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The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance, Bk 1)
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - Inheritance, Bk 1
Author: N. K. Jemisin
Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle with a pair of co...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780316043915
ISBN-10: 0316043915
Publication Date: 2/25/2010
Pages: 432
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 39

3.8 stars, based on 39 ratings
Publisher: Orbit
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Audio CD
Members Wishing: 47
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

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reviewed The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance, Bk 1) on + 1076 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Spectacular! A slow confusing start as the heroine is immediately thrust into a dangerous political situation but there is no back story so you don't get a chance to "know" her before she is caught up in the political intrigue of the demented Arameri family. Yeine is the heroine so you assume she is the good guy but there is nothing to logically get you to this conclusion.

It takes a long time to figure out what is actually going on as there are many characters and their affilitions are complex and ever changing. The Arameri are a back-stabbing, violent, family-killing group. They enslaved their own kin so they can sacrifice them when needed for their own power. Truly a disgusting society.

The world building is terrific and the characters (good and bad) are well defined and complex. I particularly liked the Gods Sieh and Nahadoth. It will be very interesting to see where the next installment takes our Yeine and the Gods.
reviewed The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance, Bk 1) on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS is N.K. Jemisin's debut novel. It was released by Orbit, and is the first novel in The Inheritance Trilogy. The next two books are forthcoming.

The story follows Yeine, a young woman who has spent her life growing up with her father's people,the Darre. Her mother, Kinneth, was not of the Darre. Rather, she had been heires to the Arameri, a powerful family who rules the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. When she met Yeine's father, Kinneth had abdicated her place to marry him and go live with the Darre.

As the book opens, Yeine's mother has recently been murdered, and her grandfather has summoned her to the capital city of Sky. When she arrives, Yeine's grandfather names her co-heir with two of her cousins. This creates an immediate power struggle in which armies are marshalled against her homeland and Yeine's life is in danger.

As she learns to navigate the difficult channels of everyday life in Sky, Yeine finds an interesting set of allies. The gods of her world have been forced to live amongst the Amerami, serving as slaves to the mortals they created. One in particular, Nahadoth, is considered to be incredibly dangerous. Over time she begins relying on his support and companionship more and more as she tries to juggle Sky's dense politics and find out who killed her mother.

THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS is a really enjoyable book. Jemisin does a great job in creating Yeine and making her an interesting character. I also really liked the stylistic conceit used to spin out the story. It's a first person epistle that tells the story chronologically with breaks for commentary. The commentary sections have an interesting structure to them, which made me think that Yeine was an unreliable narrator. In the end, though, it was more reminiscent to what Christopher Priest did in his excellent novel THE PRESTIGE. And it worked rather well.

While I enjoyed the novel for what it was, THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS was a different novel than what I thought it was when I began reading. I got it on the strength of advertisements that I had heard on several podcasts. The way it was presented, it seemed to be heavily driven by the political struggles. And while that was a catalyst for much of what happened, the book focused much more on Yeine's relationship with Nahadoth. This wasn't bad, though. Yeine's character strength coupled with Jemisin's excellent prose kept me interested enough to continue with the book.

As mentioned earlier, this is the first novel in a trilogy. However it reads very much as a standalone novel. The story of Yeine resolves quite nicely. I don't know what role she'll play in the rest of the books, but I suspect she'll appear in the others.

I'd recommend THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS to those interested in romantic stories in a political setting, or first person stories. Also, this would be a good book to read if one has enjoyed the Rai-Kirah series by Carol Berg.
reviewed The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance, Bk 1) on + 962 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS, first in a new trilogy, is first-class fantasy world-building. Its luscious, dangerous, and impressive as hell, if occasionally dragging in pacing. Still, it is a must-read for high fantasy fans.

My favorite aspect of this book was by far the world-building. N.K. Jemisin succeeds in creating a thoroughly three-dimensional fantasy world, from its religion to its poisonous political factions. And all of this is nestled in the delectably increasingly claustrophobic setting of Sky, the castle-city in which all the shenanigans go down.

