So last time I talked about N.K. Jemisin, it was to give a lukewarm review to her The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. After reading the rest of Jemisin’s books, I’m pleased to say that I think it just suffered from first-novel problems, and that she’s become a more polished and interesting writer as she’s gone on.
The Inheritance Trilogy (of which the 100K Kingdoms is the first book), for instance, gets better as it goes along. If the first book was somewhat generic, the second feels a lot more distinctive and conveys a sense of a living, breathing world rather than just an RPG campaign setting. The third, meanwhile, has an unexpected and fascinating protagonist and reveals more onion-layers of the world and the ongoing plot.
And then there’s the Dreamblood series, which I think is a better work yet. The setting is… let’s say “Egyptish” with compelling characters and a mystery/political plot. This is another series that’s suffering from being written up long after I read it, but if my memory can’t tell me exactly what the plot details were, it does remember that I liked it very well.
At any rate, Jemisin is on my “read all her stuff” list on the basis of these works and her trajectory as a writer. If you weren’t that impressed with her first book either, it’s worth carrying on.