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Displaying 1 - 30 of 476 reviews
Profile Image for Lindsay.
1,275 reviews227 followers
May 31, 2020
A delightful addition to a brilliant trilogy.

Shill is a brand new godling, born to Mama Yeine, Papa Tempa and Naha. Against the wishes of her parents she visits "the Planet Where Gods Die" (which is also called "the Planet Whose Mortals Were Killed by Gods, Lots"). When she arrives we learn the new status quo of the world of the Inheritance Trilogy and Darre.

I've read almost everything this author has published. Given that, I think I could be forgiven for the expectation of something fairly grim. She turns that expectation on it's head with this delightful little novella told from the point of view of a godling just over a month old, playful and naive. Shill is fantastic as she explores the world and discovers her nature. There's so many quotable funny bits, like Shill reflecting on being an amoeba (glurgle glurgle squishchomp) or meeting her brother Ral the Dragon (Then I talked to Ral the Dragon, which was hard because all it does is spit fire and roar. So I tried spitting fire and roaring along with it, and it didn’t spit any fire at me, so I guess that was OK.) and when she trips all over tense when she tries to communicate happenings in the godrealm.

I loved this series, but this novella is definitely a reward for getting this far.
Profile Image for Katrina.
Author 42 books657 followers
January 31, 2015
CUUUTE! (yep, that's my whole review. you're welcome.)
Profile Image for Ashley.
2,774 reviews1,776 followers
February 10, 2017
This is how you do a novella, people. I bought this on release day, actually, and I'm not sure why I waited to read it. I loved Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy, and even now after reading this, I still want more from this world. But I just finished The Fifth Season over the weekend, and then I had a bad experience with another novella read for the Hugos, and this was just the perfect antidote to both of those. The Fifth Season was wonderful, but so, so dark, and Binti was just extremely disappointing. This book, though, is a bubbly fountain of joy and wonder and imagination and I fell instantly in love with it. Sometimes you do that in the first few pages and the book disappoints you in the end, but The Awakened Kingdom was good the whole way through. It made me want to do cartwheels.

(I refrained. It would only have ended in injury.)
"I did not mean to break that planet it was just in the way when I came into being and I fixed it and I said I was sorry and the planet said OK so since I'm supposed to learn from stuff like that I will tell you don't break planets, especially the ones with living things on them, or at least fix them if you break them. Also, don't go in black holes, no matter how much they look like cute little Nahas. They are not cute! They are actually very bitey and kind of mean. Also just OK I do not want to talk about any of this anymore."

That's Shill. She's a newborn god, the first to be born in a long while. She is adorable and an incredibly engaging and entertaining narrator. Jemisin absolutely nails her personality within about five sentences, and she maintains that characterization over the course of the novella, even as Shill grows and changes and realizes her true nature.

If you haven't read Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy (and why not? It's great! Start with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and thank me later), in this world, gods have natures, but most don't know those natures right away. It's Shill's arc in this novella to find her nature, and her antithesis (that which is her opposite and negates her power). To find her identity, essentially. (Also, to grow up. One of the brilliant things about it is the way that Jemisin has Shill's narrative voice reflect directly her maturation. The above excerpt is from the beginning when she is still very new.) Her parents are two of the three main gods, and they still mourn for her lost sibling (again: read the original trilogy). She keeps trying to fit herself into the hole he left behind, but it's not working, so she seeks out the mortal world, hoping to find what she's looking for there. What she finds is a brilliant reversal of some things I don't want to spoil, but the whole thing made my insides squishy with love and friendship.

I'm not sure this would play as well for people who haven't read the original trilogy first, but I'm convinced even people who haven't will succumb to the charms of Shill. Why wasn't THIS book nominated for a bunch of awards, huh? WHY. Because it's seemingly light and silly? Because funny can't be serious at the same time? Well BOOOO. BOO TO THAT. This novella was awesome. Five stars easy.
Profile Image for Henk.
875 reviews
November 13, 2021
A decent enough read, but not a very meaty addition to the main story of the trilogy
Such things are better endured than avoided.

