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Publisher's Summary

Gujaareh, the city of dreams, suffers under the imperial rule of the Kisuati Protectorate. A city where the only law was peace now knows violence and oppression. And nightmares. A mysterious and deadly plague haunts the citizens of Gujaareh, dooming the infected to die screaming in their sleep. Trapped between dark dreams and cruel overlords, the people yearn to rise up - but Gujaareh has known peace for too long.

Someone must show them the way.

Hope lies with two outcasts: the first woman ever allowed to join the dream goddess' priesthood and an exiled prince who longs to reclaim his birthright. Together, they must resist the Kisuati occupation and uncover the source of the killing dreams...before Gujaareh is lost forever.

©2012 N. K. Jemsin (P)2012 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about The Shadowed Sun

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Sequel to The Killing Moon

Picked up this sequel after enjoying the first book (The Killing Moon). It's set about 10 years after the first book ends and picks up the story of the city of Gujaareh, which has been made a protectorate of the Kausi people after the end of the first book. A few of the characters from the first book return, but much of the plot now revolves around two new characters: the deposed king's son Wanahomen, who has allied with the Banbarra (a tribe of desert nomads) and hopes to take back control of Gujaareh; and Hanani, the first woman to be allowed to join the healers of the Hetawa sect in Gujaareh.

There are lots of interesting ideas and perspectives explored in the book, including why the Hetawa is traditionally exclusively male; how Hanani is dealing with being the first female healer allowed; how the Kausi protectorate and the Hetawa deal with the occupation of the city; and how the Banbarra are not simply savages nor is Gujaareh quite as civilized as they might like to think.

Overall though, while it was a decent story, I just didn't find the characters and story as captivating as the first book. Also, trigger warning for those who want to avoid plot points of child abuse, incest and rape; these are fundamental to some of the story.

11 people found this helpful

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another fantastic story from Jemisin

What did you love best about The Shadowed Sun?

I loved the complexity of the characters. Nothing seemed cliché about any of them. The character development is phenomenal. However, I also adore how Jemisin weaves in themes of oppression, resistance, and equality/rights into her stories, and this one knocked it out of the park. Social and cultural commentary for the fantasy world is seamlessly woven into the fabric of this book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Shadowed Sun?

It's too hard to pick just one.

Have you listened to any of Sarah Zimmerman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have--I listened to the first Dreamblood book that she narrated right before this one. Her narration is spectacular, though I would have liked if she attempted to portray different characters better through her voice. This isn't a narration that you can determine the character just by the diction and cadence used.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. I nearly did. Downloaded it four or five days ago, and I'm severely disappointed that it's over now!

Any additional comments?

The only reason I gave this four stars for the story is that it contains abusive content. While I understand how it was used to develop the plot, it wasn't something I was expecting to hear, nor is it something I particularly enjoy. Warning that this book does contain child abuse, incest, rape, and assault.

2 people found this helpful

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delicious with a slightly saccharine aftertaste

I really enjoyed this book, with the singular exception of the ending, which I cannot, of course, discuss. Without dropping too many spoilers (don't worry, lots of characters die) I can say that it was uncharacteristically, uncomfortably saccharine, for an author who I read precisely because she does *not* adhere to the usual guidelines schtick; with that singular exception, I really enjoyed this book.

4 people found this helpful

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Another brilliant masterpiece

I always go through withdrawals when I listen to her books. I become immersed in the universes and this book duology is no exception. It’s a beautiful story of exploration, healing, and love.

1 person found this helpful

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Even better than The Killing Moon

N.K.Jemisin is a masterful storyteller and this book is no exception. The narrator also does a great job at differentiating the characters and conveying each ones personality.

1 person found this helpful

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Gorgeous sequel in a great duology (no spoilers)

If you liked The Killing Moon (book 1), you are going to love The Shadowed Sun! As with the first book, I believe this one suffers from mediocre title/boring cover syndrome, but in an audiobook, it's easy to move past that.
The way Jemisin approaches the topic of femininity and what it means to be a matriarchal culture is truly refreshing. Her prose is gorgeous, and her characters are incredibly complex and well developed.
The weakness in this book is the ending. No spoilers, but I came away feeling that the ending was rushed. She summarized and glossed over some pretty major plot points. It was enough to sour the whole experience, but I did wish that she'd made the book 50-60 pages longer in order to flesh out the ending more.
Overall, it was worth reading, and I'd love to read more with these characters in this world.

3 people found this helpful

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Sad it's done

This was a fabulous book. The world created by N.K. is so vivid and complex. The story is wonderfully written and very compelling. If you read the first book in this series, this is definitely the next one to read. If you haven't read the first book, read it then follow up with this one!

4 people found this helpful

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My favorite Jemisin series

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

There are tribes and magician groups and scheming nobles. There is a wonderful romance.
The tribes are nomadic Arabs, the scheming nobles are from Venice, the magicians and king are Egyptian. That gives you some idea.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Shadowed Sun?

At the beginning there was a incident in the world between magical dreaming and reality. It's haunting.

What about Sarah Zimmerman’s performance did you like?

She does all characters well, women, men, children, in all worlds.

2 people found this helpful

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Great, not spectacular like the first

I really liked the first book better than this one because it had a greater sense of presence than this book. That said I did enjoy this book quite a bit. Start with The Killing Moon then continue to this book.

2 people found this helpful

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A Healing Work

“It helped, somehow, to know that she would not stop missing the people she loved. It felt, not good, but right, that the loss of her faith should leave a lasting scar.” The Shadowed Sun by N. K. Jemisin

I picked up my fantasy fiction habit as a way to run from the things I needed to work through in my everyday life. Occasionally I have found that relief in Jemisin’s novels, but, more often, intertwined in the pages is also the magic of Jemisin’s healer’s heart. This book was a balm for me as I work through life struggles of death, grief, the loss of my faith as I knew it, and the lack of love in this world toward people who do not fit conveniently into society’s mold. I am awed at the way Jemisin weaves words of truth and healing into her fictional worlds, leaving me feeling heard and not alone. I wish I could meet her in person to thank her. My real life counselor thanks her too! :)