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The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
NYT Best-selling Author of The Night Angel Trilogy
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.Read more ›
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms refers to the collective world, governed by the god-favored Arameri clan. After the death of the exiled Arameri heir, the head of the Arameri clan names his granddaughter Yeine heir to the entire Hundred Thousand Kingdoms...along with two other Arameri contestants. When Yeine enters Sky, the Arameri castle suspended in the air by an impossibly thin column of rock, she must pit herself against her two deadly competitors while also negotiating with ancient, volatile gods that roam the castle halls, imprisoned in their mortal shells.
First off, this is how a book about gods should be written. After a war amongst the three "founding" gods, the one victorious god punished the others by imprisoning them in mortal bodies and binding their existence to the Arameri. These imprisoned gods were made subject to the commands of their Arameri masters, and for the past centuries, the Arameri called upon the gods' awesome power to subjugate their enemies and establish their dominance over the world. In light of this, the author does a fantastic job humanizing the gods while maintaining their otherworldly alienness. The child god Sieh was especially well written. The author elegantly resolves the paradox of an infinitely old god with a child's mindset.
However, perhaps because the focus of the novel was on the myth- and world-building, the plot seemed sluggish. If you're expecting political intrigue or power plays, you'll be disappointed. Perhaps it's because we join at the near end of things, but the two other competitors are already established figures and the other Arameri seem hopelessly docile to their whims.
Also, Yeine does not expectedly overthrow the status quo.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
...but lacking in...excitement? The words and sentences themselves are missing a little shine. It could have been developed so much more. Read morePublished 13 days ago by casethebass
I would do it again - and I likely will with the other two that follow. I am hard to please with fantasy. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Nikki
PLEASE read her novels. My best friend shared them with me and we had a field day talking about the different aspects. It's a complex and unique story. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Pendragon
It's an interesting book. I liked most of the story and the characters are pretty solid. The interactions between Yeine and the various gods were pretty cool. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Geomancer
I loved this book. It was a bit addicting and I caught myself reading snatches, even if I had just a few minutes to spare. Read morePublished 1 month ago by katie s
This one really grabs you.
Yeine, the main character is a relative nobody suddenly thrust into royal politics. Read more
She had me at the first paragragh and the story never flagged. It had a great story, memorable characters, and a wonderful heroine. It deserves every award it received.Published 2 months ago by GoldenSan