A story about empowerment and inequity that a new godling starts to navigate. Sweet but quite clear in resolution and not really adding to the main narrative of the trilogy perse in my view.
Profile Image for Franzi.
98 reviews94 followers
November 25, 2019
1 Star

So this was not for me. I couldn't stand Shill as a narrator. It felt like I read from the perspective of a 4-year old, which was presumably intended but still annoying. The story itself was meh. I like the ending of the trilogy, so this additional story felt somehow unecessary and pointless.
Profile Image for YouKneeK.
659 reviews80 followers
April 17, 2019
The Awakened Kingdom is a novella set about 300 years after the third book in N. K. Jemisin’s Inheritance trilogy. It’s told from the point of view of a very young godling who is only a little over a month old. She visits humans for the first time, on the same planet where the previous books took place, and learns a lot about life in general and about herself.

This was cute, but it was my least-favorite of Jemisin’s work by a good margin. The main character has a very bouncy, hyper voice that made me cringe sometimes. It fit her age and her personality and her experiences, but it was a bit much for me. The message was also not terribly subtle. I kept getting flashbacks to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Angel One”, which was not at all a favorite of mine.

Nevertheless, it still held my interest and I did like the main character despite her childish voice, especially as she gained more knowledge and some maturity. I liked the way she looked at things, and I liked how hard she tried to do the right thing. It was also a very fast read. The Amazon product page claims my edition is 250 pages, but there’s absolutely no way. I checked the page counts for other editions and most of them show 124 pages. That’s in line with the amount of time it took me to read, so I’m going with that for my personal records.
Profile Image for Sunil.
947 reviews120 followers
December 2, 2014
A new novella set after The Inheritance Trilogy is cause for celebration, and The Awakened Kingdom delivers. This time our narrator is Shill, a newly born Trickster god who is completely adorable because she is basically a child with godlike powers who doesn't really know how to use them. Sometimes she kills people. Uh, oops. Her narrative voice is completely endearing and engaging, and I was instantly drawn to her struggle to understand who she was and find her place in the cosmology. As usual, the god befriends a mortal, Eino, who is essentially a Men's Rights Activist in a society where men actually are a marginalized group. N.K. Jemisin delves even deeper into the matriarchal Darren society, exploring the gender dynamics of our own world by flipping them on their head in her fantasy world. I got a bit lost in the power struggles of Eino's story, and I was much more interested in Shill, but their stories are, of course, connected, leading to a satisfying/bewildering climax. In conclusion, SHILL IS THE CUTEST.
Profile Image for Alina.
771 reviews265 followers
February 6, 2017
This was simply delightful! A little summary, in the protagonist's voice:
”I am born! Hello! Many things happen. The end!"

I laughed quite a lot, as the narrator is a young, naive ‘newborn’ godling.
"Also, Papa Tempa tells me I am doing a wrong thing again. I am supposed to respect TIME, because that is a thing he has made for the place where mortals live, and you come from there. You might forget this if I tell it to you now, so I will tell it to you later and you will remember it when you reach now. That will happen in the gods’ realm, when you go there, which is where you are now, so don’t forget! I do not know why you are confused. I explained it fine.
[…] Imagine that you have just been born. It is very confusing. (Not like time. Time is easy.) "

I just love how Jemisin managed to have each of the books in the Inheritance series narrated by different characters, each of them with their own unique voice, so very different from each. Also, despite its very light and fun tone, the novella deals with topics like discrimination (it was nice to see more of Darr), discovering one's true self, coming-of-age, stereotypes, etc.

I’ll leave you with some more fun and/or deep bits now:
“Some questions are dangerous, Sibling. It’s time you learned that.” Oh. Oh. So scared. “H-how will I know which ones I shouldn’t ask if I don’t ask them?”

“Mortals cannot perceive one another’s souls,” he explained. “They need names, and sight and other things, to tell one another apart.” “That is so sad!” I looked at Fahno and put a hand to my mouth, because that was one of the worst things I’d ever heard. “You poor things.” “We get by,” said Fahno in a wry tone. “But names are one of the, ah, coping mechanisms we use.”

