I actually bought N.K. Jemisin‘s The Inheritance Trilogy first, but I decided to start on The Dreamblood duology (series?) first. This was my first encounter with N.K. Jemisin and I’m glad it was The Killing Moon that introduced me to her.
Ehiru is a Gatherer – one of those who have sworn to keep the city of Gujaareh peaceful. The Gatherers spin magic from dreams when the people of the city sleep and use the magic to help, heal and protect the citizens from those who are corrupt. But when people start dying in their sleep under suspicious circumstances, it is Ehiru who must find out the truth.
I’ll admit it: I love many kinds of Fantasy, but I’m especially enamoured with Fantasy that isn’t set in the “standard” Western medieval world. This book has taken its inspiration from ancient Egypt, and that’s incredibly exciting. The fictional religion of the dream-goddess, her followers and the things that can be done within dreams and with dreams are interesting to read about, and the way the Gatherers, Sharers, Sisters and Sentinels work within the city feels natural
Ehiru himself is a great character, so full of love and faith, and yet in a way so naive. He concerns himself only with giving peace to those who need it, that he is almost blinded to everything else. His apprentice-Gathered, Nijiri, is both childlike and wise beyond his years. Their relationship and interactions made for frustrations, laughs and sad moments.
The story itself is unusual, just the way I like it, and N.K. Jemisin does a great job at making you feel for the characters in her world, and makes it easy to understand where they’re coming from, even if they’re on opposite sides of the conflict. It also gives you a chance to really think about mercy killings and whether they’re really mercy or just murder. I know which side of the argument I fall on – for this book and this world at least – and I always consider it a good thing if a Fantasy novel makes me think about issues in the real world.
After finishing The Killing Moon, I immediately started on The Shadowed Sun, because I didn’t want to part from this world, and this conflict just yet.