Book 1 in the Dreamblood Duology
The only law in Gujaareh is peace and the Gathers are the keepers of this peace. The magic in Gujaareh is harvested in four different ways, one of the ways is by the Gathers who are charged with harvesting the dream magic that is used to heal and soothe people. As events unfold Gather Ehiru and Gather Apprentice Nijiri discover that there is much more corruption happening right in the temple where they serve Goddess Hananja causing them to question everything they know. As Ehiru discovers this corruption he finds himself protecting the person he was sent to Gather (kill) for her “corruption”.
There are three protagonist…
Gatherer Ehiru has committed his life to Hananja, when he accepts a commission he must go to a believer and enter their dream giving them peace any he takes their soul (dream blood) so they can live in peace with the Goddess Hananja as their body dies. Ehiru wholeheartedly believes he is doing what is best for Hanaja and her believers. One night he goes to gather a soul and accidentally miss handles the soul causing him to lose faith in himself but also making him believe he saw a reaper when he knows they haven’t existed in centuries. As corruption starts to unfold Ehiru discovers his sighting of the reaper was not a vision but apart of corruption and plan to take Gujaareh to war with its sister city Kisua.
Nijiri is Ehiru’s Gather Apprentice who was chosen to serve Hanaja by Ehiru himself. Nijiru is a true believer as well and was also devoted to his mentor Ehiru. Nijiri was there to take care of Ehiru when he couldn’t take care or himself. Nijiri was as loyal as they came.
Sunandi was a Kisua who discovered the corruption happening in Gujaareh. Throughout the book her entire goal was to get back home to Kisua to warn them of the upcoming war with Gujaareh. She also wanted to prove to Ehiru she wasn’t the one corrupt so her life could be spared.
The theme that stood out to me in this book was people turning religion into something dangerous and using it to harm or manipulate true believers into doing what they wanted to obtain power. This was my first high fantasy and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It took a little time for me to get into this read and I wasn’t sure if it was because it seemed a bit slow in the beginning or if it took me some time to get adjusted to N.K. Jemisin’s writing-style. The one thing I didn’t like is I didn’t feel connected to any of the protagonist. However, this took me on a journey and I found myself trying to solve the corruption as so much was unfolding in this book. I enjoyed how descriptive N.K. Jemisin was and her character building was well written as well. I loved that the setting was ancient Egypt. This was a great read and I look forward to reading the next book in the duology “The Shadowed Sun”.