow up.

7 thoughts on “The Kingdom of the Gods Readalong, Week 1

  1. Yeine and Itempas: That was weird. I think he is her type though, at least in terms of being one of the Three. They all need each other. Itempas seems very different from the other two, but he also brings a sense of structure that they need (and that made life possible).

    3, 4. Ah, that’s an excellent point. Making Itempas mortal might have had unforeseen consequences. And it’s been so long since the Three were together that it’d be no surprise if the universe is out of whack.

  2. I agree with you that the world is thrown out of whack by Itempas being away, but I think he still has a lot to learn as a mortal. It’s going to be hard for me to accept if he ends up jumping right back into godhood after a few decades, after all he put his family through, just because he is needed for the stability of the universe. (Okay, I don’t want their universe to collapse, but still…)

    I am really hoping that Shahar and Dekarta can prove Sieh wrong about the badness of Arameri, as they come of age!

    1. I think that a threat to the order of the universe might be what it takes though to make the Three reconcile again and start to act like the family that they are. Harboring resentment and grudges isn’t going to help anybody, and is going to make all of the gods weaker as a result. Yes, Itempas did something very very bad, but having the Three be apart might be causing and/or allowing something much worse to go unchecked.

  3. Good point about Itempas’s absence affecting the order of the world. If he isn’t there to preserve it, can Yeine do so by herself? Or at least keep changes slow? I wonder what other changes in the world we will see since Itempas/Shiny has disappeared all together.

    I too think Shahar’s mum may very be intercepting her letters to her brother. Must be frustrating for the twins, especially after so many years.

    Sieh is a very interesting protagonist. We’ve seen bits and pieces of him in the previous two books, so we had some knowledge before going into this. But I find it very fun to ride around in his head.

    1. I don’t think that Yeine can hold things together, nor should it be her responsibility. I think that all Three are gonna have to work together.

      Shahar’s mother is up to a lot of things, and none of them good. I find myself strongly disliking her, especially after reading the next section.

      Sieh is such a wonderful narrator because we already know that he’s biased and not quite reliable. He holds grudges, picks fights, and kills for fun. At the same, his childlike nature makes him extremely easy to identify and empathize with. 🙂

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