Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

The Shadowed Sun The Shadowed Sun
by N. K. Jemisin

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

The Shadowed Sun is the sequel to The Killing Moon and is the conclusion in N K Jemisin’s "The Dreamblood" couplet.

The Shadowed Sun restarts the story begun in The Killing Moon by allowing a ten year hiatus in the narrative. That hiatus allows The Shadowed Sun to be read in isolation from the previous work (but this reviewer believes they should be read in sequence). The land of Gujaareh is under occupation by Kisua following the aborted war of Prince Eninket and the populace is tiring of that occupation. This time the story shifts from the concerns of the Gujaareen gatherers and moves to the personal hopes and ambitions of the apprentice sharer Hanani, the first female apprenticed to the service of the Gujaareen god, and the prince-in-exile Wanahomen. As in The Killing Moon a Machiavellian research project of Gujaareh’s founder, Inunru, figures prominently. This is a dream that is contagious, cannot be stopped by the sharers or the gatherers and is slowly killing all who dream it.

The Shadowed Sun is the closest Ms Jemisin has come, in her five books to date, to a traditional fantasy tale with the trappings that that style embraces. But even as she falls into the stylistic expectations Ms Jemisin employs moments of authorial ju-jitsu to surprise and delight the reader. For example: this time each of the protagonists see Gujaareh from an outsider’s point of view – even if they have lived in Gujaareh their whole lives – as in their own ways each of the protagonists is an outsider.

The Shadowed Sun is another excellent read from an author who has made her way on to my must buy list. The Shadowed Sun is not your average fantasy story, not be a long shot, it so much better than that.

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