[…] to visit the mortal realm, so I packed myself up and wrapped myself in skin and some bones and stuff.

Now I was very confused. “Why did you make me, then?” “To live.” I was even more confused! “I’m alive, but I’m not what you want me to be.” “There is nothing that we want you to be, besides yourself. You are everything we desired of you.”

I understood now: Eino was like me, not the right shape for the role his parents needed him to fill. He was not the decorative, obedient thing that everyone in Darr wanted him to be, and it was hurting him that he couldn’t be. Nobody should try to make children be what they aren’t. Everyone should just be what they were supposed to be!
Profile Image for Joanna .
457 reviews83 followers
September 18, 2020


This novella was so good I am barely coherent. It was just the right length and the prose was a lot of fun.

Shill, our MC , is the epitome of childish wonder and curiosity. I love her exploring her existence. The concepts in this book are so mind blowing I know they are way above me. They’re incredibly complex and it baffles my mind how N.K. came up with them and then tried to explain them to us mere mortals.

I am just blabbering right now cause I am so wowed. I am so glad to have complete The Inheritance Cycle this year and I CAN NOT WAIT to start The Fifth Season which I have heard is suppose to eviscerate my entire being.

So should be fun. Wish me luck.

Happy Reading.


Profile Image for Evan.
161 reviews4 followers
November 20, 2018
Jemisin has such original ideas, and a story about a 40-day-old god, trying not to destroy the mortal realm, was excellent. I feel like this would be a really good book for young boys. It is essentially a tale about feminism, and most of the concepts are quite simple. But also weird, and quirky. Cause of course it is. Excellent.
Profile Image for Sara.
Author 4 books52 followers
November 13, 2017
I take back what I said about THE KINGDOM OF GODS being the most entertaining book in the Inheritance Trilogy. This novella, which is a sequel to TKoG, just unseated it - and I'm sure Shill would be super-proud to know that. XD

THE AWAKENED KINGDOM is about a baby godling's first sojourn into the mortal realm so she can discover her purpose (i.e., figure out what she's the god of). Being a baby godling, Shill embodies all aspects of childlike innocence: naivety, playfulness, and, um, well, immaturity. So naturally she gets into ALL kinds of trouble during her time in Darr and makes several characters - humans, demons, and older gods and godlings alike - very angry. (*lol*) But in the end, the story is more than a barrel of laughs, mischief, and silliness. Rather, it's a thoughtful take on the search of identity, the opening of one's eyes and mind to the injustices of the world, and the desire to empower the disenfranchised, told in a highly spirited and enthusiastic voice.

That narrative voice, which fits Shill perfectly, does take some getting used to. So does the frequency in which N.K. Jemisin breaks the fourth wall. (Though if I remember correctly, she does this in the other Inheritance novels... or at least the first two. It's just more noticeable here, IMO.) But Jemisin always has good reason for her narration choices, and like with her Inheritance novels (mainly THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS and THE BROKEN KINGDOMS) those reasons don't become clear until the end, and once again you think, "Man, I wish I could be that clever in my storytelling!"

Overall, I'd say I enjoyed this as much as Book #3 (THE KINGDOM OF GODS), but it didn't floor me as much as Books #1 and #2 did. The only other critique I have besides that and getting used to Shill's "voice" is that her nature (or, rather, purpose) wasn't clear to me until the final page, even though she clearly discovers it during the climax. I'd also recommend waiting to read THE AWAKENED KINGDOM until after you've read the entire Inheritance Trilogy, since this story gives away a MAAAAAJOR spoiler from THE KINGDOM OF GODS. ;)
Profile Image for Gizelle.
29 reviews9 followers
February 2, 2018
My expectations were too high for this novella. I assumed that since it was NK Jemisin, and since it is yet another story from a world of her creation that I'm familiar with and invested in, that I would enjoy this story. And it was okay, in the same way that Grey's Anatomy is okay at season 13, compared to how it was in season 3. I knew the world, I understood the internal logic, and I missed many of the characters. But the story and the voice of this speaker and the writing in general were each underwhelming. If someone else wrote it, though, I might have given this more credit; but my high expectations for Jemisin made this a let down.

