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.
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is an entertaining read that caught my interest from page one.
Yeine Darr’s mother belonged to the Arameri, the ruling family, but left them for love. After her mother’s death, Yeine is summoned to the palace by her grandfather. There she is unexpectedly made one of the possible heirs to the throne alongside her two cousins, who have lived in the court their entire life. To top it all off, the ruling family has control over four enslaved gods, who dwell in the palace, and Yeine quickly gets caught up in their plots, as well.
N.K. Jemisin has the fantastic idea of enslaved gods as weapons of mass destruction. The Arameri family rules the world, because they literally have the power of gods at their beck and call. They backed the right god during the war of the gods, and in return he gave the losing gods to the Arameri. So they can send, for example, the Nightlord Nahadoth, god of the night and chaos, to wipe their enemies out. Talk about unfair and overpowered!
What I really enjoyed about the book were the characters. Alongside Yeine, the gods were my favourites. I found their mythology so interesting! Another draw for me was the fact that this took place in a court setting. I have a weakness for court intrigue fantasy. More of that my way, please!
Now, there is a romance storyline in this book. Usually I don’t like a romance storyline to feature heavily in a book, but in this one it didn’t bother me. I’ve heard that it divides readers, though – some like the romance, some find it offputting. I liked following the characters too much to mind it. Actually, I found it quite interesting.
I was surprised to learn that this was Jemisin’s debut novel. I didn’t like her later series, the Dreamblood, nearly as much as this book. The first Dreamblood book was good, but I was much more quickly caught up in the story and the characters of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. It is part of a series, but functions full well as a standalone book, which is refreshing. I will continue with the series later, since I had so much fun.
4.5 out of 5 stars