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The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, Book 1 (The Inheritance Trilogy) Paperback – February 25, 2010
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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.)
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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
Top customer reviews
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 did enjoy the story, but it didn't end in a way that makes me want to read the rest of the series. It certainly wasn't a waste of my time, but nothing mind-blowing, hence only three stars. I'd still encourage anyone to give it a shot.
Artists sometimes struggle with not creating art that is similar to previous works. in the case of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms Ms. Jeminsin has forged a fresh and richly detailed story.
The main character is Yeine, a young woman from a matriarchal warrior culture in one of the thousands of kingdoms. She served as a sort of prime minister in her small country but has been called to the city of Sky, the ruling capital of the world. Yeine is quickly immersed in the snakepit of warring factions, makde up of both humans and shackled gods. As the story unfolds the reader encounters some details of Yeine's culture. Although it is not central to the plot, the structure of Yeine's matriarchal culture was a fascinating thread in the larger plot.
Ms. Jemisin books have attracted many readers and many Amazon reviews, so I'll make this short. Ms. Jemisin has become one of those writers where I will buy anything that she publishes. I look forward to reading the rest of The Inheritance series.