Customer Review

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pretty awesome debut, March 22, 2010
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This review is from: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, Book 1 (The Inheritance Trilogy) (Paperback)
OK, first things first: This book is great. I'd especially recommend it to anyone who has a dual interest in urban fantasy and high fantasy.

Urban fantasy lovers will enjoy: the strong female protagonist, the first person narration, the intimate setting (it's not one of those sprawling high fantasies that has umpteen main characters scattered about the world on dozens of interlocking quests), and the dangerous romance.

High fantasy lovers will enjoy: the well-developed mythology, high-stakes politics, gods running amok among humans, beautifully realized alternate reality.

I'm always impressed when books like this one really work, because they rarely do. The make-or-break quality to The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is the sheer quality of the writing. If you dig it, you're in for a wild ride. If not, there's no point in continuing. The main character, Yeine, narrates in a voice that is weighty, intimate, and oracular. There's plenty of action and plot development, but it's Yeine's asides, observations, and forebodings that send goosebumps up your arms as you read. As you can tell, it totally worked for me.

Actually, let me give an example. This is the second paragraph of the book: "My people tell stories of the night I was born. They say my mother crossed her legs in the middle of labor and fought with all her strength not to release me into the world. I was born anyhow, of course; nature cannot be denied. Yet it does not surprise me that she tried."

I'd describe the plot, but it's been done elsewhere. Yeine walks into a bad situation - she's a fish out of water plunged into court intrigues she's totally unfamiliar with, with many enemies and no allies - and things only get harder as she starts to figure things out. She's a really likable, strong, admirable character and it was a pleasure to spend some time in her head, but she faces some pretty horrific dilemmas. I was prepared to roll my eyes at a character/love interest named "the Nightlord" but he totally worked for me...surprise surprise. Highly recommended.
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