Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Read-Along: The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin, Week 3

I'm a little late this time, but this is the third week of the Read-Along of The Kingdom of Gods, with questions provided by Books Without Any Pictures.  This week covers chapters 11-13, so beware of spoilers below!
1.  What are your theories on Kahl?  Who is he, and what is he up to?
Well, I’m pretty sure he’s Sieh’s son by Enefa, who was hidden away to protect Sieh’s life.  Sieh also recognized him as the person from his dream.
I’m not very clear on what he’s up to, though.  He is the person behind the masks, but it seems like he might be the one killing Arameri.  He might be using them as test subjects in developing his ultimate mask.  I believe the Darre leader, who said that Darre wouldn’t kill only a handful of Arameri, if they decided to attack, so Kahl seems the likeliest murderer. 
2.  We finally get to meet Oree's daughter, Glee.  Is she what you expected?  What do you think about her role on the council and her hiding Itempas?
I really like that Oree named her daughter Glee, going directly against the Maroneh tradition of naming their daughters for grief.  I also enjoy how much power she seems to have in the godling neighborhood watch.
Also, it seems clear that Itempas is hanging out with his daughter! I wonder if Itempas ended up being able to rejoin Oree after Yeine went to him, or if it was too late at that point.  Either way, Itempas has clearly changed, if he really loves his demon daughter.
3.  What's up with Deka?  Does he really like Sieh, or is he using him for some later gain?
I think he really does likes Sieh.  I think he had kind of a crush on Sieh since he was a child.  He has now studied Sieh intensely (and wrote a thesis on him!), so I think he has a deeper understanding of him than Shahar ever could.  I think Deka has a plan, but I don’t think he intends to cross Sieh.  I have no idea how he might help him, though, even though he does have magic writing on his body.
On Deka’s heritage, it sounds like Ahad worked his way into the Arameri gene pool at some point in history!  So Deka is sort-of part godling, since Ahad was the mortal-bodied representation of one of the Three.  Ahad seems to be a godling now, but he may not have been when this happened.  Maybe since Ahad was a not-quite-god, that makes Deka and Shahar not-quite partial demons, which may have caused the problem with their little friendship ceremony, without killing Sieh directly. Based on Remath's desire to acquire Sieh's baby, I get the impression she doesn't realize that her line already has demon blood in it.
4.  In this section, we're introduced to two new forms of magic--Deka's use of the gods' language, and the Darre masks.  What do you think about them?  How do you think the mask will be used?  Does it have anything to do with Sieh's affliction?
Deka's use of magic is pretty neat, and I am curious whether or not the aptitude for it was accidentally given to him by Sieh.  I'm not completely clear what his plans are, though.
The masks are partially made by Kahl, and they are sort of like mini-Maelstroms.  According to Kahl, they’re supposed to grant divinity.  I’m a little unclear on this—he referenced Yeine, which makes me think he means that it will make someone one of the Three (or then, the Four) when completed.  However, maybe it just means it can raise a mortal to being a godling.
The optimistic side of me thinks that Kahl doesn’t want to kill Sieh, but realizes that will happen once Sieh remembers him.  Maybe he’s planning for Sieh to become mortal entirely, so the realization won’t kill him, and then raise him back into godhood!  The more pessimistic side of me thinks Kahl wants to join the Three, or that he has some mortal lover he wants to immortalize.
5.  What secret do you think Enefa wiped from Sieh's memory?
I think it is that they had a son together, Kahl.

Other Things:

--We got to see the group Madding used to lead! Poor Madding :’(.  It was nice to see Lil again, though.  The imbalancers in general seem to be a small and interesting bunch.

--Ahad still seems to be finding his footing in godling society.  I think people are going to be kinder to him about it than Sieh thinks, though.

--In this section, the other godlings are making a very good point to Sieh—being wronged doesn’t absolve you of your harmful actions towards others.  The one godling pointed out that Itempas wasn’t the only one who went mad during the God’s War.  I think this is a major lesson Sieh needs to learn, that being hurt does not give you the right to hurt others.

--Nsana seemed like a very interesting godling to meet in dreams! Sieh’s dreams were rather disturbing, though.

--Sieh-the-narrator made a comment this time, about trying to remember how the kiss tasted, because he couldn't experience it anymore.  I guess Sieh will have some kind of transformation, in the end?


  1. 3. I don't think Remath knows about her demon-blooded children either. It probably wouldn't be good for them if she did - they'd have been experimented upon, had their blood drawn and stored, had their magic exploited...

    4. I'm also wondering about the mask's ability to confer godhood - can it make a mortal or a godling like one of the Three? Or is it just for making mortals godlings? What if it was used on a demon?
    But I'm also hoping Kahl will restore Sieh to godhood :)

    I really liked that we got to hear another POV on the Gods' War. Once it becomes clear that none of the major participants were entirely innocent, it becomes easier to imagine reconciliation.

    1. That would be horrible, so I'm glad Remath doesn't know about the recent demon heritage. It is kind of funny, though, that the Arameri had been putting so much effort into acquiring themselves a demon, and they didn't even notice when the head family became demons.

      It is a lot easier to think of them reconciling, now that we see both sides did terrible things.