I have to admit that I've resisted this book for a good two years. It was highly recommended by many people in many places, but the problem I had - being a stubborn sort - was that I was always being told that I MUST read this if I wanted to support diverse reading and diverse authors. *SIGH* I wasn't told that I had to read it because it was a fantastic story with fascinating characters - that was said as sort of an incidental bonus. Sadly, the rabid "read this or be considered a societal failure/bad person" serves only to turn me off and make me dig in my heels. And if you think that makes me a bad person, well, that's your opinion.
But one day, it came up in a Kobo Daily Deal for $1.99 and I figured that for that price, I could pick it up and keep it until the day I wasn't so annoyed. And if that day never came, well, I wasn't losing anything more than a couple of bucks.
Anyhoooo.... *stepping down from my cranky soapbox*
This was a terrific book! I really, really enjoyed it and I don't normally enjoy books that deal with gods walking the 'earth'. (Neil Gaiman aside). The writing style was different - Jemisin has an interesting voice and it worked wonderfully in this tale of the barbarian young woman, Yeine, who is summoned to the capital of the worlds by her ruling grandfather and designated as an heir to the throne. Basically.
In fact, I was so entranced by the first few chapters that I hopped online and bought the omnibus of the trilogy (it cost less than buying the other two volumes separately).
I liked the way the story unfolded and how and when Jemisin revealed the twists and turns of the plot. This is something that could end up as being deus ex machina but the writing is skillful enough to avoid all that.
Another thing I liked was that while this is the first book in a trilogy, it could be read alone. The story actually ends (or seems to end) on the final page. And end in a very satisfactory fashion. No damned cliffhangers here!
So yes, I finally read it and loved it. N.K. Jemisin has that special way, I think, that Guy Gavriel Kay has of writing a different sort of fantasy and I highly recommend it.