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The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 2010

323 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Inheritance Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Convoluted without being dense, Jemisin's engaging debut grabs readers right from the start. Yeine desires nothing more than a normal life in her barbarian homeland of Darr. But her mother was of the powerful Arameri family, and when Yeine is summoned to the capital city of Sky a month after her mother's murder, she cannot refuse. Dakarta, her grandfather and the Arameri patriarch, pits her against her two cousins as a potential heir to the throne. In an increasingly deep Zelaznyesque series of political maneuverings, Yeine, nearly powerless but fiercely determined, finds potential allies among her relatives and the gods who are forced to live in Sky as servants after losing an ancient war. Multifaceted characters struggle with their individual burdens and desires, creating a complex, edge-of-your-seat story with plenty of funny, scary, and bittersweet twists. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Yeine Darr, mourning the murder of her mother, is summoned to the magnificent and beautiful city of Sky by the king, her grandfather. He names her his heir but has already assigned that role to both his niece and his nephew, so what he’s now done is set up a competitive and thorny three-way power struggle. Yeine, looking more like her Darre father than her Arameri mother, may be a baroness in the Arameri world, but in the matriarchal North she is a chieftain of her people. She is also terrified and fascinated by the gods who roam Sky, including the nocturnally monstrous Nahadoth and the childlike Sieh. In just a few days, Yeine discovers that every action has consequences when she inadvertently sets up Darre to be attacked and realizes that her role in the succession to the throne may be that of a human sacrifice. This complex tale of politics, assassination, racism, and gods too intimately involved in the lives of humans is a challenging read and a notable authorial debut. --Diana Tixier Herald --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Series: The Inheritance Trilogy (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 425 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; Reissue edition (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316043922
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316043922
  • ASIN: 0316043923
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (323 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

N. K. Jemisin is an author living and writing in Brooklyn, NY. This is fortunate as she enjoys subways, tiny apartments, and long walks through city parks. Her short fiction has been published in a number of magazines and podcast markets, and has been nominated for the Hugo and Nebula award. THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS and THE BROKEN KINGDOMS were also nominated for (collectively) the Hugo, the Nebula, the Tiptree, the Crawford, the Gemmell, the... hell, I lose track. I actually won the Locus Award for Best First Novel and the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award (twice). Blah blah blah, the usual.

Look, I like to write. In particular I like to write about ordinary people in extraordinary situations, preferrably in non-Earth worlds which nevertheless reflect our own concerns. By now I've published five novels, many short stories, and I'm currently working on my next trilogy. I'll occasionally talk about that here, and also my cat.

If you really like what I have to say and want to hear more, feel free to check out my author blog at .

Oh, and buy my book!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

282 of 320 people found the following review helpful By Brent Weeks on February 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
[This review is based on an Advanced Reading Copy]

What if gods were real...and walked among us...enslaved...and were used as weapons...and were really pissed off about it?

N.K. Jemisin is a gifted storyteller and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is a satisfying tale built on intriguing ideas. Buy this book if you love the flights of imagination only possible in fantasy. Buy it if you love stories of betrayal, murder, hard truths, and being in way over your head.

The book is written in the first person. I usually hate this. Here, it works. There are scattered, apparent digressions: snippets of history, backstory. This may bother you. I thought it fit, and the digressions served a purpose. Though the story deals with politics at the highest level, the cast is small. For those who get lost and frustrated in a George R. R. Martin-sized cast, this is a boon. Jemisin's characters are clearly differentiated and easy to remember. Those who love additional complexity may wish the cast were larger and the book longer. This IS the first book in a trilogy, so I'm sure we'll get to see more in later books. The world is fascinating, but we spend most of this book inside the central palace of Sky. The visuals are clear and cool.

[Full disclosure: I have met Ms. Jemisin once, and she is published by the same company I am. However, neither she nor Orbit asked me to do this review.]

N.K. Jemisin is a debut novelist who deserves the chance to write many more novels. But you don't care about that, and you shouldn't. The only question that matters to you is, "Among all my other options, is THIS book worth my money and my time?" Yes, and yes. Emphatically.

-Brent Weeks
NYT Best-selling Author of The Night Angel Trilogy
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Sansom O'Reilly on October 19, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is the first book in the Inheritance Trilogy, written by first time author N.K. Jemisin, a new voice in the fantasy genre. The book is far from perfect, but as far as debut novels go, it's pretty good. The story follows the adventures of Yeine, leader of a somewhat barbarian tribe who happens to be the granddaughter of the most powerful man in the world. Her grandfather, seemingly out of the blue, names her one of three potential heirs. Yeine finds herself in a whole new world of intrigue and danger, as she realizes that her rivals will stop at nothing to take the throne. And even more dangerous, perhaps, is the fact that Yeine's grandfather and his progeny control a God and his offspring who, bitter after years of abuse and confinement, have their own deadly agendas.

Jemisin writes from the limited first person perspective of Yeine. So a lot of the action occurs off the page and is related by Yeine some time later. Yeine is an entertaining narrator. She is intelligent, funny, and likeable. She is also pretty ignorant at first, which leaves the reader equally ignorant. If you like that style of writing, you should like Jemisin's style. The prose is nothing fancy. Jemisin can write some pretty good descriptive narration when she wants to, but it doesn't really fit with Yeine's style of addressing the reader. The dialogue is generally sound but can be a little wooden and unrealistic at times. The result of the narrative, too, is that some plot elements and action sequences are poorly explained. The novel can be confusing at times, not because of any internal complexity, but simply from poor explanation. But for the most part, the reader can understand what is going on pretty easily.
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165 of 211 people found the following review helpful By A. D. MacFarlane on April 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
There's a lot of hype about this book, coming even from people whose opinions I respect, so when I found a cheap copy I snatched it up. The back cover copy suggests political intrigue, fascinating worldbuilding, a good romance. The book offers none of these things.

The worldbuilding is, in brief places, quite interesting. I drank up little details about Yeine's culture, matrilineal and female-dominant, yet more complex than the "man-eating bitches" variant I've seen elsewhere. Do we get a full exploration of this society? Sadly not. Is Yeine a complicated product of it, struggling with her mixed heritage and, now, the transition from leader of her tribe to the token barbarian girl in a patrilineal white society? No. As with the other hints - distant lands, the division between Naha and Nahadoth - we are given too little, in favour of Sky and the relationships within it. I suspect we are meant to find Sky boring - it's entirely white and smooth and sterile - but intention hardly distracts from how terribly, terribly boring it is to read about Sky. Surely it could have merited a few pretty lines of description, but Jemisin's prose is bare and simple. Description seems low on the book's priorities. (One glimmer is the old temple with two boarded-up windows - a great detail - but soon we're back to white, plain Sky. The good bits are only glimmers.)

If Sky is intentionally bland, the characterisation and plot should compensate, yes? Sadly not. The plot focuses on relationships more than political scheming; when it switches to the latter, it's a politics without the layers and difficult-to-penetrate intentions of a book that pitches itself as being about politics.
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