I struggled a bit with some characterization and the writing style at some points. I think Yeine is supposed to channel the strength and likability of memorable fantasy heroines, but for the most part she simply doesnt do much to inspire such regard. She is a political pawn, lacking in agency, so I understand that she is limited in opportunities in which to impress, but I still wish there had been more in-the-moment action and a little less reflection on Yeines part. My favorite characters were Nahadoth and Sieh, both gods and both stronger personalities than Yeine, and thus interesting to read about whenever they were granted story space.

Additionally, Yeines internal speech felt frustrating to me at times. I also understand that this was what had to happen (but I cant tell you why, since that would be a spoiler), but the more experimental narrative parts are rather jarring if one expects the traditional chronological narration that most high fantasies employ. Likewise, Im not sure if the experimental narration completely succeeded with me.

Overall, however, I was super impressed by THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS, and will not hesitate to read Jemisins future books even despite the elements of this book that didnt entirely work for me (because I know that that is very subjective nitpicking). Definite a great book if youre a fan of high fantasy!
reviewed The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance, Bk 1) on + 205 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I credited this book with 3 stars for the first half of the story, which was original and engaging. Somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 of the way through, though, the story loses almost all sophistication and could even be considered a bit silly and trite. I was hurrying to finish and rolling my eyes as I did so. The author's writing ability just doesn't seem up to the challenge that her imagination presents. Ultimately quite disappointing, as I had been anticipating a great trilogy; now I'm not going to bother.
reviewed The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance, Bk 1) on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was such a fun read! I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. The characters are all interesting. I always love the idea of gods and humans interacting. Jemisin does a wonderful job here. The first person narration never got annoying and I just always wanted more. The conversational tone was also very nice and helped keep me interested. The ending was a bit watery to me but it was still an interesting ending. Plus, it was a debut novel so it's pretty great even with that flaw.
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reviewed The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance, Bk 1) on + 2364 more book reviews
This is the first book in the Inheritance series by Jemisin. I wasnt sure what to expect from this book. I had wanted to read it and heard it was an excellent fantasy novel. It started out a bit slow for me, but once I got into the story I really appreciated the complex world-building and the fascinating characters. At times the book reminded me a bit of Catherynne Valentes novel Deathless.

I listened to this on audiobook. The audiobook was decently done, although at times some of the male character voices were hard to distinguish. Still the narrator did a good job of conveying character emotion and was enjoyable enough to listen to.

Yeine Darr is summoned by her uncle to the city of Sky where the Arameri rule, and much to her horror named heiress to the throne. She has no desire to to leave her kingdom of Darr and no desire to rule Sky. To complicate matters she finds that she much compete against two other heirs, if she loses her life is forfeit. As things unfold for Yeine she meets a captive god and his children and is befriended by them in ways only the gods can fathom.

Yeine lives in a world where there are three main gods: Nahadoth (god of chaos and darkness/night), Bright Itempas (god of order and light/day), and Enefa ( goddess of balance and twilight/dawn). Bright Itempas killed Enefa and enslaved Nahadoth. The Arameri serve Bright Itempas and by the day Nahadoth and all of his children must do as the Arameri command. By night though the Gods resume their true forms, although they cannot harm the Arameri because of the blood sigils the Arameri wear.

Yeine is from a barbarian culture and is thrown into the Arameri culture which is full of politics and backstabbing more than outright fighting. She must figure out how to maneuver her way through this culture without destroying her country or getting killed herself. She is put into an impossible situation and turns to the only people she can for help, the Gods that oppose Bright Itempas.

Okay, seriously that is a lot of background...but this a very complex world and story. To be honest the very first part of this book was almost too much. We, like Yeine, are bombarded with all the strange culture of the Arameri and the complexity is almost (but not quite) overwhelming. All of this is interspersed with stories about the Gods and the last God war. At first it is a bit confusing why all of this matters so much.and then we meet the Gods.

Meeting the Gods makes all the difference and suddenly all of the history is more applicable because we are learning the history of these fascinating and immensely complex characters. I was absolutely engaged from this point on.

