Despite being someone who should like reading fantasy, and specifically high fantasy (or whatever the term is – other worlds, requires worldbuilding and often a map, etc), I often don’t. Love watching it, meh on reading it.
This is, obviously, a game-changer. Obviously it is not written by a old white dude, which immediately gives it a unique perspective, but it’s also more than just that! It won awards, it’s been praised and praised, and all of it SO well deserved. I was totally engrossed. Jemisin’s shifting of narratives (and how they come together, oh my god!!!!) was skillfully done. Her prose was wonderful, her characters so much fun to hang out with even as they move through a brutal and unforgiving world. She doesn’t waste any time on exposition and instead tosses the reader in the deep end, which makes sense for a book in which a tenuous, cruel order, built on subjugation, is thrown into chaos.
It feels arrogant to write too much more than this. I have almost no criticisms, and certainly none that will stick with me long after I read it. It was entirely engrossing, absolutely wonderful, and when I realized I was about 50 pages from the end, I ordered the next one so I could put it in the lineup stat.