Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

The Killing Moon The Killing Moon
by N. K. Jemisin

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

The Killing Moon is the first book in N K Jemisin’s new two book series "The Dreamblood". Ms Jemisin first came to my attention in 2010 with her Hugo Award nominated book The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, the start of a very well imagined and quite different fantasy series. Well, once again Ms Jemisin has written a fantasy and in so doing has mined separate veins of inspiration and setting to her colleagues in the sword and sorcery genre; this time bringing forth a tale of narcomancy (dream magic) in a sort of Nubian and pharaohonic world.

As you may guess from that introduction I was most taken by The Killing Moon. Not only is this a book that is different from the current crop of fantasy in both its setting and magic system Ms Jemisin does not over-play the magic, but leaves it sitting there as a very visible elephant in the room – because this is a book about politics, corruption and betrayal – and dream magic (but only one of the acts of that magic) is central to the story. And that one act is loved in one country and an anathema in the other.

The Killing Moon centres on two dream gatherers, a master and his apprentice, and their personal struggle with institutional corruption, betrayal and politics. To say more would give the game away, but there is murder, misdirection and just a little bit of mayhem.

Although this is book one in a series, it read as a standalone novel. One can read The Killing Moon and be done with the series at that point. For book two this reader expects the next book to start with no direct connection to the first book, but to be an obvious sequel nonetheless: N K Jemisin is very adept at that conceit. Whatever is in store in book two I for one cannot get that book soon enough.

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