The Shadowed Sun is set ten years after The Killing Moon. Each story stands alone, but there’s a larger story arc that ties them together. At the end of the first book, I had felt slightly unsatisfied because things were wrapped up so quickly. It tied up the main plot but left me with a lot of questions about what the repercussions would be. This second book gave me what I had been looking for by showing me what those repercussions were, and by then going on to deal with those repercussions. I felt more satisfied with the ending of this book, particularly in terms of the larger political situation.
The Shadowed Sun focused on a different set of main characters, although some characters from the first book did make an appearance. I won’t mention any names, since that could spoil the first book. I liked most of the main characters in this book, but I think I was slightly more attached to the ones in the first book. Story-wise, this book felt more fleshed-out to me, probably in part because it was the longer book, and maybe partly because it had the world-building from the first book to support it. On the other hand, it became more romance-heavy than what I typically prefer toward the second half and I thought that dominated the plot a little too much.
In the end I enjoyed both books about equally, but each had different strengths. It was definitely a great series to end 2016 with, and I look forwarding to trying more of Jemisin’s work at some point in the future.