Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Book Review: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

By:  N. K. Jemisin

Publisher:  Orbit Books

Publish Date:  February 2010

Genre:  Fantasy

Format:  Paperback, 410 pages

Series:  1st in The Inheritance Trilogy

Recommendation:  Yes, if you like reading a story with depth in its gods history along with current struggles, and learning of the whole world they shaped.

Book Synopsis:
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.

First Sentence:
I am not as I once was.

My  Review and Summary:
Just shortly after Yeine's mother passes away, a mysterious death, Yeine is called to Sky.  Sky is the elite city in the air on a single column overlooking the kingdoms in which the Arameri, people awarded by the god Bright Itempas with contol of weapons given to them, live.  Yeine does not know why her grandfather, whom she has never met, has required her presence in Sky.  Once in Sky Yeine is bombarded with many things; being named heir to the throne, the difference in culture, the imprisoned god Nightlord and his three children called Enefadeh, and twin cousins who will do anything to be the heir to the powerful throne.  Yeine is warned of how dangerous the imprisoned god and Enefadeh are, yet she has something they need.  The cousins are also named heirs to the throne and Yeine is not sure what is to happen with three named heirs.

I have to say I enjoyed this book very much.  I loved the creation of the gods and why they were weakened, trapped, and tortured.  Along with the way a god could be kept under thumb and used for the power holders ways, needs, or just for the power possessed.  I was also mesmerized by the relationship and differences between two cultures and way of life.  Then there's the wondering question of who do I trust or not trust in a new world.  Not only do I, as a reader, ask this question in a new book or series but Yeine the main character has to work this out herself.  I started learning of the magic present in the story, and I look forward to learning more as the rest of the trilogy unfolds.

The story is written from Yeine's point of view, in the first person, which gives the feeling I am seeing, experiencing and learning everything with her.  There are sections at the beginning and through out the chapter in which Yeine is remembering pieces of additional information or stumbling slightly in her storytelling, but if you know these sections are there you should not be confused.  I liked the insight these shared as potential tidbits to help know what is going on or why.

It was a great debate novel for Nora Jemisin and an amazing start to a trilogy.  I WILL be looking forward to book two, The Broken Kingdoms due out fall 2010, and book three.

If you would like to visit N.K. Jemisin's site where she has the first three chapters up for you to sample, click here.

This review qualifies for Speculative Fiction Challenge at Book Chick City.


  1. Great review! I saw that you were reading this and I wondered if it was any good. Would you classify it as SciFi or Fantasy...or a mixture of both? I seem to prefer Fantasy over SciFi although I do read some SciFi sometimes.

    Also, did you hear from Robyn about TuesBookTalk? We are going to be discussing chapters 1 & 2 from The Little Stranger on this Tuesday (3/23). I'm excited. The book just made the long list for The Orange Prize in fiction! Can't wait to dig in!

  2. I’m going to put this one on my TBR list. It sounds really good. I love the cover. ;)

  3. Michelle - Thanks! I was worried over this review. There was so much I wanted to share and didn't know what to put in as I didn't want to give anything away. And there was a lot to tell of the book too. I would classify this book definitely Fantasy. Oh, yes, I talked to her on twitter. I went looking for the book yesterday & the stores didn't have it. So I will order it.

    J.A.Saare - I hope you enjoy this one when you get to it! Thank you for stopping by!

  4. I haven't heard of this one. It really sounds interesting. Guess I'll have to add this one to my wish list! Thanks.

  5. Melissa - Sorry! lol. I think I have been adding to your wish list lately. I hope you enjoy it if you get it!

  6. Sounds great! I am going to be adding this to my tbr stack. :)

  7. Loved this book! Wonderful review, Mel! :)

  8. So glad that you liked this one, as I picked it up from the library but haven't started it yet.

    Great review! Am really enjoying the recommended books from the Barnes & Noble book clubs.

  9. I am glad you liked this, I know you had been reading it for awhile. Can't wait to see what is next on your list

  10. WonderBunny - I hope you enjoy the story if you get it. It really is a great read.

    Krista - Glad you enjoyed it! You should stop by B&N now. We are all done with the book. And chatting about what are possible future happenings in the next 2 books.

    Alexia - I hope you enjoy this one! I say you added it to your library over at B&N and was wondering what you where thinking of it. I look forward to your review of it. I always enjoy Pauls picks over at B&N he is good at picking them for us. Glad you enjoyed the review! :)

    Deb - Hi! I think I always have strange picks. lol :) I am working hard to get through The Emerald Storm here. I am hoping to get through that one here soon. :)

    Sheila - I enjoy reading the first sentences too. Sometimes they are just amazing, yet I have read some amazing books with first lines that aren't the intial grabbers.

  11. Oooh, I want to read this one.

  12. Welcome Katy! Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoy this if you get to reading it. :)

  13. Came over from Cym Lowell's McLinky links for Book Review Party Wednesday (BRPW).

    The cover may be very symbolic but to my fantasy buff eyes this cover art could certainly do better...

    Thanks for sharing your views!

    Cherry Mischievous

  14. Hi Cherry Mischievous! Thank you for stopping by and reading. It is always great to have new visitors. :) Hope to see you around. :)


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