Book Review: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms


Rating: 5 out of 5.

  • Author: N.K. Jemisin
  • Genre: Fantasy/ Science Fiction
  • Page Count: 398
  • Date Started: June 20th
  • Date Finished: July 2nd

A Brief Description

After her mother’s mysterious death, a young woman is summoned to the floating city of Sky in order to claim a royal inheritance she never knew existed in the first book in this award-winning fantasy trilogy from the NYT bestselling author of The Fifth Season.

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 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.

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Men who served anyone could be trusted by no one.

N.K. Jemisin

My review

I picked up this book after hearing so many good things about it on Book Twitter. This book was amazing.

It was so different than anything I’ve ever read before. It wasn’t the story that was different really, no. This is one that you’ve probably read before. Orphaned girl is thrust into the political intrigue of a world unknown to her when she is named the heir to her once estranged grandfather’s kingdom. She struggles with court life and tries to carve a place for herself, meanwhile, falling in love with a God. She struggles with finding out who she is and the dark secrets that have been kept from her, and that are just coming to light. Yeah, I’ve read this one before.

The thing that made this book so different was the way it was told. N.K. Jemisin has such a unique and innovative way of telling a story. The narrative was unusual. Not in a bad way. It was a little choppy, and had many transitions in time. This certainly added to it’s novelty. Not only that, but the book challenges what fantasy books were. It shows how power corrupts and challenges the ruling class. It threatens ordered society and threatens to turn it over.

The world of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is different and brings something new to the table. Yeine, the granddaughter of the ruler, a product of a biracial marriage. Her mother, an Amn (the rulers) married a Black man for love, and was disinherited. After being summoned to the palace, you see the struggles that Yeine faces as a half-Black woman in a world where that is not accepted. She is locked in a battle with her two cousins, who have experience in the ways of court life. Yeine gains allies in the form of the Enefadah, enslaved gods who were enslaved by the Amn after they lost the Gods War against the Lord of Light, the patron God of Sky.

Speaking of Sky, the setting was amazing! Sky is a castle in the…. well…. sky. This is where most of our story takes place. This is a treacherous palace of court rules and backstabbing royals looking to claim more power and Gods who become unstable at sunset. A world of a class structure that makes it impossible to lay claim to anything if you are not of the elite. A ruling family that is hated by it’s people. And here we have Yeine, from a far flung territory, navigating it all. I really loved her character. Her internal dialogue and the way she handles conflict was amazing. She was really easy to root for. I loved to uncover all the secrets and family drama. I also loved the romance, this book was downright steamy!

One last thing is that this ending broke me. Once I finished this book, I immediately ordered the second in the series and plan to read it very soon. All of this being said, please read this book. At first, I was a little confused as you are just thrown into the world and expected to know what is going on, but once I got the hang of thing and cultural references, I was in love. PLEASE give this book a chance. I promise you won’t regret it.

~Have a nice day, stay safe and healthy, and as always, keep reading!

~Cam

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