The Killing Moon by: N.K. Jemisin


The city burned beneath the Dreaming Moon.

In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and amongst the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers – the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe . . . and kill those judged corrupt.

But when a conspiracy blooms within Gujaareh’s great temple, Ehiru – the most famous of the city’s Gatherers – must question everything he knows. Someone, or something, is murdering dreamers in the goddess’ name, stalking its prey both in Gujaareh’s alleys and the realm of dreams. Ehiru must now protect the woman he was sent to kill – or watch the city be devoured by war and forbidden magic.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Content Warnings: Murder, death, gore, suicidal thoughts, attempted rape, mention of child grooming and predatory behavior, war themes, and genocide.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

I’ve heard so many amazing things about the writings of N. K. Jemisin and decided I needed to dive in. The world-building within these pages is beautiful and has me desperately wanting to explore more within this realm. The characters are complex and well-rounded and have me wanting to know more about all of them.

We bounce between a few different perspectives while reading, which I always love in general, but especially in fantasy novels. What one character could see as helpful and good another could easily see as harmful and bad. I feel all great stories show us that nothing is ever fully evil or fully good but in fact are shades of grey that depend on your experiences and perspective.

I will say this book felt a lot heavier to read than most fantasies I’ve read lately. Recently I’ve read fantasies that have a small subplot, of romance, to where I sometimes ignore a lot of the darkness and chaos going on around and focus on the hope and happiness that romance brings to a story. Where there are characters, within this story, that fiercely hold on to the hope of a better future for their lands it was hard to ignore the darkness they faced. Really this is just a me problem where I yearn for everyone to have a happy ending and, just like real life, that’s just not possible for everyone.

This was one of those books where I also thoroughly enjoyed reading through the author’s notes, interview, and dictionary listed after the story ended. Hearing what inspired the lore and world Jemisin wrote was really fun to read and has me wanting to dive back into the world mythology, and religion, obsession I had in my youth. The interview in the back was also fun as you could see their friendship where the banter and teasing have you wishing you were a fly on the wall during that interview.

If you’re looking for a fantasy novel with political intrigue/manipulation, a fascinating magic system, war themes, and characters with strong compasses…this will be a great read for you!

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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