Mark Reads ‘The Kingdom of Gods’: Coda / Glossary

In the coda and glossary of The Kingdom of Gods, it seems I’m not even prepared for the supplementary material of this book. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Kingdom of Gods.

Coda / Glossary

There’s a repetition in the Coda that makes the point of stopping short of starting another story because this isn’t the time or the place. And I love that restraint on the part of Sieh. He’s aware of the story he just told, and of the horrifying ending we thought we got. Of course, there’s that twist: the coda is narrated by Sieh, in his new form, one that outlasted his mortal life. Which makes so much sense I can’t believe I never thought about it. The power that bonded Shahar, Deka, and Sieh together was mysterious and terrifying, but it kept them as a trio. In death, this same power gives them a new existence, and it’s how he was ever able to tell us this story in the first place. It’s how Jemisin was able to kill off her first-person narrator at the end of this book and not bring up questions about how it was possible that a first-person narrator could narrate their own death in the past tense.


But I love that we get these bits and pieces of what was left behind and what was inherited by those who survived the war that nearly tore apart all existence. Shahar had three children after dissolving Arameri rule, and she survived with less. I like that there’s not much detail there; they just had less as a family. Ahad took care of Glee for the entire year she slept after her battle with Kahl and OH MY GOD. But this one line just RUINED ME:

They settled in a small northwestern Senm town, where they spent some years looking after an elderly, blind Maro woman until her death.

YOU HAD TO DO THIS TO ME. YOU HAD TO. Oh my god, this one passing reference to Oree was WAY TOO MUCH FOR ME TO HANDLE. The same goes for the reveal that Glee gave Ahad a proper name which he didn’t share with anyone else. Naming is such an important part of this world, so I understood why that was so important. The people who rebuilt a city in the “corpse” of the World Tree understood this, too, since they simply re-named the place “World.” It’s their own little world, isn’t it?

But it’s Sieh, Deka, and Shahar who are granted a world of their own in a way that spoke to the power of love, something that’s been a theme throughout this trilogy. They’re finally given their own realm upon the death of Shahar, and the three of them inherit a wealth of possibility. It’s something I’ve referenced a lot, but it’s important. With En by their side (THAT REUNION WAS NOT OKAY), they now have the possibility of creation – of themselves, of an entire universe – within their power. And goddamn, that’s such a beautiful thing.

I have enjoyed Sieh’s narration so much, even if it was very hard to read at times. His sense of humor was a real treat, and I love that Jemisin toyed with the very idea of a glossary by having Sieh deface it like a middle school textbook. But it’s actually an important part of character-building for Sieh because it’s very easy to imagine that he found a glossary like this buried in some library in Sky, and he took a pen to the margins to insult a history that lacked context. Or at least the context that he knew.

Oh god, there’s only one more of these left! If you’re wondering why I separated these from the short story, I didn’t want to overload myself and I needed an extra day to prepare for the upcoming journey through Discworld. The Q&A party planned for this Friday is still on schedule, though!



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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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