- Series: The Inheritance Trilogy
- Paperback: 1472 pages
- Publisher: Orbit; 1st Printing edition (December 9, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316334006
- ISBN-13: 978-0316334006
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 2.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 308 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Inheritance Trilogy Paperback – December 9, 2014
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"Ah N.K. Jemisin, you can do no wrong...The blend of cultures and lore she draws on to make this very unique world is just stunning, and the fact that she inhabits it with such 3-dimensional characters is even more impressive...If you want to get away from traditional fantasy world-building, but keep the compelling characters and deep lore, definitely pick this up!!"―Felicia Day on The Killing Moon
"Many books are good, some are great, but few are truly important. Add to this last category The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin's debut novel...In this reviewer's opinion, this is the must-read fantasy of the year."―Booklist
"Jemisin's engaging debut grabs readers right from the start...a complex, edge-of-your-seat story with plenty of funny, scary, and bittersweet twists."―Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
"An offbeat, engaging tale by a talented and original newcomer."―Kirkus on The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
"An astounding debut novel...the world building is solid, the characterization superb, the plot complicated but clear."―RT Book Reviews (Top Pick) on The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
"In The Killing Moon, Jemisin displays her usual skill at portraying a world whose contours seem simple at first but which quickly break down into something much more complex and dissonant. The world is so fully fleshed out that I could breathe its spices, while the story and characters are so much a part of the world that you could not pull this story or these people out and plug them into a different setting. Jemisin proves yet again that she is one of the important new writers in the sff scene."―Kate Elliott, author of Cold Fire, on The Killing Moon
"Jemisin...creates a fabulously diverse array of peoples and lands, shot through with magic, loss, sex, and heartbreak."―NPR Books on The Inheritance Trilogy
"An absolutely fascinating read."―RT Book Reviews on The Killing Moon
"A delight for the fantasy reader."―Library Journal (Starred Review) on The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
About the Author
N. K. Jemisin is a Brooklyn author who won the Hugo Award for Best Novel for The Fifth Season, which was also a New York Times Notable Book of 2015. She previously won the Locus Award for her first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and her short fiction and novels have been nominated multiple times for Hugo, World Fantasy, Nebula, and RT Reviewers' Choice awards, and shortlisted for the Crawford and the James Tiptree, Jr. awards. She is a science fiction and fantasy reviewer for the New York Times, and you can find her online at nkjemisin.com.
308 customer reviews
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That is almost literally all I can say about this trilogy (and the accompanying novella that served as a postscript).
I had heard a little buzz about Jemisin being an author to watch a couple years ago when The Fifth Season was published, but this was my first experience reading her, and I can definitely say it will not be the last.
It is a difficult series to explain because doing so fully would generate spoilers, but suffice it to say that there is an over-arcing theme of second chances and the possibility of redemption.
But these books are about so much more: love, duty, honor, family, gender identity.
The first book, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, started a bit slow for me. In fact, I questioned whether I was going to enjoy the book because the beginning had a huge info-dump that detailed a lot of the inner workings and conflicts between the primary regions/peoples that the story involved. I felt a bit overwhelmed with new places, cultures, and names (though I later discovered a glossary at the end of the novel—which I read on Kindle—oops), but I kept going and I am so very glad I did.
The first novel deals with Yeine who has been raised far away from the city of Sky where her grandfather rules. Following her mother’s death, Yeine is summoned to Sky and finds herself an unwilling pawn in the middle of a power struggle for control of the family and the weapons (living gods) they have at their disposal.
Her family doesn’t play. At all. They ascend to power by killing their competition. So Yeine must deal with their manipulations and betrayals even as she tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her mother’s death.
The world-building here is spectacular. I can say without doubt that Jemisin has one of the most vivid imaginations I’ve ever encountered. I did give the first book a rating of 4 of 5 stars because of the heavy info-dump at the beginning—I feel there might have been better ways to distribute that information throughout the story—but it was still an awesome read.
The Broken Kingdoms is the second book, and it takes place a decade after the events of the first book, and follows a different protagonist (though several characters from the first novel also appear in this one). This book’s main character is named Oree, and she is a blind artist who has very special abilities, which she will need to help her survive when someone starts killing godlings and she becomes a suspect.
This book, even though it barely mentioned my favorite character from the first book, was stronger than the first. It’s not often that sequels—especially the central piece of a trilogy—are better than the first book, but it is the case here.
I have a feeling someone might have mentioned the info-dump at the beginning of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and Jemisin is careful to avoid it here. The pacing, characterization, and character growth from the first novel are all amazing. Loved this book. Gave it 5 of 5 stars. Hated for it to end.
Until I started book 3—The Kingdom of Gods—and realized its protagonist was my favorite character from the first book. I may or may not have squealed just a little at that moment.
But in the final book, a godling encounters a pair of children, and a simple act between them results in the godling being made mortal, and beginning to age at an accelerated rate. What follows is a search for a cure, from gods and mortals alike, but is also a wonderful examination of love and aging and forgiveness. Loved, loved, loved this book. Truly a fitting ending for a great series. 5 of 5 stars.
Then there was the companion novella: The Awakened Kingdom. Set an unspecified time following the events of the third book, it follows the adventures of a newborn godling as she seeks to find her place, not only in the world(s), but within her own family. It deals with belonging, acceptance, the struggle to find one’s own identity, gender equality, and so much more. I laughed out loud more than once while reading, and enjoyed the brief dip back into this wonderfully imagined world N. K. Jemisin created. It was also a 5 out of 5 read for me, which was also my overall final rating for the collection.
I would recommend this series if you enjoy fantastic fiction or fantasy. There is adult content, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend for younger teens.
Yeine's journey is more internal, as the events of the book are mostly contained within the city of Sky, which is literally a half mile up in the air. There's political intrigue and alliances, revenge plots, friendship and even sexual relations with gods. I really like how Yeine, while considered by herself and the horrible people in power as short, "flat" and not particularly attractive, the gods think she's hot stuff and can't get enough of her. And she is indeed an impressive character. It gets just a touch gothy and dreamy along the lines of Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics, which is not my bread and butter, but something that would really appeal to a lot of fans. The ending was a pretty satisfying conclusion, and the first book can very much stand on its own. While I bought the all-in-one trilogy to re-read the first book, I think I'd rather check out how Jemisin's writing has developed in her later books first. Even her debut book had much better writing than Adeyemi's, and I hope the hordes of people who made that book a #1 bestseller will check out Jemisin's rich worlds.