Either a book takes me hostage or I just never finish reading it. Regardless of whether or not it’s supposed to be a masterpiece for millions of readers the world over, the books that I read for myself do not necessarily have to be critically praised.
It just happens that this one is. I don’t remember where I read the recommendation. I picked up The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms about a month ago. It was the first novel from author N. K. Jemisin, published back on 2010. It’s been a while since I’ve read fantasy, but it’s a very good read and it’s difficult to believe this is her first published work.
The world is ruled by one family, The Arameri, who serves one mighty God. But there are other Gods and Godlings which have been casted down from the heavens and now serve the Arameri. They’ve got their own passions and their own shortcomings.
Yeine Darr is the daughter of a woman that left the Arameri to marry a barbarian. Her mother has died under mysterious circumstances. She is now summoned to the capital, the city of Sky, by her grandfather and ruler of the land, Dekarta. As she is thrown into a world or human and divine politics, she is named heir to the throne. She is now faced with having to dodge assassination and political machinations from her other two other cousins, Scimina and Relad, who also have a claim to the throne. To make matters worse, the fallen Godlings involve her into their own machinations.
I like the way that N. K. Jemisin writes the behaviour and the mindset of Godkind in this novel. They’re not perfect or omnipresent. They’re even more consumed by their own passions than we are. Everything about them seems unrestrained – a limitless reservoir for passion, hatred, jealousy and rage. The author doesn’t leave behind the imperfections that make human characters interesting, she raises them to a godlike level.
To be honest, once you get to know the Godlings the rest of human interactions lose their edge. Scimina starts out trying to murder Yeine but as she unleashes Nahadoth, the Nightlord – A God that represents darkness and chaos – he turns out to steal the focus of the story. Because of this event, Yeine will meet Sieh, the Trickster God that resembles a child, and Zhakkarn, the Goddess of War. More will follow, as Yeine is headed for a ceremony where she’s bound to be sacrificed to complete the ritual that will end with a new heir to the throne.
Recommended. I’m already starting the next book in the Inheritance Trilogy, The Broken Kingdoms.
That will do for now.