Sequel to The Killing Moon (2011), this New York resident author's ancient Egypt–flavored fantasy.
In the city-state of Gujaareh, the priests of the Hetawa temple use dream-magic to heal wounds, cure ailments, ease the passage of the dying, and kill those judged corrupt. Previously, the insane supreme ruler, Prince Eninket, created a diabolical Reaper to gather vast amounts of dream-magic in a quest to become immortal. Gatherer Ehiru and his apprentice Nijiri slew the Reaper and defeated Eninket, but as a result, Gujaareh was conquered and occupied by neighboring Kisua. Now, ten years later, Gujaareh has had enough of its overlords. As ordinary Gujaarans passively resist, Wanahomen, the last surviving son of Eninket, rallies the fierce desert tribes to the rebels' cause; he's supported by powerful but untrustworthy merchant Sanfi and by the Hetawa. Nijiri, now chief Gatherer, sends Hanani, the first and so far only female Sharer, or healer, and her wise mentor, Mni-inh, to Wanahomen, and the main thrust of the story follows Hanani's evolution from subservient, insecure, asexual apprentice to the full awakening of her magical and sexual abilities. As the revolution gathers momentum, the one serious complication involves a Wild Dreamer, a tortured, insane, incestuous girl-child whose uncontrolled and agonized Dreaming is killing both citizens and Gatherers. Again, it's easy to become absorbed in Jemisin's patient if sometimes pedantic attention to detail and emotionally complex characters. Otherwise, the plot lacks the tension of the first book, with much of it more embroidery than substance.
Overstuffed and underpowered, but not to the extent that fans of the first book will be deterred.