Jemisin does a stunning job of portraying the Gods. They can be cruel, calculating and numb to pain (both theirs and others). They are also surprised by kindness and love each other with an intensity and a consistency that spans millennia and is something mortals could never understand. Nahadoth especially also shows elements of immensity and cosmic greatness, he spans place and time in way that is truly godlike. But at times the Gods are very human too; they get lonely and sad and long for freedom. They are just what Gods should be and just as complex as you would expect, but it takes a lot of excellent writing to portray this so well.

Yeine is an interesting character as well. She understands that the Gods arent human and struggles with treating them as such. She loves them but sometimes, like her lust and love for Nahadoth, her love takes on a very human form. Yet she seems to understand that they are Gods and will never look at things how humans do. Yeine is a noble and tough character who does her best in a very tough situation. She loves fiercely and will do anything to protect those she loves. I really enjoyed reading about her.

There are a number of side characters as well. We read a lot about Sieh, who is one of Nahadoths children. Sieh is an eternal child and trickster and he loves Yeine in the way only a child can. He is an interesting concept and adds a lot of fun and depth to the story.

All of the side characters are fascinating and have a lot of depth to them. The characters, like the world, are incredibly well done.

The story ties up very nicely with all of the smaller plot points featuring Yeine well tied up. The second book, The Broken Kingdom, features different characters...but explores what happens to the Kingdom following the events in this book.

Overall an outstanding epic fantasy novel. There is just so much that is well done here. The book does start a bit rough, but quickly regains its footing. The world-building is fantastic and the characters have a lot of depth and absolutely intriguing and engaging. The story is very well done and I enjoyed it a lot. Highly recommended to fans of epic fantasy.

If you enjoy books about mortals struggling to make a life while their lives are entwined with the lives of Gods, I would also recommend Deathless by Catherynne Valente. Deathless reminded me a bit of this book in that it features a young girl who is chosen to be the bride of a Deathless and is drawn into his eternal Godly battle.
reviewed The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance, Bk 1) on + 962 more book reviews
THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS, first in a new trilogy, is first-class fantasy world-building. Its luscious, dangerous, and impressive as hell, if occasionally dragging in pacing. Still, it is a must-read for high fantasy fans.

My favorite aspect of this book was by far the world-building. N.K. Jemisin succeeds in creating a thoroughly three-dimensional fantasy world, from its religion to its poisonous political factions. And all of this is nestled in the delectably increasingly claustrophobic setting of Sky, the castle-city in which all the shenanigans go down.

I struggled a bit with some characterization and the writing style at some points. I think Yeine is supposed to channel the strength and likability of memorable fantasy heroines, but for the most part she simply doesnt do much to inspire such regard. She is a political pawn, lacking in agency, so I understand that she is limited in opportunities in which to impress, but I still wish there had been more in-the-moment action and a little less reflection on Yeines part. My favorite characters were Nahadoth and Sieh, both gods and both stronger personalities than Yeine, and thus interesting to read about whenever they were granted story space.

Additionally, Yeines internal speech felt frustrating to me at times. I also understand that this was what had to happen (but I cant tell you why, since that would be a spoiler), but the more experimental narrative parts are rather jarring if one expects the traditional chronological narration that most high fantasies employ. Likewise, Im not sure if the experimental narration completely succeeded with me.

Overall, however, I was super impressed by THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS, and will not hesitate to read Jemisins future books even despite the elements of this book that didnt entirely work for me (because I know that that is very subjective nitpicking). Definite a great book if youre a fan of high fantasy!
reviewed The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance, Bk 1) on + 20 more book reviews
This is a hard one to review. Overall, I did like the the book. It was a very unique story and I was definitely interested in what was happening. It was a little confusing trying to get the names and dynamics between the gods and godlings straight. The author is a good writer, but I really had trouble with her writing style. Everything would be moving along fine and I'd be into it, and then it would suddenly break off..."oh, I forgot to tell you something that happened earlier," or "let me explaing that"...or some other really weird interjection. It was really annoying!

The characters were okay. I didn't really get the relationship between Yeine and Nahadoth.

I could have done without the pedophilic and incestual tones of the book. I mean, really? Ick!

The ending was okay. I wish there had been a little more explanation on how things happened the way they did. It all seemed a little abrupt to me.

I'm wondering why I liked the book after this! Despite my issues, it wasn't a bad book!

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