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    A stunning second book

    Jemisin is, incredibly, even more assured and beautiful here than in the Inheritance Trilogy. Once more, she manages to plumb the depths of human evil--violence, abuse, murder, destruction of whole communities and armies--without ever settling for cartoon villains. Every one is real and human. Even the inhuman characters are, somehow, human. And dredging up the terrible pains of human and, indeed, ecological violence, somehow it's never disaster porn, never wallowing in awful. You feel every moment of it, yet Jemisin's assured hand is there, assuring: there's a reason for this. This is something we can, today, learn from, something we can incorporate and grow with. Too much fantasy tries to be "gritty" and "real" by focusing on these subjects, but without the amazing empathy Jemisin conveys. The characters you love will be fearsome and the characters you hate will not allow you to dismiss them as cartoonish. This is the mark of a truly great writer.
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