I will say, she did stay true to her way of queering a story. Gendered expectations were flipped on their head and men were viewed in her story the way women are viewed in this life. It was interesting enough, but in the end I couldn't get behind the idea of giving back power to men, who were the downtrodden in this society, after they had tried to overpower the matriarchs of the land. I'm super good on this.

Overall, this story gets a solid MEH.
Profile Image for Anya.
763 reviews168 followers
February 14, 2015
Just so everyone knows, this novella will definitely spoil a big thing that happens in book three of the trilogy, but it can be easily enjoyed without having read the trilogy if you don't mind spoilers. The Awakened Kingdom reminds me why I LOVE Jemisin's writing so much: it is HILARIOUS as it breaks the fourth wall with a baby godling trying to explain the universe as she first experiences it. It is really a novella not to be missed because of how touching and amusing it is ;-).
Profile Image for Huda Al-Mossalli.
238 reviews15 followers
May 27, 2020
My favorite parts is when Shill explains complicated stuff and the says “ I don’t know why you don’t understand, I explained it perfectly “ 😂😂😂

When ever she says Papa Tempa I smile, he still is my favorite character.
Profile Image for Tani.
1,126 reviews22 followers
June 27, 2019
This takes place about 300 years after the events that ended the Inheritance Trilogy. The Three create a new godling, and she sets out into the world to try and figure out her purpose. The writing itself was a lot of fun in this story - it starts very childlike, and as Shill grows, so too does the writing. It might have been an annoying technique in a longer work, but I think it is executed really well in this novella. I also really enjoyed Shill as a character. More than any of the other characters in this series, I felt like Shill was very sweet, and I was happy to read about her. I also thought this worked very well as a coda to the series. It shows that although change is slow, it does happen, and sometimes that change is even for the better, which was a nice message to come away with.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
83 reviews1 follower
July 5, 2021
The narration is a bit cute for me, and the ending had me rolling my eyes at the obviousness of the message. It was nice to learn more about the universe, but i'm glad it was just a novella.
Profile Image for Nicky.
4,138 reviews1,014 followers
January 27, 2015
This novella has been released both separately as an ebook, and bundled in with the omnibus of the trilogy. I don’t know quite how I managed to miss that it existed, but I did. I quickly rectified my ignorance by grabbing a copy, and couldn’t resist getting stuck in right away. It helps that the narrator’s voice is infectiously fun; the godling who narrates is a child, full of enthusiasm to live and do and learn and grow. And she does all of this, of course, giving us glimpses in the meanwhile into the world without Sieh, a world where Itempas is learning to change and there is a fragile agreement between mortals and godlings that allows them to live in the same plane of existence. It shows us the world changing in other ways, too — the society in Darre, the actual physical conditions of the world changing and forcing society to change…

And there’s glimpses, just at the end, into the world that comes after that.

Mostly just glimpses, though; this is a novella. I would love to have more of it, although Shill’s voice might get a bit more annoying at length (though I think Jemisin is, as usual, a genius with her narrators). It could sort of stand alone from the three novels, too, but to really understand what’s going on, I wouldn’t recommend it. At this length, it feels that little bit unsatisfying because I think there’s always more I’d want to know about the world, but on the other hand, it ends just where it needs to end to leave you space to imagine.
Profile Image for Blodeuedd Finland.
3,438 reviews295 followers
December 20, 2014
This is a sequel novella, and in a way it could even work as a sort of stand alone. Because it takes places hundreds of years later. But if you want the epicness you need to read it all.

In this one we meet a new young god, who names herself Shill, and with young I mean YOUNG. I will not spoil how young but hehe, young!

She goes out into the world, experiences things, messes up and meets a young man. Which makes her want to change the world.

I enjoyed this novella. Shill was so..well..such a god. Knew nothing, knew everything. The world is interesting because Jemisin knows her worlds. And I got to see Yeine again.

