This book is a brilliant fantasy. It explores themes in the real world but does so with sufficient subtlety that they are not easily noticed until long after you have read the book. It starts off incredibly strong with the rejected heir to an all powerful empire that controls the world, thrown into the proverbial lion's den where she must sink or swim. The world has been shattered between a war of the gods where the victor shackled the losers and turned them into weapons for the governing regime.
The thing that I love about this book is that the author takes the story to its natural conclusions. All of the characters behave for logical reasons and are dynamic. There is no attempt to create a formulaic status quo. Actions have consequences and in the case of this book, titanic consequences. The protagonist is also very very likable and yet not a caricature at the same time.
N.K. Jemisin is writing a sequel in a world where the ending would make (to me) a sequel somewhat more difficult for a less daring author. But in her case I'm confident she can handle it. And I look forward to reading it as I recommend reading this book.