Release Date: May 1, 2012
THE CITY BURNED BENEATH THE DREAMING MOON
In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and among 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, the Gatherer Ehiru must question everything he knows. Someone, or something, is murdering innocent dreamers in the goddess’s name, and Ehiru must now protect the woman he was sent to kill – or watch the city be devoured by war and forbidden magic.
I’ve had The Killing Moon on my TBR for what feels like forever. I picked it up at a used book sale and its been sitting on my shelf since, despite my love of Jemisin’s writing.
It’s no surprise that The Killing Moon reads like a dream. The writing is lyrical and poetic as it weaves an atmospheric narrative. According to Jemisin, she modeled Gujaareh after ancient Egypt and it shows. The story is rich in detail making the world feel lived in.
The lore of The Killing Moon is what interested me the most. Jemisin presents readers with two sets of people who follow the same religion, but they interpret and practice it differently. One is steeped in magic and tradition, while the other is more pragmatic and skeptical. Jemisin then gives readers the experience of watching characters from either side interact with each other to accomplish a common goal all while reconciling their beliefs.
The ending feels a little rushed and slightly confusing, hence the four star rating. The events of the novel wrap up quickly and I felt I had to reread a few parts to fully grasp what was happening. However, the evens comes full circle making it a worthwhile read.
Overall, The Killing Moon is a fantastic novel that despite being a duology reads like a standalone. Jemisin’s writing created a truly atmospheric experience with a magic system steeped in religion. After reading the synopsis of The Shadowed Sun, I can’t wait to get my hands on it.