Profile Image for rain.
627 reviews369 followers
June 30, 2020
Profile Image for Dalton Snyder.
138 reviews7 followers
January 6, 2022
3 stars. With this, I have read through the entirety of the giant bind-up that is the Inheritance Trilogy (all 1400 pages). This short novella was fun. I enjoyed the main character—a newborn god, trying to discover her nature—and what happened in the story. However, I can’t say that reading this added anything to the original trilogy… we didn’t discover anything new about the world, or visit any of the old characters—a few gods not included. With that being said, I can’t say that I would have actually read it had it not been a part of the bind-up that I had for the series.
Profile Image for Angela.
419 reviews923 followers
March 17, 2020
If you have read the Inheritance Trilogy and love the world you have to pick this up!! I was unable to put this short work down and absolutely loved this new Godling main character and how we got to use her growing up to understand more of the world and particularly a culture that only gets a little screen time in the original trilogy. N.K. Jemisin is an autoread for me now, I love her worlds and characters so much.
Profile Image for Carly K.
348 reviews26 followers
December 22, 2016
This is a sweet coda to the trilogy -- it doesn't quite have the punch of the earlier, much lengthier entries, but it does build on the existing world effectively. If you love the series, must read; if you just liked the series, you could probably skip it. If you haven't read the rest of the series, start with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.
Profile Image for Merve Özcan.
799 reviews31 followers
July 5, 2017
Bu seri sonsuza dek devam edebilirdi. Okurdum. Ama o zaman böyle güzel olmazdı. Tadı damağımda kaldı. Ama keşke bildiklerine dair bir cümle geçseydi. Yine konuştuklarına falan. 😂 Niye böyle özlemimizi kursağımızda bırakıyorsun ki?

Şunu da eklemek istiyorum: Bu seri kadar gender bender bir seri daha görmedim. Çok svyrm tnrm :'(
Profile Image for Viggo.
138 reviews1 follower
March 17, 2020
This was a sweet and interesting novella set in the Inheritance-universe, only loosely connected to the actual trilogy. Shill was without a doubt the cutest and funniest narrator so far and Jemisin did a great job with using the voice of an actual newborn godling. The matriarchal society and the reversed gender-roles in Darr were interesting and thought provoking. The ending kind of came out of nowhere, but it also fits with the themes of the series. It had some interesting ideas of what the future of this universe might look like, even if we won’t get any more books set in it.
After having finished two series by Jemisin (Broken Earth and Inheritance) she is definitely Up There with authors I want to follow and catch up on all their books. So I’m going to pick up the Dreamblood Duology and The City We Became ASAP.
Profile Image for Belinda Vlasbaard.
3,288 reviews61 followers
July 24, 2022
4,25 stars - English Ebook

I have never had a Godling tell me a story before and being mortal sincerely did not understand it upon first read. Exasperated at the seeming foolishness I put the story down and went away.

This night I persevered through this Godlings terrible twos and found myself loving this sincere Godlings as she joined us in the mortal realm taking great care not to harm us. She relays her journey to find her true purpose as she " knows" and grows.
I loved the selfless pouring of her light as she heals her friend Eino and discovering her boundaries as an older God pulls her back from pouring her whole self out.

I am a Christian, and there is just one God, but I enjoyed this book a lot!

Wonderfully written from a growing Godlings point of view...Got it this time...

Will surely reread it atleast once more.
Profile Image for Doc Opp.
448 reviews199 followers
July 14, 2018
This is what I've been waiting for from Jemison. The quality of writing has always been there, but I was waiting for a complete story, and this was fun almost the whole way through.

There is a not so subtle leftist social justice message interwoven through the story, at times a little heavy handed (not so heavy handed as Terry Goodkind's interweaving of objectivism into his novels, but not by any means subtle) and I could imagine some readers could be turned off by that, so if you are one of those readers, consider yourself warned.

I don't think this novella would stand alone - it requires the context of the rest of the trilogy. But if you've read the rest of the trilogy, this is worth your time.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 476 reviews