Review: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (Inheritance #1)


The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms // VBC ReviewThe Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy #1)
N. K. Jemisin
Published: Feb. 25, 2010 (Orbit)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Jill

Rating (out of 5): 5 stars

The Arameri are a ruthless and barbaric group of people that have decided that they are more civilized than the rest of the world, and therefore have the duty to rule over all of them. They rule over a hundred thousand kingdoms by brute force and fear. They have four supernatural beings that were once gods that have to obey the king’s every command. Mountains are leveled, seas are desiccated, and plagues are unleashed, all on their whim.

Yeine is the ruler of a small, but proud, country of warriors. The king of the Arameri has sent word that Yeine is invited to court. Unfortunately, one doesn’t turn down the invitation of the king. When Yeine arrives the king declares that she will be his heir along with two others. Yeine knows this means her death, but she has no chance to fight, or she risks the wrath of the Arameri falling on her country. Yiene has days to try to make the most impact that she can. Secrets are slowly revealed that show that Yeine’s battle isn’t as simple as it first seemed.

The beginning of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is written as if you’re sitting by the fire and your grandmother is telling stories about her childhood. The thoughts are little bit scattered, and seem to be jumping from topic to topic. They progress to a near psychotic delirium, but slowly the thoughts become cohesive. As the story progresses, I realized that there’s a reason for this, and its reveal is really well done. Admittedly, it’s annoying at first, but I soon realized that every drop of information is important.

I really liked Yeine. She is in total control, confident, loyal, giving, and compassionate. She’s everything I wish I could be. Surrounding her are characters who embody the absolute worst of human nature. They are really and truly evil, and it is very easy to hate them. She is completely alone in the struggle against an impossible foe; an indestructible, corrupt system that opposes change.

I really went through the emotional grinder with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. The hope is beautiful and the tragedies are heartbreaking. I could feel the helplessness of the oppressed, right alongside the characters. There’s just a bit of romance in this book, possibly the beginning of a one that will develop in the next books in the trilogy, but isn’t truly defined by the end of this book.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is fantastic in its vastness. The world building is amazing; the history of the characters and the locations is fascinating. I would love to see a little bit more of the characters as I feel there wasn’t much of a resolution. In fact the only point I had against this book was that I wished there was more character development, but I suppose that’s why it’s in a trilogy. The delivery of the story was strange at first, but in the end was exactly the way it should have been, and became one of my favorite things about the book.

Sexual content: Sex

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