The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - N.K. Jemisin

I read this last month and for some reason didn't review it at the time, but since I'm about to review the second book in this trilogy (and am just about to start reading the third), I thought I'd better remedy that. Also, it's 4am and my brain made me get out of bed a little while back, so I might as well do something semi-productive...

 

Anyway, on to The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. This is the first book in a trilogy and I'd had all three on my bookshelf for a while - I'd taken a stand against reading series books as they come out, as it was leaving me very frustrated at times, and I'd heard such good things about these books that I dutifully bought all three and that was as far as it went. And now I'm reading them, I'm a little annoyed with myself for not getting to them before because they're good.

 

The basic premise of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms starts off like many fantasy novels, with a character becoming aware of who they really are and that someone is Yeine, who has been summoned to take her place among her mother's people in the city called Sky. Yeine soon discovers that she's been summoned to play a part in the transition of power from one generation to the next, though that part is essentially that of sacrificial goat. She has always been an outsider, whether among her own people or here in Sky, and Yeine has no intention of going along with this plan.

 

The family who rule the city of Sky, the Arameri, are pretty much the major superpower for that world, getting that way by their involvement with one of the gods (the god of the day, Itempas) at a time when the gods were at war. Prior to that, there had been three major gods and a bunch of minor godlings, but the war had ended with Itempas triumphant, one of the other gods dead and the remaining god and godlings the slaves of the Arameri.

 

In The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, we get to have both characters who are fully human and excellent world-building, both in terms of the city itself and also in the surrounding peoples. The next book in the series, The Broken Kingdoms, is set ten years after this one; the aftermath, for Itempas in particular, is still working itself out in that book and through into the final one (The Kingdom of Gods) by all accounts. I also enjoyed The Broken Kingdoms, so I'll be posting a more detailed review about that in due course, and I still have two more books by this author on my bookshelf! o/