The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K Jemisin

#35 of 200

Original Language: English
Publisher: Orbit
Country: U.S.A.
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 0316043915
Page Count: 427

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 cousins she never knew she had. As she fights for her life, she draws ever closer to the secrets of her mother's death and her family's bloody history. With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, Yeine will learn how perilous it can be when love and hate - and gods and mortals - are bound inseparably together.
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is N.K Jemisin's first full-length novel. tHTKs is  the tale of Yeine and her destiny to release the mortal Gods trapped in Sky.  For Yeine, returning to Sky to face her Grandfather, it is an opportunity to learn who her Mother truly was and to avenge her sudden death.

At first the formal sentence structure of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is off-putting. It makes the narrative seem needlessly lengthy and distance the reader from the story. As the story progresses the formal language begins to suit Yeine's character. The leader of a matriarchal tribe, Yeine is named as one of the Heir's to the Kingdom. She distances herself from those around her, except for the Gods, and the narrative is perfect for her, often regal or hidden, tone.

tHTKs follows Yeine's destiny as the saviour of the mortal Gods, trapped as mortal servants to the Arameri Royal family. Bound in servitude for two thousand years by one of the Three original Gods, they despise their position and will sacrifice anything for freedom. Jemisin creates an entrancing new supernatural genre and does it in a completely unexpected way. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is a brilliant new way to look at love, sacrifice and power. 

Unfortunately, due in part to the narrative style, the Gods were a bit confusing. Nahadoth and Seih are the Gods that appear most of those trapped within servitude. Unfortunately, as characters they are unpredictable and endless making it hard to form a strong opinion of them. They can seem fickle and confusing, though as Gods this isn't a total problem. It would be better if we got more of an opportunity to see the Gods in each of their individual guises. 

The main problem with the narrative are the interruptions. The flow changed and the perspective seems skewed. Yeine appears to be talking to herself, or addressing herself directly to the reader. While an interesting technique, it is remains confusing for most of the story.  Other than that, it is only Yeine's easy decision to comply with the plans of the Gods that is confusing. 

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is a fantastic new adventure into the world of the Gods. A fantastic read for more mature lovers of Young Adult fantasy.
Raiding Bookshelves Rating
Judging by the cover: The colours of the cover are eye catching and the representation of Sky gives the reader a great impression of the city. The image of Yeine imposed over the top shows her importantance to the narrative.

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