Book Review: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

Title/Author:  The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
(Inheritance Trilogy #1)

Genre:  Adult Fiction, High Fantasy, Science Fiction

Published:  February 25th, 2010 by Orbit

Softcover, 427 pages / Audiobook, 713 minutes

How I Got This Book:  Checked out the softcover from the  library first, then later got the audiobook from the library too, then went back to the book.

Why I Picked It Up?:  I have wanted to try more fantasy-esque novels, especially high fantasy, and with the science fiction edge I really wanted to try it out!

Book Jacket Blurb:  “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.”

My Review of this Work:

I must first and foremost mention this:  the cover is so incredibly INTENSE and beautiful.  And it so accurately depicts the city of Sky.  So props for the cover.  =)

Unfortunately, the cover is about the only thing about this book I enjoyed.  No, I take that back.  I was really intrigued by the first few chapters.  The introduction to the world of Sky is quite breath-taking and intense.  We are introduced to our narrator, Yeine (pronounced Yea-nah according to the audio), who has just been called to Sky as a potential inheritor to the throne, something which was completely unexpected due to her father not being Arameri.  So, Yeine ventures to the palace of Sky and enters a fight for an inheritance that will probably cost her life.

The really interesting and intriguing part from the beginning was the original mythology that is vividly told through Yeine’s involvement with the gods of Sky.  Her role in their return to power is so much more important than anyone could have realized.  And then she falls in love with the god of the night, Nahadoth.

I really loved the premise of this novel, but I just didn’t connect with the execution of the ideas.  As a narrator, Yeine was all over the place, unorganized and unreliable.  There are many novels that I appreciate the unreliable, all-over-the-place narrator, but I just felt such a disconnect from the story-telling style of this novel.  Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for this kind of story and writing style.

Between that and the storyline being so….well, the best word for it is unique, but I didn’t find it necessarily unique in a good way.  To be honest, I kind of found the whole god-human romance thing to be a bit awkward.  And the characters in this novel were not anything special for me.  I didn’t really care about anyone.  Well, except for the manservant T’vril.  He was a good minor character.

I don’t really know what happened with me and this novel, but I know that I cannot give it a proper review.  Why?  Because I feel like if I picked this up at a different time, when I was more in the mood for this kind of a sci-fi fantasy, I might have enjoyed it more.  I may pick this up again in a couple of years and see if maybe I like it better.  And I am definitely still going to try N.K. Jemisin’s other series, The Killer Moon.

If this sounds like a book you would be interested in, I would recommend picking it up.  Just know going in to it that it will be a little bit strange.

My Bookshelf Rating:

A Bottom Shelf Book.

I was intrigued by the premise, and even by the world-building.  But the narrative style made this novel really difficult for me to connect with.  And the mixing of these evil gods and Yeine was just a little too weird for me.  This one just wasn’t my cup of tea this read around.  I do feel that maybe at a different time and a different read-through I might like this.  But I’m not really sure.

Love and The Unexpected,
Jennifer

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