I mentionned in my last wrap-up that I would do mini reviews of The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin and Twelve Kings by Bradley Beaulieu, two three stars reads that I read in January!
The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth #2) ★★★
The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.
It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.
It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.
The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.
The Obelisk Gate was the first book I read in 2017, it was one of my most anticipated 2016 releases that I had not the chance to get to last year even if it was the sequel to one of my favorite book of 2015: The Fifth Season. I had heard that it picked up right at the end of the first book and that it was better to reread The Fifth Season before starting it because otherwise, the beginning could be confusing so that’s what I did.
I think that it was both a good way to understand The Obelisk Gate better but at the same time, I’m pretty sure that the reread tainted my opinion of the sequel. It might be a bit weird but I love the first book so much (even more after the reread) that reading the sequel expecting to be as impressed wasn’t probably the best thing.
Indeed, The Obelisk Gate is a good sequel, the new characters introduced, the expansion of the worldbuilding, the different explanations of the things that happened in The Fifth Season, all of those aspects were well done. The relationships between the characters were really fascinating and overall, I should be pleased with it. However, The Obelisk lacked the “wow” factor of the first book and because of that, I can’t bring myself to give it more than a three stars rating, it’s probably a bit unfair but I just liked it.
However, I would still absolutely recommend this series if you are looking for a very original story set in a world where some people can lift mountains, create tsunamis and end the world…The third and final book of this trilogy, The Stone Sky, is coming out later this year and is one of my most anticipated releases of 2017!
Twelve Kings by Bradley Beaulieu (The Song of the Shattered Sands #1) ★★★
Sharakhai, the great city of the desert, center of commerce and culture, has been ruled from time immemorial by twelve kings—cruel, ruthless, powerful, and immortal. With their army of Silver Spears, their elite company of Blade Maidens, and their holy defenders, the terrifying asirim, the Kings uphold their positions as undisputed, invincible lords of the desert. There is no hope of freedom for any under their rule.
Or so it seems, until Çeda, a brave young woman from the west end slums, defies the Kings’ laws by going outside on the holy night of Beht Zha’ir. What she learns that night sets her on a path that winds through both the terrible truths of the Kings’ mysterious history and the hidden riddles of her own heritage. Together, these secrets could finally break the iron grip of the Kings’ power…if the nigh-omnipotent Kings don’t find her first.
Twelve Kings was the first book I bought when I received my Kindle about a year and a half ago and I finally decided to pick it up on a whim. I heard a ton of great things about the setting, the worldbuilding and the writing of this book and almost all the reviewers I trust a lot really liked it so I really expected to love it.
It sure isn’t bad but, I don’t really think that it lives up to the hype. Yes the desert setting is interesting, it is really nice to see epic fantasy books that aren’t set in European Middle Ages setting but the story was fairly stereotypical. A badass teenage girl wants to avenge the murder of her mother by killing the twelve ruling kings of Sharakai, a rich city set in the middle of a desert. Of course, dramas ensue and our heroine needs to save the day.
This book was entertaining, the main character was very badass but it could have been much shorter and overall the plot was pretty predictable. I enjoyed myself while reading so that’s good but it’s not groundbreacking in my opinion. If you have read the sequel, I would be curious to know if you liked it more than the first book or not.
That’s all for me today!