The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

The Hundred Thousand Kingdomss

by N. K. Jemisin
Series: Inheritance #1
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy
Published on February 25th 2010
Pages: 432
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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.

Yeine is raised in Darr, a matriarchal society.  Her paternal grandmother is from the ruling family and her mother was formerly the heir to the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.  She was raised to be a warrior and has been named the leader of the country.

But when her mother mysteriously dies, she is ordered to come to Sky, the capital Kingdoms and compete to be the heir to her grandfather.  Yeine’s mother was her grandfather’s only child and her abdication to marry a lowly Darr man set up a power struggle that Yeine is now a victim of.

Yeine isn’t prepared for the brutal politics of Sky.  Thousands of years ago there were three gods in the land.  A war between them killed one, elevated another, and enslaved the third and their offspring.  Now the rulers of Sky can command the captured gods to do their will and their will is usually monstrous.  Yeine knows that she is a pawn in the game between her cousins for control of the kingdom.  She doesn’t want to play their game but doesn’t want to see either of them win leadership.  She doesn’t know that she is a pawn in a long plan of the gods to win their freedom also.

N.K. Jemisin is an author that I’ve been planning on reading for a long time.  I told myself that I was absolutely going to read one of her books during #Diversiverse this year.  I’m glad I held myself to that.

What I Liked

The world building was wonderful in this book.  You slowly learn the limits that have been put on the captured gods and how the people use them for their own entertainment.

Yeine is an outsider.  She was raised by a mother that she remembers as kind but who everyone in the capital remembers as being wonderfully cruel.  She is trying to understand her mother’s life objectively and not through the eyes of a child.  She also wants to help her small country but every move she makes to help is countered by her cousins who are more used to playing political games.  She was trained as a warrior and it shows in her interactions with people.  She comes from a matriarchal society and is used to being powerful. The implications of that society come through in passages like this where she realizes the depth of Darr’s vulnerability to attack when she hears that the men are being armed.

What Could Have Been Better

For all the incredible elements this isn’t a book that is going to stay in my mind for a long time.  I can already feel details slipping and I just finished it yesterday.  It is an interesting read but isn’t deep enough to be a favorite.

I will be reading more of her books though.