Recently I had the gratifying experience of having a friend read one of my books and being told that she found it hard to put down and that when she finished it, she couldn’t stop thinking about it. She asked whether I’d be writing a sequel to it. I told her that I would not do a sequel; the book is strictly a stand-alone. The book in question is my novel Seduction of the Scepter. I had recommended it to her, knowing she isn’t a fantasy reader and hoping she would enjoy it, as it has few fantasy elements. Of course I was delighted when she told me she’d loved the book, and that it had left her wanting more.
I could identify with that feeling, as I had just finished reading a trilogy plus a related novella, all included in a doorstop of a book. I had purchased the book, wanting to familiarize myself with the writing of an author new to me. The book was The Inheritance Trilogy, by N. K. Jemison, who was to be the featured author at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. The trilogy’s three novels ate The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms, and the Kingdom of Gods. The novella is The Awakened Kingdom. My plan was to read the first novel, put the book aside and read something else, then go back and read the second novel, put it aside again to read a different type of book, and return eventually to read the third novel. The plan failed. I so loved the first novel that when I reached the end, I immediately started on the second. And then the third. And then the novella.
I could easily have followed my original plan. Each of the novels in the trilogy was complete in itself—no cliff-hanger endings. Each had a first person narrator/protagonist, but not the same protagonist; the narrator was different in each. So what made this set of novels so compelling? The stories are highly original—no hackneyed plots here. The characters draw the reader in and invite her to share their adventures. The world building is exquisite, and the beautifully crafted stories move along swiftly, holding the reader’s interest through every page, every paragraph. The novels are filled with wonder, with joy and with despair. They deal with eternal themes in new and different ways, leaving the reader with much to think about, to ponder, and to gather new insights from.
I’ve praised the novels and novella that make up The Inheritance Trilogy, but I’ve told you nothing about the plots. If you enjoy fantasy and relish good writing, and you may well have already discovered this gifted author and savored her work. But if you are unfamiliar with her work, please get the book, read the trilogy, and experience for yourself the thrill of discovering new worlds and the wonderful and varied beings that people them.