“You are what your creators and experiences have made you, like every other being in this universe. Accept that and be done.” — N.K. Jemisin (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms)
“The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms” Review
This post may contain spoilers.
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is the first of The Inheritance Triology by the talented N.K. Jemisin. In the pages of this book, Jemisin crafted a universe of gods and mortals, power and hope.
I’ll admit, I was fairly lost throughout most of the beginning of the book. Like most fantasy novels, many elements of the story were crafted for the world inside the pages, and it was a touch difficult to follow the lore and names at first.
However, as I delved deeper into the story, I was intrigued by the main character’s quest for answers regarding her past and her mother’s lost life. Yeine Darr was ripped from her life due to being summoned by her grandfather, essentially the reigning king of the land, to the city of Sky, where her grandfather rules over the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and Yeine has just been selected to participate in the power struggle to be the next heir.
Yeine has no desire to rule like her bloodthirsty distant family, and it becomes apparent that no one has any faith that she will win the competition. Gods are mere slaves to the ruling family, and Yeine uses and befriends them in order to help figure out what had truly happened to her mother, just as they use and befriend Yeine.
She knows just as well as they that she is destined to die.
The story snowballs into wars between gods while the mortals fight amongst themselves for a sliver of power. While the mortals believe the gods to be under their thumbs, it is the gods that are using Yeine to orchestrate a war between the worlds’ creators. Yeine was smack in the middle of both, navigating as best as she could while following her own agenda.
The ending of the first book of the trilogy was definitely satisfying and wrapped up the elements that I had been confused about in the beginning. It’s the type of book that one will probably understand everything better the second time around, but ultimately it was a good read.
“The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms” gets a 4 out of 5 stars.