The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
Title: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy Book 1)
Author: N.K. Jemisin
Publication Date: February 25, 2010
paperback, 398 pages
ISBN: 0316043915 (ISBN13: 9780316043915)
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 with cousins she never knew she had. As she fights for her life, she draws ever closer to the secrets of her mother's death and her family's bloody history.
With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, Yeine will learn how perilous it can be when love and hate - and gods and mortals - are bound inseparably together.
What would happen if the gods went to war against each other? That is the question that is answered before N. K. Jemisin’s debut novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms begins. The three major gods- brothers Itempas and Nahadoth, and sister Enefa- begin a war with their “children” (the minor gods) joining the fight. In the end Itempas is the victor and the others are all cast down to live in human form and be subject to the ruling class, the Arameri. This is the setting at the beginning of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. We now meet the heroine of the story Yeine. She is the granddaughter of Dekarta Arameri, the Consortium Overseer which is the ruling order of the kingdoms. She has been summoned to the ruling city of Sky by her grandfather as a potential successor to his position. From this point family loyalty is questioned, political movement is paramount, and the foundation of the realm is shaken.
If you are looking for a “typical” fantasy novel with wizards, magical swords and lost kings then this is not for you. If, on the other hand, you are looking for an incredible story of political intrigue, family betrayal and back-room deals with the gods, then by all means, get this book immediately. I was fascinated from the very beginning. Jemisin is a fantastic worldbuilder. She brilliantly paints the geographical and political dimensions of the realm of the hundred thousand kingdoms. The mythology of the gods, from their birth out of the maelstrom is an interesting read and very well written. The dynamics of the characters interactions are well played out. Yeine just cannot figure it out as to whom she should trust.
Overall, this is one of the best novels I’ve read in quite some time. If you are a true fan of the fantasy genre then I wholeheartedly recommend this book. This is the first in the Inheritance Trilogy and I am eagerly awaiting the chance to read the next book in the series, which is out now, The Broken Kingdoms.
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