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The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, Book 1 (The Inheritance Trilogy) Paperback – February 25, 2010
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The awkward sexual tension and, later, awkward sex, didn't serve to do much for the character development or plot. Fantasy novels often include too little sex—to the point of ignoring its important role in human relations—but the sex descriptions in the book had a teen-vampire-werewolf-zombie-novel quality, and it made for another distraction. The desire seemed out-of-character for all parties involved.
Lastly, with so many cultures present or alluded to in the novel, I longed to learn more about them. That's as much a compliment as a criticism.
All that aside, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms offered an unpredictable plot with a heroine who feels remarkably human in her strengths and flaws. I say this not only to mean that Jemisin made her "live" on the page, but also because the heroine defies the usual archetypes and anti-archetypes found in fantasy novels. The fantastical setting and cast of other characters holds promise, and I hope the remaining novels add more meat and skin to the skeleton this novel provided.
I *really* loved book 1 (and had read it earlier). It is political (not in our world, but in theirs) which is an unusual element in the YA books I read and I liked what the author did with it.
I didn't so much care for books 2 & 3 but I got really invested in the characters and besides, I'd already purchased all 3 and so I wanted to complete the set. Books 2 & 3 were OK, book 1 I really liked.
The author has a way of not specifying exactly *who* is speaking for, sometimes, quite a long time. Which god is it? Which mortal is it? In book 1 I found that intriguing but it seemed to me less so in books 2 & 3.
I also like that the main protagonist manages to finish the book while... she defies the role that is set out for her but she does not have to violate her own culture's views of what it means to be a woman in order to do so (incidentally, that includes being a strong and vicious warrior, though that's not the aspect she uses). It's rare to find a book that manages to let a female protagonist neither be a "female rebel in a man's world" nor save the day with her "magic uterus." Which is all to say, I like Yeine as a heroine. She is strong, she is feminine, she is clever, she has weaknesses, she has strengths.
I will likely pick up the next one.
I had pretty much all of the ending already worked out about halfway though, but that didn't make it less interesting. My main complaint is that it really bothers me in novels when a main character falls in love with someone really quickly and for no real reason.
Anyway - it was a good entertaining read, just don't expect anything too deep or surprising. This book reminds me some of the Abhorsen series or the Graceling books. I'd call this a "beach read" for fantasy lovers
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The writing and prose isn't anything special.Read more