The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance Trilogy #1)
By: N.K. Jemisin
Format/Source: Trade paperback; was a Christmas gift
Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.
Guys, this has been a long time coming. I’ve been wanting to read this trilogy for ever, was gifted the omnibus in paperback a few years ago and then it just sat on my to-read pile for another few years. Finally I felt the need to pick up and read the book (for those of you who don’t know, I am quite the mood reader).
Just as an aside, I also ended up picking up the omnibus as an eBook format because let’s face it, reading a 1500-page paperback in bed is a health hazard. I like the idea of omnibuses but in the future I may pick them up as an eBook format. It’s just easier to read.
Guys, this book. It’s one of those situations where I wish I had read this book sooner, lol.
The world-building was beyond fantastic in this novel: of gods and godlings, the Three and the creation of the universe, of the plan to free the godlings from servitude under the Arameri in Sky, and questions surrounding the end of Enefa, one of the Three Gods. I felt the mortal side of affairs–of the Arameri succession, of Darre and Yeine’s original mission to Sky–kind of fell to the wayside in my opinion because all of the god stuff was much more interesting. Yeine’s cousins in the running for succession for example were pretty forgettable (I can’t even remember their names) and weren’t as well-developed, I felt.
Speaking of character development, Yeine’s characterisation baffled me at times–it’s said she’s seasoned and she’s a fairly good leader and yet she comes off as not at times. Someone on GoodReads likened her to a YA heroine, which admittedly is spot on, but I was rooting for her the whole way. I guess I just forgot at times that she was still fairly young, thrust into some serious politicking. In fact all of the characters were interesting, multi-faceted save again for her cousins (they served their purpose, but that’s about it).
The theme of mothers and daughters/children played a big role here; in fact, pretty much all of Jemisin’s works feature this theme. It weaves in and out, influencing Yeine’s decisions as she navigates through her time in Sky.
Overall, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was an excellent read; it’s been a long time since I’ve read a fantasy novel that I’ve enjoyed thoroughly. I can’t wait to see where the story goes.