The Kingdom of Gods (The Inheritance Trilogy)
After the last book, I was a little reticent to open up this one. Yeah, that was stupid and here’s why: the main character is Sieh! Yeah, that Sieh, the adorable little rapscallion you’ll be remembering from The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Sieh won my heart wholesale in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and reading this book I lost track of the “D’aww” moments. He swept me away with his tricks and his mischief. In some ways this is a story about how we should all cling to childhood while we can (a lesson every adult knows, but every child refuses to believe). In other ways it’s a story about how we grow up to be so much more than we could ever dream as children. Either way it’s a story after my heart. Between Sieh, Dekarta, and Shahar, I found myself reveling in this world of magic and power.
Sieh followed Yeine to the house of a god that he hated. He watched her straddle that god and give herself to him. He fled, as children do, and ran to a place that, though not safe, was familiar to him: the Nowhere Stair in Sky. He lounges there, contemplating how much he hates Bright Itempas, when two six year old twins stumble upon him. They’ve been wandering the underworld of Sky for hours and they’ve already eaten the sandwich they packed for their little adventure. Sieh, being the god of childhood, talks to them and plays with them. He’s intrigued by this impertinent girl and the very clever boy. Little does he know that everything hangs on this moment and these two children.
Shahar and Dekarta are enchanting. One feels a mother’s pride as we watch these three children (yes, I’m classifying Sieh as a child with Shahar and Deka) grow and become so much more than anyone could have hoped for them. I identified with Shahar’s childlike declaration that she would grow up and be different than what people expected her to be. I can almost remember saying those words myself. Though I think this is probably true of most people. How many of us wanted to change the world before the world got in our way, deterring us from the astronauts or doctors we wanted to be when we were ten?
The remarkable thing about Shahar is that though, yes time and circumstances do combine to make her more Arameri than that little girl would have preferred, she also somehow retains that resistance to the Arameri. Well, perhaps not so much resistance as refusal to mindlessly wield their weapons to cruelly rule the world. This is encouraging to me. A woman raised by a family of people who never show emotion, who are constantly scheming, and she can retain her childlike refusal to be assimilated. I mean, for god’s sake, she was hugged by her mother once, once. The fact that she has any concept of what love really is is heartening.
Sieh is, of course, the main attraction. There’s not much I can say here without having to spoiler the crap out of the review, so I’ll say this. Seih is the reason you want to read this book. He’s still buoyantly mischievous and he still loves Yeine from the very depths of his soul.
In the end, the story is charming and though I sometimes found it to be a little too easy to put down, I still enjoyed the hell out of it. 4 ink bottles.
In terms of the series, my ranking from best to most-put-downable is: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Kingdom of Gods, and The Broken Kingdoms.