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The Kingdom of Gods (The Inheritance Trilogy) Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2012
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Praise for The Inheritance Trilogy:
"The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms... is an impressive debut, which revitalizes the trope of empires whose rulers have gods at their fingertips. --- io9.com
"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." --- Bookpage
"The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin is a highly promising debut.... A similar blend of inventiveness, irreverence, and sophistication - along with sensuality - brings vivid life to the setting and other characters: human and otherwise....The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms definitely leaves me wanting more of this delightful new writer." --- Locus
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's really the polytheology I found the most fascinating, though, and here she explored a LOT about how it would work.
The central character in this story is Sieh, the oldest of the godlings, the trickster, the perpetual child. Throughout this story, he is supported by Shahar and Dekarta, twin children of the Arameri ruler. While the back of the book may lead you to believe that Sieh and Shahar are the driving force of the story, Dekarta is just as important a character. Everything in this universe that N.K. Jemisin has created, after all, is driven by the number three. Yeine, Nahadoth, and Itempas also play important supporting roles, and the story begun in 'The Broken Kingdoms' is also carried forward.
I am hesitant to delve too deeply into the plot, as part of the joy of these books (for me) has been letting the story unfold in front of me, never quite sure what was going to happen next. One part of the premise, though, is that someone is targeting the Arameri royal family with a deadly new sort of magic, one that confounds the mortals, godlings, and Gods alike. This thread running through the story allows N.K. Jemisin to set the story in both the palace and the city below, building off of the foundations laid in the first two books.
For me, this was a very satisfying read. If you aren't a fan of Sieh, your mileage will almost certainly vary. But I really enjoyed it! And I felt it was a satisfying conclusion to one of my favorite fantasy series' in recent memory.
In this world, gods, godlings (children of the gods) and humans exist together, a fact that is not always good for the humans. It's not always good for the gods and godlings, either, but at least they are tougher to kill. In book 1, we come into a world out of balance. It is still out of balance in book 2, but the path to redemption and reconciliation has started. In book 3, the effect of this imbalance, as well as nature's eventual evolution (even gods change sometimes), comes to a conclusion.
An important thing to remember about the gods and godlings in this world is that they are restrained by their natures. Sieh, our narrator in Kingdom of Gods, is the god of childhood. He is cute, mischievous, a bully, a brat. He can be kind, he can be malicious. He acts without thinking. He craves the love and acceptance of his parents (and the big 3 - Nahadoth, Enefa/Yeine, Itempas are all his parents). He wants to be one of them, but he never will be. In his loneliness, he meets Shahar and Deka, children of the current Arameri ruler. Shahar is the future heir. Deka, her brother, is destined for mage school. His interaction with them leads to strange changes as the god of childhood grows up. He loves both of them, is betrayed, learns that he didn't know everything, and finally that he must take responsibility for what he has done.
Spending the book in Sieh's head, it really hammers home how different from humans the gods are, how after many millenia of existence your worldview would be so different, and also how easy it would be to fall complacent, believing in your own invulnerability. Then everything comes to a head.
I enjoyed Sieh's individual character arc, as well as the changes in this world that started in book 1 and are concluded here. The book blurb made it sound like this book followed Shahar, but while she is important, this is Sieh's book.
This is not a series that follows one group of characters around as they battle a big bad. It is character-driven versus battle heavy. Also, if you have a problem with gods as characters, or your gods must act in a very specific way, then this might not be for you. Also, if you must have a romance that follows the "romance rules" then this is probably not for you either. If you are looking for a sweeping fantasy that delves into the characters, then you should try it out.