The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance, Book One)

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance, Book One)
N. K. Jemisin, 2010

Challenge Book! Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016 - Read the first book in a series by a person of color

Premise: Shortly after her mother’s death, Yeine is summoned to the city of Sky, the city of the ruling Arameri family, the city and family her mother rejected and abandoned. She was brought up to be a local leader and a warrior, but if she hopes to survive her scheming high-born kin, she’ll need knowledge and allies that are both in short supply.

I love it when a book is worth the hype. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is an exquisitely crafted novel. It explores culture, cosmology, theology, and morality in a gripping, personal story about one woman, her past and future, and her place in the universe.

The world is made up of countless kingdoms, but they are all under the ultimate rule of Sky and the Arameri, because the Arameri have an advantage granted them by the Skyfather, Itempas. I don’t want to say much more if you haven’t read it, because it’s a delight to explore and discover the truths about the world alongside Yeine. Every time she finds an answer, there’s another question, another truth, or a darker secret lurking in the silences.

I love Sky itself: a ridiculous, impossible palace atop a spire that quite literally looks down on the rest of the world. I love the characters: each grasping for survival or success, some with an intricate, inhuman sense of morality, and some with a lack of compassion that is all too human.

Yeine’s narration is immediate and compelling, while also integrating an aura of myth and destiny. She is telling it from the end of the novel looking back, and occasionally the story fractures, leading us down new paths and hinting at the deeper stories. Now that I’ve finished, I am tempted to re-read it just to catch all the foreshadowing and alternate meanings.

It’s a fantastic read, start to finish.

5 Stars - An Awesome Book


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