2 member(s) found this review helpful.
THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS, first in a new trilogy, is first-class fantasy world-building. Itís 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 doesnít 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 Yeineís 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, Yeineís internal speech felt frustrating to me at times. I also understand that this was what had to happen (but I canít 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, Iím 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 Jemisinís future books even despite the elements of this book that didnít entirely work for me (because I know that that is very subjective nitpicking). Definite a great book if youíre a fan of high fantasy!
1 member(s) found this review helpful.
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.