The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
Synopsis from GoodReads:
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.
I don’t really know what I was expecting from this novel. I’m sure I saw it on someone’s WWW post ages ago, because it’s been sitting on my TBR for at least a year or two. I’ve heard a lot of mixed comments about this novel, but I tried to go in without too many expectations.
There were a lot of good things going for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. But there were also some problems.
My main problem was that there were a lot of cultural aspects mentioned that either weren’t followed up on, weren’t fleshed out, or were ‘tell not show’. It’s been long enough since I read the novel (stupid computer problems) and now writing the review that I can’t remember a lot of specifics, but I do know that I wanted more information on the Darre culture, and also on Yeine actually being a warrior. We saw her mindset, much like we saw hints of Darre culture through her, but there were times when that seemed to drift away, specifically when the plot required it.
On the other hand, I loved the narrative style. I’m sure a lot of people had issues with it – the choppiness, the inability (until the end) to differentiate whose talking to Yeine (if it’s someone other than her own mind, etc.), and so on. But I loved it. I thought it worked really well and that Jemisin did a great job on it.
When I finished the novel, I remember feeling like I’d been run over – or woke up with a hangover. There was just a lot going on right at the end after some time that had felt like it was drifting. Overall, I think I enjoyed The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, though. Especially the mythology and the relationships between the gods, which I found fascinating and rather original. And I do plan to pick up book 2.
In the end, I’m giving it 3.5 out of 5 stars.