This is the second book of Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy, I previously reviewed the first book, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Jemisin’s world of powerful gods and less powerful people has changed greatly in the ten years since the end of the first book. A massive World Tree is now growing under and through the royal city of Sky, where the Arameri family continue to live and rule, though that rule has become fragmented by the return of many lesser gods to the city. Things have not changed much for the very poor, some of whom live among the roots of the tree in its shadows, doing their best to eke out a living. Oree Shoth is one, an artist of magical paintings in her own home, but at her stand under the tree she sells trinkets and cheap souvenirs to pilgrims visiting the city. Oree had been the lover of a minor god, Madding, who is still her friend. Now she’s taken in another silent man she calls Shiny who seems to care little about his own life, but whenever he dies, he’s quickly reborn. Shiny’s power is profound, and his secret is important, but it takes time for Oree to learn about it. Meanwhile, she witnesses the death of another minor god, bringing her to the attention of religious authorities from the Order of the New Light, who take her prisoner and try to convert her to their faith. Oree begins to discover she has power of her own, but it’s power with a terrible cost if used the wrong way. Can she and Shiny escape from their captivity?
Another fine read from Jemisin, and I liked this different viewpoint from the first book, looking up from the ground rather than down from the sky. Recommended.